When we look at areas where we can save time, we generally look at our work – how can we do it more efficiently and effectively so that we take less time? How can we cut back on meetings?
But there are other time sinks that we routinely run into during the day, things that steal our time that we really don’t pay much attention to. Monitoring these things more closely could help us regain some of the time lost. Here are a few of those time sinks to be aware of.
Often, when we get angry, we hold onto that anger and carry it around with us. But doing this diverts our attention from the tasks we need to do. We cannot focus clearly. As a result, anger causes us to lose time.
The best way to handle anger is to take care of whatever is causing it, so that you eliminate it. One way to do this is to write down your feelings, figure out exactly what is making you angry. If you are angry at another person, see if you can talk with him or her and express your feelings to the person, so that you can take care of the cause.
Most people enjoy watching television, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But all too often, when we watch TV, a kind of inertia sets in, and we end up watching things we really are not that interested in. We get relaxed and comfortable and it becomes a chore just to muster the energy to get moving again.
The best way to handle this time sink is to plan ahead. Determine what you are going to watch, and then turn the TV off when it’s over.
This is a bit like anger. We can carry the residual emotions of an argument around with us for a long time. And these emotions just get in the way of what we really need to be focusing on.
Plus, there is the time we waste in arguing itself. Arguments generally don’t really solve anything. They just make each person more convinced of their own position. An argument occurs when each person is just interested in proving their own beliefs, rather than in listening and working with someone else to reach an agreement. So, they are generally a waste of time.
4. Telemarketers, door knockers, junk mail
These are big time wasters as well, and whatever you can do to avoid them will certainly help. The key is to take as little time as possible in dealing with them.
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