“Wasting time is robbing oneself” – Estonian proverb
If you’re like me then you have so many opportunities with what you do with the available hours each day and week. When I reflect on how the days roll into weeks and the weeks into months, I find it’s important not to waste time because there is so much to do and so much I want to do. Well, I have a confession to make. I don’t have much patience for people who unnecessarily waste my time. What or who are wasting your time?
My current pet hate is being frequently cold called by power and gas companies with their latest offers. The way they waste my time drives me bonkers!!! I get it they provide a service and the people who work there have a job to do, but what part don’t they understand of: “Please remove me from your call list because I’ve already updated my plan.” If it was 1 call it would be ok but being peppered with multiple calls by the same company on even the same day over a 3 week campaign is too much. The reality is I would never sign a contract with a company who doesn’t listen to me.
If we’re not careful at work, we can get side-tracked and waste time on unimportant activities that serve no purpose. Think of the number of interruptions, meetings or interactions with colleagues who just waste time. Letting it continue typically results in not reaching deadlines, targeted results or we have to work longer hours to make up for the lost time. A way to check whether what you’re doing is relevant is to ask yourself the following 2 questions:
- Why am I doing this?
- Is this adding value to myself, my team or the outcomes I want to achieve?
If there’s not alignment and clarity with your goals, then reassess what you can do to address it.
Sometimes improvement comes from not what we do but rather what we don’t. So instead of being available for everyone and everything, choose when it’s appropriate to be a bit more selfish with what you do with your time and energy. Are there irrelevant time wasters you need to get rid of?