“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”– Ben Franklin
How dare you!
Protecting your time
- Stop answering the phone – In my previous post “Stop answering the phone,” I discussed the fact that the phone is there for your convenience. Do not jump every time someone decides they want to buzz you! Otherwise people will steal your time when it is most inconvenient.
- Block your time – This is a very powerful strategy for reclaiming your time, both work and personal. Try “Blocking your time” by scheduling yourself for time periods that you need to keep for yourself or projects or whatever. Ironically, it is socially unacceptable to say to a co-worker, “I cannot meet with you because I have something more important to do,” but it is ok to say, “I have another meeting at that time.” You don’t need to reveal that the appointment is with yourself.
- Avoid those who waste your time – Many people believe it is important not hang out with toxic people. This needs to include those who waste your time. You will find that a specific subset of people are responsible for the majority of time-wasting. Avoid associating yourself with them or you will find yourself hanging out for two hours to discuss last nights TV shows.
- Set Expectations – If you set expectations that your time is valuable, then other people will start to value it also. Your behavior will actually train your co-workers as to what is acceptable by example.
- Walk the Talk – Of course, this goes without saying… Practice what you preach. If you want people to respect your time, make sure you are respecting theirs.
What are you best stories of people who waste your time? Or best strategies for protecting your time? Please share your best in the comments.