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If you are like most of us in the purchasing function, you would like to have more time. There just does..." />

Avoid These Time Wasters

Date: 02/01/2011

If you are like most of us in the purchasing function, you would like to have more time. There just does not seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done that you would like. You can improve the situation by eliminating time wasters and using the gained hours to be more productive.

Don’t let long-winded salespeople talk on and on, repeating the same information over and over. Encourage them to get to the point and let them know when you have enough information. You can close the interview without being rude. Simply stand, extend your hand, and thank them for coming in. If you don’t want to tell them you are not interested at that time, tell them you will let them know your decision after you have obtained further facts from other sources. On the other hand, say so immediately if you are certain you are not interested to avoid wasting time later when the salesperson contacts you again.

Establish a good filing system. Sort new messages and mail quickly into what must be handled immediately, what can be thrown away, and what needs to be looked at later. Try not to handle a piece of paper over and over. The goal is to handle something once only. Get your name removed from copies of mail, email, and reports that are not related to your work or needs for information. This will eliminate the time wasted reading material not required.

Meetings can be enormous time wasters. Routine meetings are the worst. Eventually, routine meetings usually develop into discussions that lead nowhere. It is best to have an agenda for meetings and stick to the agenda. Only those who are involved in the subjects to be discussed should attend, unless required to do so. When possible, meetings should be scheduled well in advance, notifying the attendees of the subjects on the agenda. This allows the attendees to plan their schedules and gather any data or information needed for the discussions.

Save management time by summarizing long reports near the top. Attach all the backup information if your boss wants to read the details.