Ten Ways to Improve Efficiency at Work by Wasting Time

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1. Invite your team to go on a hike with you one Saturday. Go and sit on a mountainside with those who come and spend some time telling them everything you know about life and business.  Having come, they’ll be worth it.  Mentor them without the paraphernalia of management gobbledy gook and training days.

2. Commit sacrilege. Take part of the busiest day of your work week off to go and walk in the fields with a few colleagues. Try find some berries to pick and eat while you chat about anything but work.  You’ll raise a few stern eyebrows, but gain valuable nutrition for your staff.

3. Tell your work mates to go off and have their pub lunch without you. Then go buy lunch to share with the left out person in your office, the security guy downstairs, the tea lady, anybody marginalised by the office world somehow. Ask them about how life is going.  You may be the water they’ve been needing for a long time.  And you never know what good will come from it – better coffee and tea maybe.

4. In the midst of a heavy work schedule, take off with some of your team to go gaze at some architectural wonder where you live.  You’ll be surprised what inspiration this waste of time will bring.

5. When you’re caught up in the flurry and flow of a project, stop and ask the person who nobody takes note of what they think of the project and what they would like to see come from it. This has a curious way of opening up new ways of thinking about things.

6. When you’re being sucked up to by staff hoping for advantage and power to leverage over others in the office, don’t flatter them. Call your team together and paint the ugly picture of the powerful lording it over the less powerful and remind them that this is an office where people serve each other.

7. When the economic storm hits and everything seems to be falling apart, go home and have a good night’s sleep.  Things may be even worse in the morning, but at least you’ll be calm and will be able to communicate that calm to your staff.

8. Throw out the routine or plans for a day and take your team off in a different direction of doing things. It may seem to be a waste of time, but the impact on refreshed staff and surprising outcomes will far offset the time lost.

9. Make time during your day to find a solitary place to refocus yourself on why it is your are doing what you are doing.  People will come seek you out, knock down your door and invade your space with demands and requests. But just having had that brief moment to refocus will give you the calm to deal with these people in a kind and friendly manner. 

10. When people come questioning your authority and the way in which you do things, tell them to stop and look around them. If you’ve been doing the above nine things, they will see staff working with insight, walking around the office without hangups about their work, listening to one another,  helping one another overcome their work difficulties, and continually raising the standard of work.


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