June 24, 2017

Survey: What is Robbing You of Your Time? 15 Very Busy Professionals Weigh In

My gosh…where DID the time go?

If I have to answer the phone one more time or answer one more email, I am going to explode!

I am never going to get this work done.  I feel like I am always trying to play “catch up”!

Do any of these sound like you?  If so, then something is getting in the way of your productivity.

I took the time to ask some of the busiest people I know to answer the following two questions:

1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

There is most definitely a repeating trend, and I am going to write a blog about that trend later in the week.

We would love to hear from you on your time waster and tips for improving your productivity, so please comment below.

Thank you to all of you for taking the time out of your very busy schedules to answer these questions.  I know your responses will help others.

1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

Phone  interruptions. I have trained people to need me too much and those distractions feel exponentially negative because I not only lose the time, I lose momentum on bigger priorities.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

I’m a constant list-maker. Lists help me prioritize while also generating momentum and satisfaction as I cross items off

Corey Michael Blake
President, Round Table Companies
http://www.roundtablecompanies.com

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1.      What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

Responding to emails as they come in, instead of setting time aside each day (i.e., once in the a.m. and p.m.).

2.      What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

Making a list of all I tasks I need to accomplish (both work and personal) for the next day. I try to keep it to what is doable for that particular day so I don’t feel overwhelmed.  If I have more than I think I can accomplish and it is a task that can wait, I’ll push it to the next day.

Edie Smith
Senior Vice President and Director of Research
ProMatura Group LLC
http://www.promatura.com

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1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

Social networking. If I get on any of my social networks in the morning before I have begun my high priority tasks then I’ve lost 2-3 hours. I have a huge social network from these bouts of getting lost online but was missing the quality funnel to move them through from a lack of direction. After taking Bea and Scott’s Blogging Master Plan I have clearly defined the direction of my company, the message I’m presenting, and allocating the appropriate time to all of my marketing tools. I no longer get on my social networks in the beginning of the day.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

I think in big pictures and on a massive scale which can be too much not just for the people working with me but myself included. I have found making a list – breaking down the activities I need to get done into monthly, weekly, and daily tasks to keeps me from being overwhelmed and keeps me on track for my end result and achieving my goals. If I don’t make my check list of everything that I need or want to do it can become overwhelming and can paralyze me,  causing complete inaction.

Janine Elias
Awakening the Voice of America – Making America a Better Place One Person at a Time!
http://AwakeningtheVoiceofAmerica.com

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1. What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

The biggest time waster for me is lack of or inadequate planning. If I plan my week and then each day, I am much more productive – even with interruptions. Having a daily plan helps gets me back on track.

2. What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

Exercising 2-3 times per week really helps my productivity, energy, and focus. After cardio or weights, I usually wrap up with a steam to relax, think, and clear my head. Many times a solution or option I hadn’t thought of presents itself during that time.

Patrick J. Coughlin, CCE
President and CEO
http://www.moorecountychamber.com

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1.     What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

Checking, replying to, and organizing email accounts.   I like to keep my messages organized, reply to those that require instant replies (like this one), and prioritize those that are actually tasks and require later action.  So it really isn’t time lost, it is more of a time “thief” J.  So it does “steal” a big chunk of my time.

2.     What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

I use Central Desktop, to manage my projects and clients’ work.  So I am a fanatic about insuring every task, project, and document is entered into the appropriate workspace on Central Desktop.  The first thing I do each day is log into my Central Desktop account.  From my dashboard I can see every single task and project pending and when they are due, for my clients, as well as my own marketing tasks.  I know immediately what my priorities are for the day, week, month.  As my clients and any team support has access to their appropriate workspaces, we can all keep track of status, documents, and any updates as they happen.

Yvonne Thompson, Virtual Partner
Virtual Assistant Services for the Time Strapped Professional
Blog: http://blog.ytvp.com
Web: http://www.ytvp.com

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1.     What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day?

I think not following a daily plan messes me up. I tend to go for what I think needs the attention and then I end up with important things not being taken care of by me. I am now starting to say ”No” to all the requests I get in. I think by doing that, I can make time for things that will help me and my business.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

I know when I exercise in the morning, whether it is walking outdoors and on the treadmill, I can go all day and get some much done and also sleep better.

Elizabeth Cassidy
Creativity Coach for Writers and Artist
http://www.CoachingfortheCreativeSoul.com

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1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

My office is like a revolving door – constant interruptions all day cause me to lose the most time.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity

I’m up at 5:30am so that I have an hour to enjoy my coffee, read through design blogs and get caught up on the news before I start my day. Caffeine and being “in the know” keep me going!

Tami Watras
Director of Merchandising
Capel Incorporated
http://www.capelrugs.com

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1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day?

I feel like I manage time fairly well on a typical day, when my focus is on business or client tasks.  I have found that the one thing that can deter me from my typical routine is dealing with
staff issues.  The majority of time it is simply helping to clarify an expectation, policy or task, or correcting miscommunication between different personalities who may be seeing an issue from different perspectives.  I don’t mind stepping into this role, but it can completely throw off my time management.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that
improves your productivity?

I would say I have one business and one personal.  For Personal – exercise is essential to stay on task! For business weeding out emails from my blackberry before I get to the office! I like to multi-task, and when managing family and business it is essential to my day.  I have found that by having my calendar and emails on my blackberry, I can do business from anywhere.  I also have the majority of my staff on instant messenger, which allows for quick and direct communication.  I know for some, the blackberry can be more of a distraction, but for me it allows me to utilize the time away from my desk to manage business and allows more time at home.

Amy L. Natt
CEO
Aging Outreach Services
http://www.agingoutreachservices.com

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1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day?

Checking email all the time instead of scheduling one or two times a day to read, ditch or respond. Can’t resist that new message in the email box.


2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

I make a to-do list. As I finish a to-do I cross it off. I’ve tried online ticklers but what works for me is writing my to-do’s on a long and somewhat narrow clip-board I got at a street fair a long time ago. The original pad is long gone but I cut paper to fit. It’s always by my computer. When I feel overwhelmed by everything I need to do, writing down the discrete tasks tamps down the anxiety and I when I read the list I see the tasks usually aren’t that daunting after all.

Jeannette Paladino
Write Speak Sell
http://WriteSpeakSell.com

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1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

Email and the social media confusion.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

When I schedule my time with only three things to accomplish in that day, making one of the items a significant one. When I schedule more than three things I get scattered.

Dolores Hagen, CPCC

Sixty and Sensational
http://www.sixtyandsensational.com

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1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

Email and getting off my morning routine.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

Staying on a morning routine of walking my dogs, doing a clean sweep of the house, getting organized for the day, taking a shower and getting dressed.  I’m then ready for the day!

Camie Marion

Portrait Artist
http://camiestropuemarion.com

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1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

Telephone calls and email.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

Waking up early and getting work knocked out first thing in the morning.

Keith Marion

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1.  What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

The internet and all those wonderful rabbit holes of interesting info.  I feel so fulfilled with the info I have learned about what Whirling Dervishes are or why men have nipples… but in the end… I haven’t done what I really want to do.
2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

It is simply to PAUSE.  I hit the Pause button on a regular basis during the day and ask myself if a) I am on task and b) will this get me further to where I want to go today.  I often have to set timers or have someone ask me to jolt me back to being on task.  Oh,.. one other thing… I also set a short intention for the day that will encompass what I want to create/accomplish that day.  That is what I draw back to.

Roger DeWitt, PCC, PACG
Coaching NYC Inc.
ADD Coach for The Entertainment Industry… and Beyond
http://www.coachingnyc.com/blog

http://www.adhdcoachnyc.com

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1. What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day.

Keeping up with email can be a big waste of time – dealing with spam and sifting through what’s important and what isn’t.

2.  What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

Since I got a Blackberry, managing email has become easier. I can use odd moments in line at the grocery store, or when I’m a passenger in a car to clean out my email box. Instead of sitting down and spending hours on email, I can manage it in small bits of time that would have otherwise been wasted.

Not only has it made managing my email easier, but also, it’s given me more time for a life. Because customers expect responsiveness from me, my email has to be checked frequently. The way I used to handle this took time away from my family. While checking the email, I’d get sucked into working on the computer during family time. Now I can check and clear email without even going to the computer. Thus, I’m less likely to get drawn into working when I should be taking personal time.  I can also better manage my email while I travel without the need to log into a computer.

Marnie Pehrson
CES Business Consultants
http://www.IdeaMarketers.com

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1. What is the one activity or behavior that causes you to lose precious time during the day?

Checking email, often looking for acknowledgment (the emotional, needs reassurance me). Also, deleting hundreds
of unrequested, spam emails daily, (This does not include those filtered into a junk box.) SHUTTING OFF MAIL, so I’m not as tempted to look at it. I did gave a computer in a different room that I would go to to work on special projects. Never checked mail on it. That crashed, beyond repair.

Also, reacting to Social Media posts checking links and then more links.

2. What one activity or behavior do you implement on a daily (if not very regular basis) that improves your productivity?

Walking almost daily, especially in Nature, with my camera. Using the camera, responding to anything that catches my eye, acts as an immediate focus shifter and re-energizes, opening me up to fresh perspectives. (Same thing happens for people who take my Through and From The Lens courses.

Sheila Finkelstein
Lens to Life Discovery
http://www.photographyandtransformation.com

If you are feeling like your time challenges has you like a tiger by the tail, check out our Time Mastery Profile.  This tool can really help you identify your biggest time robbers with a step by step action plan on how to address it.  For more information, visit our Assessments page.

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