Your interactions with others consume as much time, if not more, than any other part of your day. You can eliminate waste of time by learning time management strategies that can help you build more efficient interaction with others. You can also maximize work performance by improving the quality of your communications.
Miscommunication is a Waste of Time
A major waste of time is caused by misunderstandings between people about roles, goals, and responsibilities. People do not know what they are expected to do, how to do it, and by what time.
Misunderstandings lead to inefficiencies, anger, frustration, and unhappiness. It often requires an enormous amount of time to clear up a misunderstanding and get matters back to normal.
Most of your problems in life talk back. They come with hair on top. Perhaps 85 percent of your happiness, or unhappiness, in life involves other people in some way. Miscommunications with other people can create a major waste of time and lower work performance, but this can easily be fixed through proper time management.
Unclear Priorities and Work Performance
Misunderstandings about priorities often lead to your working at the wrong job, at the wrong time, for the wrong reason, and perhaps aiming at the wrong level of quality. Or the problem may be that you are working for the wrong person.
The single most important cause of high levels of motivation in work for increased work performance is defined as “knowing exactly what is expected.” On the other hand, the number-one complaint, or demotivator, of employees is to “not know what is expected.”
In order to eliminate waste of time and increase work performance, you need absolute clarity about your job and what you are expected to do. You need clarity with regard to results required and standards of performance. You need clarity with regard to schedules and deadlines. You need clarity with regard to the rewards for doing a good job and the consequences of failing to do good work. If you are serious about improving your time management, clarity is everything.
Ineffective Delegation and Poor Time Management
Poor delegation to others, or from others, leads to mistakes and frustration on the part of both the boss and the employee. It is a major waste of time and a good time management technique to work on.
One of the rules for success in life and work is to “assume the best intentions of everyone.” You can generally assume that each person does the very best he can at the job he thinks he is supposed to do. But poor delegation causes even the most sincere talented people to have poor work performance or the wrong jobs. Therefore, they end up feeling frustrated and unhappy.
Unclear Lines of Authority
Unclear lines of authority and responsibility leads to waste of time. People do not know who is supposed to do what job, when is it be done, and to what standard of quality. People are left to wonder, who is supposed to report to whom? Who’s in charge? Who’s the boss?
Another major waste of time in business is poor or incomplete information, which leads to erroneous assumptions and conclusions that decrease work performance. It is amazing how often people jump to conclusions or make false assumptions on the basis of wrong information.
The very best managers take the time to ask questions, and they listen carefully to the answers before they make a decision. If there is a key piece of information that suggests a problem or difficulty, they double-check on this piece of information to make sure that it is accurate.
Aimless or Too Frequent Meetings
Too many meetings, or aimless meetings that proceed without an agenda, direction, or closure, are an enormous waste of time at work. These are meetings that start and stop without any particular resolution. No problems are solved, no decisions are made, and no responsibilities are assigned. No deadlines are agreed upon for action.
Lack of Clarity Concerning One’s Job
Lack of information or unclear communications on important matters affecting a person’s work can create a major waste of time. In one survey on employee motivation and work performance, the best companies were defined as places where each person felt that he was an insider and “in the know” about what was going on in the company. The worst places to work were described as those where no one was sure about what was really going on. In this type of situation, people were unclear about their responsibilities, unsure about their jobs, and cautious about taking any risks. When people don’t know what is going on, it leads to demotivation, poor work performance, lack of time management, and “playing it safe.”
People need to know everything that is happening in the company that affects their particular jobs. The very best companies are open and honest with all employees concerning those matters affecting the health of the company.
Employees need to know what is going on and how their jobs fit into the big picture. When employees are unclear or unsure, an enormous amount of time is lost as the result of conversations, discussions, and gossip, which lead to ineffective work behaviors and poor work performance.
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