Let’s be honest: Most of us waste a little bit of time each day, whether by playing on Facebook, browsing YouTube videos, or simply being idle.

This wasted time is not always, in fact, wasted. There is value in taking a little time to let your mind wander, and to escape from the relentlessness of your to-do list.

Even so: When employees waste copious amounts of time, well, it can add up. And it can take a bite out of your company’s productivity.

So what can leaders do to keep their employees from being too idle?

Let me offer a few specific tips.

Provide Meaningful Goals

Even your top performers may be idle if you don’t give them good productivity goals. And by good, of course, I mean SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals.

I’m not saying you need to micromanage people, but do give them something to shoot for. And, provide periodic feedback, letting them know when they are or are not on the right track.

Assign Several Tasks at Once

Some employees like to tackle all the little projects first, then do the big ones; for other employees, it’s the reverse. And, some employees will work at a very different pace than others—meaning they may be twiddling their thumbs while their colleagues are still pushing hard.

The solution for all of this? Assign batches of work—a mix of smaller and long-term projects—and allow employers to start tackling these projects in whatever order they like.

Connect it to the Big Picture

This last step is crucial.

It’s my belief that employees are more prone to wasting time when they feel like their work doesn’t matter. But if they feel like they are doing something meaningful—and something challenging—they’ll be a lot more driven.

So, always make it clear how assignments and projects contribute to the big picture and the bottom line. Allow each employee to see how he or she fits into the big picture.

Connecting work to purpose—as opposed to just assigning busywork—is one of the main ways in which you can keep employees motivated. Combine this with meaningful goal-setting and batch assignments and I believe you’ll see less and less wasted time on your team.

I’d love to talk to you more about this—or about my services as a keynote speaker and motivational leader. Reach out to learn more!

Contact me today at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098.


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