Spring Clean your Time Wasters

We’re just about to head into March, which signals lighter mornings and evenings. This extra daylight boost should lead to an increase in energy and productivity. However, if we don’t address the time wasters in our lives, it’s unlikely that we’ll be as productive as we could be.

Spring Clean your Time Wasters

Certain activities are so disruptive to our concentration and in turn our productivity, that we need to control them before they control us. Below are some of the worst time wasters and what can be done to combat them.


It’s likely that you have more than one email account, generally a work one and a personal one. Which can mean double the time wasting in your work and personal lives. It’s extremely hard to see an email notification pop up, whilst you’re working on something and not click on it. This disturbs your creative flow and takes away your focus from your work. Once you’ve read the email, you will often reply to it or be called into action by a request, meaning that you are not working on the task at hand. Once this is done, you’re likely to procrastinate about getting back to the original task you were working on. This is not good for productivity. The best option for combatting this time waster is to log out of your email account and allot certain times of day for checking them and devoting your time to actioning any tasks created by them.

Social Media

This really can waste our time and is very distracting. Not only can we waste time scrolling through our Social Media news feeds. We are constantly being bombarded by notifications to our phones and consequently checking and responding to what someone has commented or tagged us into. In the same way as emails, set boundaries about when you will check your Social Media accounts. If you receive notifications to your phone, change your settings to block notifications or set your phone to “do not disturb” for certain times of the day. Do whatever it takes to limit social media distractions and you will be rewarded with better concentration and productivity. If your job involves social media marketing, use scheduling software like Hootsuite, so that you can just keep an eye on certain accounts and schedule posts in advance, freeing you up from having to constantly watch newsfeeds.


We often think that the ability to work on several things at once makes us more efficient. In truth it often leads to time-wasting. When we switch our attention back and forth to different tasks, we lose time remembering what we were working on and in the intervening time. We might also have lost motivation for what we were initially doing. Focusing on one task at a time leads to greater productivity and a greater sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. Because we can cross tasks off our to-do list, rather than having lots of tasks left that are half completed.


Meetings can become a bit of a habit. Because we’ve always had a Team meeting on a Monday, we often feel that we have to continue this ritual, even when there isn’t anything important to discuss. Try having meetings  only when there are important issues to discuss. This stops your meetings being a time waser and helps free up everyone’s time. To ensure further time-saving, make sure there is an agenda. This gives your meeting a structure and doesn’t last too long. Lastly free up others time and only invite people that need to contribute.

Addressing thes time wasters will ensure that your March is as productive as possible. As with Spring approaching, you’ll want to free up as much time as possible to enjoy the lighter/warmer evenings.

If you want regular hints tips and techniques to help you deal with your time wasters join nearly 2000 other small business owners in my free Facebook group, The Time Management Academy

Whats your biggest time waster? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Till Next time

Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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