Monkey Puzzle Blog

Unhappy at work

A leaders guide to addressing time wasting behaviours in your team

Everyone does some time wasting behaviour but when does it seriously get in the way of good outcomes and productivity? Time wasting behaviour is habitual and is often done because ‘it’s the way we’ve always done it’ or ‘it gets the job done’. Could it be done better and quicker though?...

Here are some of the most common time wasting habitual behaviours people do, discover how to stop time wasting behaviours in your team.

Having too many open loops at one time

Open loops are ideas, activities and decisions that people have started or opened but haven’t completed or closed. The minute you think about something you open a loop. Having too many of these loops open is like having too many applications running on your computer: it drains the battery and impacts processing. This not only wastes time but people get exhausted by having too much open in their minds.

Instead of getting frustrated or upset by them take some steps to help your team close them by:

  • Taking action
  • Decide when they will deal with the thing and close the loop until then
  • Deciding actively to put something off and start it later. It helps to give yourself a date to pick it up again

Read more about dealing with time wasting behaviour in Karen & John’s book Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever, available on Amazon, in bookshops and via the Monkey Puzzle website.

Believing ‘perfect’ exists

Perfectionism is the enemy of success. Nothing is perfect, no relationship, job, piece of work or life. There is nothing wrong with high standards. Why wouldn’t you want that if it motivates you and brings you joy in life and work? The challenge and the time wasting comes when perfection becomes an obsession, and one that can never be achieved.

Supporting unhealthy perfectionists to accept ‘good enough’ isn’t easy. Avoid getting frustrated because their attachment to their definition of perfect is real to them. Start them off on small, inconsequential things like arranging the team lunch or reformatting an internal document only you will see. They need time and focus to recalibrate their expectations and their perception of others’ expectations. These people have high levels of integrity and work ethic and a dedication to quality so be patient as it will be worthwhile supporting them and will pay dividends to them, you and the business.

Sign up for our Great Minds Think Differently series for HR Professional and Leaders, a new article on a HR or Leadership issue to your inbox each month. Sign up here and receive a free e book version of Karen & John’s award winning and bestselling book Time Mastery.

Can leaders be trained or are they just born that way? Find out the results of our research in this short video.


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