How to cut stress in the office by cutting time wasting habits

We all have bad habits that we accrue – little ways of doing things which seem impossible to break free of. This is probably most true in the workplace, where we become slaves to process, order and habit leading us into stress.
Many experts will suggest a good way to maximise your time is to follow processes and have a certain way of doing things in place, but this could even be getting in way of real productivity for you and avoid your company to fail. Here are a number of habits which could be wasting more of your time than you realise.

Constantly checking emails
In the modern work environment there is a pressure to reply to emails very quickly. This pressure can be poisonous for productivity – leading to us intuitively checking emails as soon as they arrive. This can be a huge drain on time and momentum, having to stop what you’re doing every few minutes to read another email makes it difficult to get into any other tasks. You can try setting specific time aside to look at emails - maybe once every hour or two - which should free up time throughout the rest of the day. There are also tools such as Boomerang that help.

Lack of communication
Are you spending a lot of time debating something by sending multiple emails back and forth when the situation could be resolved much quicker with a 2 minute phone call? Written down this advice seems plainly obvious but the modern working environment has almost trained us to avoid this in favour of simply sending an email so as not to disturb the other persons work - not realising the constant email sending is wasting everyone's time.

Always being available
You naturally want to be approachable and helpful in the office, but it is also important to be able to work without a constant stream of interruptions. This is a problem many new managers struggle to deal with when they are new to running a team.
A good way to resolve this is to make staff aware of certain times in the day when it will be okay to approach you with questions. Perhaps introduce a clear door closed or door open policy so they can easily see if you are busy at any given time.

This time-waster might be unavoidable for those of us who are working for someone else, but if you have the option to work from home this could free up a lot more time for working on extra tasks. Imagine you could start working at 8 rather than just leaving the house at that time? Not to mention the option to work a little bit extra at the end of the day - you could potentially gain an extra 2 hours working time.

Repeating tasks without templates
Do you find yourself doing the same things over and over again? Perhaps responding to the same queries by email or filling out the same types of documents week in week out, but always doing it from scratch. You could save yourself a lot of time by creating a template where you can simply fill in the unique information each time. Many of the most successful business leaders swear by this tactic.
Delaying quick tasks
If something can be done within 5 minutes, just do it now. Yes, it may take you away from your current task but it is much better than adding something else to the work list – all of these little tasks can add up during the day. Before you know it there is a wealth of little things needing dealt with and can lead to you working much later than planned.
Putting out fires
Mapping out your day in detail is easier said than done, simply because the reality is that any number of little things will come up each day vying for immediate attention. You might be guilty of trying to deal with these immediately when you know they could probably wait.

You can try either agreeing to deal with these kind of issues at the end of the work day or appoint someone else to try and deal with these minor issues which crop up so you are not being constantly interrupted.

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