Want to know how to waste your valuable time? Just follow our tongue-in-cheek guide to procrastination…

1. ALWAYS check your emails

Check them first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and definitely while you’re mid-sentence in a meeting. If there was any justice in the world, your salary would be directly related to how often you refresh your inbox.

2. Make sure you schedule plenty of meetings

The best way to put off doing some work is to say that it needs a meeting first. Then you can spend plenty of time trying to coordinate diaries, looking for a meeting room, and most importantly, checking your emails. It even feels like work. Don’t worry about what the meeting is for – just try and make sure no one is available to take minutes, and neveragree to take on any actions.

3. Change your email signature

You can’t possibly send any emails today until you’re sure everything is up to brand standard. Flag this one up as ‘urgent’ AND ‘important’. Spend at least 30 minutes choosing the right font size.

4. Grab a coffee

This one is even better if you combine it with a meeting. Everyone knows that coffee meetings are exactly the same as actual work. Besides, you can’t possibly be productive without caffeine. Impossible. You should probably take a photo of your coffee too, just to show how productive you’re being.

5. Check Twitter

You need to be on Twitter all the time, don’t you? I mean, that’s what all the ‘gurus’ say, isn’t it? If you’re not posting at least 100 tweets per day, you might as well just pack up and go home. Besides, who else is going to post that photo of your latté art?

6. Write a to-do list

Don’t use the same one you wrote yesterday. Always best to start with a clean sheet – and copying the incomplete tasks from yesterday will help you remember to do them.

7. Check the news

It’s important to be on top of current affairs. Your job will be much easier if you’re better informed about what’s going on in the world. Perhaps open a news website after you’ve checked your emails – there might be something relevant that requires a meeting. If it’s the Daily Mail ‘sidebar of shame’, then perhaps it’s best to check on your phone instead.

8. Update Facebook

You must write a status about how much work you have to do. It’s essential that you let people know. By ‘people’, we mean your friends, your family, and those-people-who-never-really-spoke-to-you-at-school-but-now-they-manage-hedge-funds-and-have-a-nice-house-they-mysteriously-added-you-as-a-friend. You get bonus points if you post a polaroid-filtered photo of your to-do list.

The End Bit

So, be honest – how many of these seem familiar…?

Everyone procrastinates – even that one person we all know, who always just seems to get everything done. Trust me – they waste time on fruitless tasks too.

But there are ways to minimise the amount of time we waste being unproductive. The first step is to recognise those habits we’ve formed that keep us from being our best. Take another look at the list above – pick one of them, and see how often it happens in a day. Then try and break the habit.

We have worked with many individuals and teams that experience burn-out, poor motivation, and low productivity – and have helped them to find ways to make work less stressful, more enjoyable, and most importantly, brilliantly productive.

You know those golden moments, where everything just seems to work? We can help you and your team make the most of these. Get in touch to find out more about our training and workshops on motivation and productivity – it could change the way you work forever.

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David has worked with countless UK charities, businesses, and schools - with a brilliant track record of helping them with their biggest challenges. David is the founder of the Impact group - including Impact Charity Advisors, Impact Business Advisors, and Impact Education Support.