Are you wasting time during your work day? Is it possible your wasted minutes and hours are getting out of hand?  If so, perhaps it’s time to question your activities and honest about your time. Continually wasting time is likely causing a downturn in your business efforts and is one way to ensure your online business failure.

Come on…

You know what you’re doing to waste time – it could be watching reruns on television for hours at a time, playing games with your friends online or on your smartphone – or spending far too much time on Facebook. While those can all have a place in your life (if they really bring you joy – do they?),  they likely end up filling space in the day that may be better used for something else.

Perhaps, it’s time to restructure and manage your time better.

However, be careful you don’t confuse “wasted” time with the time it takes to increase or maintain your energy level by renewing your physical or mental power. That’s important, too. After all, exercise is good for both – and you need it to keep yourself primed and ready for what’s ahead. But it’s often one of the first things we think may be a waste of time when it comes to our business.

Good time management skills can set you on the right track for success. Without them, you can falter. It’s easy to come up with excuses, but you don’t really want all of your dreams for the future to wither and as you waste time on Facebook?

If you’re ready to turn up the heat on your progress and stop wasting time here are four good time management tips to start adding to your daily routine:

1. Track Your Time 

We all feel some pressure to get “it in gear”! Decide how much time you’re going to spend on

  • unplanned thinking time
  • unplanned conversations
  • unplanned actions

Sure. These things can add some joy to your life. But, you may want to monitor yourself for awhile by recording how much time you spend on the three categories of your working day, resulting in wasting time. Many times these activities are “busy work” that doesn’t really move us towards our goal at the speed our goal deserves.

At the end of the week, you should know where (in which category) you’re wasting the most amount of time. Don’t fudge the numbers just so you can get away with more. You may have to be a little tough on yourself to make progress.

2. Block Distractions to Avoid Wasting Time

Tricks like blocking email and Facebook alerts, turning off your phone and hanging a “do not disturb” sign on your home office door can work wonders. Many entrepreneurs use programs such as Facebook for business reasons, but when you’re on the site, don’t let yourself be distracted by anything other than business.

Set a time to begin work – and stick to it. After you turn on your computer for work, give yourself a certain amount of time (5 minutes or so) to surf the ‘net and review your email.

Then, switch to work and don’t look back until you’re finished. Going back and forth between email, Facebook and work muddles your mind and makes it more difficult to focus.

3. End Your Work Day at a Set Time (Yes, it can Help You Avoid Wasting Time)

We all have times when we have to spend some extra time to meet a deadline. But on an ordinary day, set a time to stop work so you can renew your physical and mental health.

If you have to work longer than the stop time, take frequent breaks, get up and walk around and do something to get your mind off work. You can’t be chained to your business 24/7 – even if you think you want to be – it’s just not beneficial to your success. I know. This is one I really struggle with.

4. Distinguish Busy Work (a time waster) from Working Toward Goals

Busy work can be a waste of time. You may be procrastinating because you’re not ready to meet the goal or you’re scared of failure if you do complete it. The best way to beat procrastination is to take action.

Don’t coddle yourself by wasting precious time. Determine the tasks necessary to get you to your goal and work on the next logical action step. Set some hard and fast rules of time management and stick to it. Think of yourself as an employee. Would you tolerate your paid worker surfing the ‘net or playing a game app on his or her phone?Of course not – so don’t allow yourself to do it, either!

Each of these can help you to focus on the process.

Here are some additional resources that can help:

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