Procedures and Systems (Avoiding internal Time wasters)

Every organization has a set of procedures and systems in which the day-to-day affairs are carried out. These procedures need not be uniform in all the organizations. They differ depending on the culture and nature of the organization. Though these systems and procedures are created to smooth the activities of the organization many a times they may prove to be lengthy and time consuming. It may be impossible to change these procedures altogether in a day or two. It is better to make the necessary changes as and where required.


1) See whether the present system being used is outdated.
2) Examine whether the procedures are cumbersome and need to be streamlined.
3) It is always beneficial for the executive to determine his information needs and evolve procedures and systems accordingly.
4) Being creative can often help reduce the time wasters.

Apart from the ones discussed above many feel that travel is also a source of external time wasters. It is true business executives are always on the move, and they have to travel a lot. But the travel time can be used as a bonus or extra time, if used properly. Much of the reading can be done while traveling. Books and lengthy reports are best read while traveling. Apart from it, planning your visit well in advance will reduce the duration of the visit. It can also be beneficial if some other work can be combined with a trip.

Avoiding Internal Time Wasters:

In the previous paragraphs we have dealt wit the strategies to avoid the various forms of external time wasters. Let us now shift our area of focus to the internal time wasters and see the suggested steps to overcome these internally generated time wasters. As these time wasters are generated internally, there can be no predetermined formulate to determination and will power. Though the process of changing one’s own habits and ways can be slow and painful, change can be brought about by practice, practice and more practice.

Let us examine some internally generated time wasters and also focus our attention on the suggestions to overcome them. Internal time wasters can be:

1) In effective communication
2) Procrastination
3) Worry and stress
4) Personal disorganization
5) Inability to say “no”

Ineffective Communications: Many a time it so happens that the subordinates are unable to get the clear interpretation of what the superior says. It is the time for the superior to take a good look at himself. The reasons for this gap in the communication could be the superior talking too fast, or the language used may not have been clear, or it may be illegible handwriting in case of written communication.


As far as written communication is concerned, the tips to improve are:

1) Make the writing legible. Otherwise many subordinates’ time is wasted in deciphering it.
2) Make the language simple and clear. Do not indulge in the use of flowery language and difficult words. Wherever necessary give point wise instructions.

Here are some suggestions to improve verbal communication, so that it does not remain a time waster anymore.

1) Always talk to face. This helps reduce distortions in understanding. Moreover, it can also be aided by gestures and facial expressions.
2) Talk slowly and clearly. It is better to devote a little more time in giving instructions rather than wasting time – clarifying the instruction, alter on.
3) Add relevant data wherever necessary.
4) Get the response of the listener immediately to ensure that he has understood the instructions.
5) Make yourself accessible for the subordinates. This encourages the free flow of communication.

Procrastination: It is the tendency of putting things off.

In simple terms procrastination can be said to be the tendency of putting things off. To overcome this tendency, a firm resolution on the part of the person is needed. Putting things or job off may be due to various reasons like taking the job to be difficult, or disliking a particular job or it might involve taking an unpleasant decision that one hesitates to take.

It is advisable to take on the toughest job first, as all energies of a person can be concentrated on it. In the organizational set up take the toughest job right in the morning and finish it. It would not be the same if it is taken during the latter part of the day.