According to a survey from Salary.com, 89% of employees waste time at work every day. Taking little breaks throughout the workday is beneficial to recharge and refocus. But when employees consistently engage in activities that distract from core duties, it can have a significant impact on an organization.
Even if you aren’t guilty of intentionally wasting time, you may find yourself participating in inadvertent time wasters. There are many tasks that funeral professionals must do on a regular basis, such as answering email and researching business-related topics online. Although these activities are necessary, sometimes they could be handled more efficiently. In order to improve your funeral business operation, eliminating things that take away from your productivity is a must. Examine your (and/or your employees’) working habits and consider these ideas to help you minimize the biggest time wasters.
Unproductive Staff Meetings
Meetings are a crucial part of any business. They bring people together to brainstorm ideas, make decisions for the company or recognize someone for a job well done. But, according to a survey posted by Atlassian, employees average 31 wasted hours in meetings per month.
What’s contributing to all of this wasted time in meetings? Many are considered “meetings about meetings” – meetings that are called to prepare for an upcoming meeting. These serve little purpose and are among the biggest time wasters for businesses. Often, a well-written email can be just as effective as a meeting without taking too much time.
Before setting a meeting, think to yourself, “What would this accomplish?” If you don’t have a clear purpose in mind, then you may not need to meet at all. If you do call a meeting, be sure to set an agenda with clear goals and give a copy to each person attending. Ask people to come prepared. This way, all attendees know what to expect, and it will be harder to deviate from the topic of discussion.
Phone calls. Emails. Facebook. Distractions are everywhere in the workplace and can be very hard to avoid. Little distractions can be okay at times. They allow your brain to recharge, refocus and come back ready for the task at hand. And talking with coworkers is a positive part of any successful team. However, too many of these interruptions can quickly diminish your productivity.
Email is a perfect example. You pick up your phone or sit down at your computer and open up your email. You respond to one, then another and then another. The next thing you know, an hour or more is gone and you haven’t accomplished anything you set out to do for the day. Email can be a vortex that is all too easy to fall into.
Organization is key in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Take the time to prioritize emails so those that require an immediate response (such as messages from client families) are at the top of your list. Email is a necessary part of any business, but without organization, it can be a big contributor to inefficient time usage.
The internet can be a wonderful and dangerous thing. According to a survey done by Harris Poll and CareerBuilder, about 40% of time wasted at work is spent on the internet. You need the internet to perform certain duties related to your funeral home business, from researching new vendors to updating your funeral home social media accounts. However, even those business-related tasks that require the internet can become a distraction if they take away from your task list for that day.
So how do you combat this? Make a priority list for the day and stick to it. Adhere to the schedules you set for yourself to complete specific tasks. By organizing your day based off of the priority list, you can help yourself stay focused. Save the low-priority tasks for later in the day. They require your attention, but not immediately.
Being distracted and wasting time is a normal part of life. But, there are ways to lessen or completely eliminate them in the workplace. When taking care of the needs of client families, time is of the utmost importance. Consider eliminating these time wasters in your funeral home so you can focus on what is really important – the families.