We all know that time is a great leveller, billionaire, millionaire, prince of pauper we all get the same amount of time to do with as we please. In this day and age most people realise this and make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of time that they waste during the day.
However Old Father Time has lots of tricks up his sleave, one of the key ones being his partnership with the Mother of Curiosity. We have all heard the saying that “Curiosity killed the cat” while in the world of “The Time Doctor” curiosity also kills time and efficiency. Do I have any email? I wonder if anyone has liked my cat video, how many twitter followers have I gained in the last hour and the list goes on. For many people sucumbing to their curiosity can ruin any attempts to improve their time management.
If you find yourself falling for the Mother of Curiosity:
Consider the following:
- Lost Time adds Up – If you lose as little as 10 minutes of time everyday of the working week day, youwill lose the equvelent of a 40-working hours each year; yes an entire week. Do you sruggle to meet deadlines? Now you know part of the reason why.
- Loss of momentum. – Stopping what you’re doing to check to check your email or social media costs you more than just the time it takes to open your account and read your messages. They lose track of where they were with the task they were completing or in the worst cases forget what they were doing in the first place and start something different meaning they have lost focus and have many unfinished tasks leading to stress and procrastination.
Ok So What’s the answer?
- They can wait. – Despite what you may think, in most cases people can get away with checking their messages once or twice a day. I know your response, but it is critical to my job, trust me if someone needs to urgently get you they will find away.
- Plan and Schedule Reading Time. – Get into the routine of checking email, texts and social media at specific times of the day. You might choose to deal with email in the middle of the morning and afternoon and social media at the end of the day. Whatever drives your curiosity, set aside some time each day to address it.
- Tell Others. – Let everyone know about your work patterns you’ll be surprised how quickly they come round to your way of thinking, If they know that you only check your email between 4:45pm and 5:00pm, they’ll call you if they need to communicate something really important. They might even not bother at all which of course means less work for you. In addition, people won’t bother you with text messages during the day if they know you’re not going to answer them anytime soon. With less distractractions, you’ll find you are better able to better focus on your work.
We all have some of those are curiosity-based time wasters and in reality they are the most challenging things to address. The first step is acknowledging the amount of time we spend on them each year and the cost of that wasted time on us and others. You have to realise that this is time that you will never get back and it is time that could have been put to better use.
Most things are rarely urgent and can wait, how often do you really need to check your email, texts and social media? Tell people how you work and they will adapt to you, believe me you will not miss anything critical.
Take back control of your time. You’ll be glad you did!
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Till Next Time
Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor