Let’s Kill the Time Killers

Posted under Procrastination on Monday 30 March 2009 at 1:40 pm

We always say “I have no time for this, I have no time for that…” However, many of us know so well that we spend a lot of time for noting. Watching TV and spending time in traffic jams are supposed to be the most common “time killers”. But, actually, there are so many more of them… Many of us have own sites or blogs, and the majority of such site owners are infected with the virus called “checking out the Statcounter“. Some of us tend to check out recent visitors activity every 15 minutes. What for? Certainly, to kill the time…

There are internal and external time killers. External ones include all factors or circumstances, which grab our attention easily and make us lose control of our time. The list of such time killers is quite long:

  • Delays when leaving home (looking for the keys, etc.)
  • Delays on the way to the work (traffic jams, etc.)
  • Chatting with the colleagues
  • Using MSN and other IMs
  • Problems with the PC and Internet connection
  • Looking through spam messages in your e-mail box
  • Looking for files, pens, coffee cups, etc.
  • Talking on the phone
  • Vendors and visitors
  • Smoking and coffee breaks
  • Surfing on the net and reading various blogs
  • RSS and various e-mail subscriptions, and so on

Coffee BreakIn addition to all those external time killers, there are also internal ones: all the factors connected with your personal traits which cause delays, problems at work, stresses and other unwanted side effects. Inner time killers are actually our habits and the parts of our life, therefore, it is usually harder to get rid of them. They commonly include such things as:

  • Our inability to say “No”
  • Our tendency to doing a lot of things at the same time
  • Our inability to estimate the time necessary for competing one or another assignment
  • Our desire to be useful and help everyone around us
  • Our natural tardiness
  • Our drive to communication
  • Our neglect to making notes
  • Our habit to start our work without thinking properly about all necessary resources
  • Our inability to prioritize
  • Our usual lack of normal sleep and rest
  • Our habit to rely completely on our memory
  • Our natural absence of mind
  • Our habit to procrastinate and leave important tasks for the end of the day
  • Our bad habits, such as smoking, snaking and so on.

The list is quite impressive, isn’t it? Some of these habits are sourced from our social norms of behavior. For example, if a colleague comes to ask for some little help, it is considered rude to refuse. Moreover, such factors are taken as parts of our working routine. However, sometimes we really waste a lot of time for walking along the corridor to prepare a drink, or looking for office-manager to get some blank paper sheets, etc.

Is it possible to get rid of all these time killers? Sure thing it is. But the key point is: in order to win the battle against time killers, it is necessary to fully understand the problem. We have to admit being dependent on time killers and acknowledge that they are really strong and powerful enemy to fight against. This understanding can help us to achieve maximum effectiveness and productivity. Remember that killing the “time killers” is a very important and necessary step toward effective time management and optimization.

1 Comment

  1. Comment by Eric — April 1, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    Very nice writing, thanks a lot! I should say that for me, PC games and TV shows are the most savage time killers, you know.. 🙂 Actually, we all need to think over this and try to eliminate those time killers to do the things that really matter in this life! Thank you very much for sharing, guys!

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