My title is Watch out for Time Wasters, which follows up on last week’s topic about time usage. Then I talked about making use of our time. Today I am exploring things that not only waste our time but hurt our product. Time wasters kill productivity!
This week I want to talk about the time wasters that keep us from getting things done. Here are a few that I’ve run into.
One time waster is being interrupted with a phone call or by someone who shows up at the door unexpectedly.
Being interrupted by a phone call or by someone who shows up at your door unexpectedly. Because interruptions are unexpected, they usually need to be handled on the spot. Your decision will depend on what you are in the middle of at that moment, what you have going on that day, and the length and importance of the interruption.
If a friend, relative, or someone else shows up at your door on short notice, don’t be rude to them. If you can, invite them inside for a few minutes. Be honest with them in explaining that you’re in the middle of a project that must be completed, and can only spend a few minutes with them. If the person is reasonable, they’ll understand your situation.
The same goes for a phone call. You might say to the person, “It’s good hearing from you. I’m busy at this moment, trying to get something done. Can I call you back, say at six o’clock? I’ll be able to talk to you then without any interruptions.”
Most people will agree to the call back. DO remember TO Call them back at the time you said you would.
More on the other side of this break.
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Now back to the article.
How many times have we waited in a long line or waited at a doctor or dentist office, waiting for them to call our name? How many times have we waited for a meeting to start, but it didn’t get started on time, for one reason or another?
We can all think of situations where we felt like our time was being wasted because we had to wait. It’s unavoidable but is one of the biggest time wasters that we must put up with.
I’ve found that carrying a small pocket size notebook or index cards and a pen on me comes in handy. When waiting for my name to be called, or waiting for a
meeting to start, I’ve made out a shopping list, written short notes, worked on a ‘to do’ list for the next day, written down some ideas for a chapter I want to put in a book, or made a brief phone call.
If I think I might have a long wait, I’ll have a puzzle book with me to work on, or have a book or magazine on hand that I can read while waiting.
Nowadays, many people will spend time on their phone while waiting for something to happen.
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