Time thieves are distractions that steal portions of the day and hinder productivity. Identifying and eliminating these sneaky intrusions can help keep you focused and on task. It’s time for you to take charge of your time and live and work intentionally. Doing so not only makes you more productive but also contributes to overall health and well-being.
Don’t let time thieves rob you of your productivity
Have you ever found yourself at the end of the day wondering where all the time went? There’s a good chance some of it was stolen by time thieves—those distractions that keep you from being productive. They’re disguised as innocent acts of checking your phone, social media, email notifications and hundreds of others. But once you identify them, you can send them on their way and regain your time for good.
Work smarter, not harder: Identify time thieves and maximize efficiency
Identifying time thieves at work takes some keen observation. Which of these distractions sneak in to rob your productivity?
- Notifications—constant interruptions from email notifications or chat messages
- Too much time on social media or browsing the web
- Lengthy or unnecessary meetings
- Procrastinating or getting easily distracted
- Multitasking, which can actually decrease efficiency and increase stress levels
- Performing low-priority tasks before high-priority ones
- Poorly structured work processes
By objectively looking at your workday and tracking how you spend your time, you can identify time robbers and make the necessary changes to improve your focus and efficiency.
Take charge of your time and your health
Effective time management isn't just about getting more done in less time—it's also about maintaining overall well-being. By managing your time effectively, you can reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity, and improve mood and energy levels. When you prioritize your tasks and avoid overcommitting yourself, you have more time to engage in health-promoting activities such as exercise, relaxation and spending time with loved ones.
We offer a variety of resources to help you manage your health, including online therapy, a digital wellness center, a daily habit tool, coaching and more—all included in your plan so you can maximize your time and achieve greater harmony between your work, personal life and overall health.
Take back your time: Seven strategies for improving time management
Honing time management skills requires a combination of planning, prioritizing, and focus. By implementing these seven strategies, you can improve your time management skills and boost your productivity, both at work and in your personal life.
- Set clear goals and deadlines for yourself, and break larger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones
- Use a calendar or planner to schedule your tasks and appointments, and make sure to leave buffer time in between to avoid feeling rushed or overwhelmed
- Prioritize your tasks based on importance and urgency, and tackle the most challenging ones during your peak productivity hours
- Minimize distractions by turning off notifications, closing unnecessary browser tabs and setting aside specific times to check email or social media
- Take regular breaks to refresh your mind and avoid burnout, but make sure to get back on track once your break is over
- Learn to say "no" to low-priority tasks or requests that don't align with your goals or values
- Use tools like time-tracking and productivity apps to help you stay accountable and on track
Beat burnout with effective time management
Poor time management often leads to burnout, affecting productivity, creativity, relationships and overall well-being. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance and preventing burnout is crucial in today's work environment. Start with these effective time management practices:
Use a calendar: Keep track of all your commitments and refer to it when scheduling new tasks.
Write it down: Consolidate your to-do list in one place and prioritize tasks.
Plan ahead: Set deadlines and work backward to manage your time effectively.
Allow flexibility: Leave room for unexpected events or adjustments to your schedule.
Prioritize and re-prioritize: Focus on essential tasks and be realistic about what you can accomplish.
Avoid over-commitment: Learn to say no and be mindful of how you allocate your time.
Ask for help or clarification: Seek support from colleagues or supervisors when needed.
Get started: Break down daunting tasks and work on them in small increments.
Practice self-care: Get enough sleep, take breaks and prioritize your well-being.
While time management alone is not a guaranteed burnout cure, it significantly reduces the likelihood of burnout and improves overall work-life balance.
The Learn to Live Resilience program provides you with strategies to recognize burnout so you can take actionable steps towards creating a positive mindset. Visit the website or download the app (use the code BLUEND) to get started. If you’re already a member, log into your account to continue or start a new program.
This program is offered at no cost to those (ages 13+) enrolled in a BCBSND health plan.
Sources: Harvard Business Review, HIMSS