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The Time Killers

There are a lot of time killers in this world and what you have to do is to identify them, look out for them and avoid them. Only then can you put your available time to the maximum possible use.

The time killers listed below are more or less general. They are things that most of us encounter. Apart from these, each one of us may have unique time killers that are particular to our style of living and way of work. Be smart and identify these killers. The killers that I am referring to are quite ordinary every day things that we see and use in our lives but often do not realize how much of our time they take away.

Six Terrible Time Killers

  1. Telephone calls
  2. Chatter boxes
  3. Traffic jams
  4. Finding parking spaces
  5. Meetings
  6. Bad machinery

The list could of course go on. But before we keep adding to the list, I would like to elaborate on certain of the items listed above.

How to Handle Time Killers:

Telephone calls - The funny thing about telephone calls is that these instruments are indeed great time savers. In fact the amount of time that people get to save thanks to telephones is stupendous. The problem arises when telephones are not used properly. Most people do not understand and even if they do they forget that telephones are not to be used for lengthy conversations.

As for cell phones there is a lot to be said and done. What should be done is turn off your cell phone when you are having a conversation or a discussion with another person. As soon as you get a call, you may ask the people you were talking to excuse yourself but you leave them waiting while you chuckle and giggle over your phone. Often we tend to give ore importance to the caller than to the person we were having the discussion with. Again the same rule applies here. Be brief. A cell phone is to be used to get an important message across to a person who you were not able to reach otherwise.

Chatter boxes - Haven’t we all met them? They simply love the sound of their own voices and once they open their mouths, there is no stopping them. They waste not only your time but their time as well. Steer clear of such people. Believe me, it is much easier to avoid such people than to tell them to shut up and if you get a telephone call from such a person, think of a reason to get off the call before you even answer.

Traffic jams and parking spaces - Any one who has lived in the city for at least a day will know what I am talking about. There is no getting past a traffic jam at the rush hour. And will someone tell me why it's called the rush hour when that is the time when the traffic is the slowest.

The only thing you can do is anticipate the traffic jam and leave your home early. But that does not really keep the time killer at bay. It just helps you to avoid being late. The only real way to avoid both these time killers is to walk to work. This isn't always possible due to distance and weather. Try car pooling, at least you will have someone to talk to while you wait and they may spot a parking place that you missed.

Lengthy meetings - These can prove to be awful time killers particularly if the meeting does not have a clear agenda and if there are people who love to talk among the group. It has been found that most middle and senior level mangers spend nearly 70% of their work time talking. Meeting should be kept short and to the point. Of course you don't always have control over this so bring a notepad and pretend you are taking notes while you are preparing your to-do lists or future planning.

Bad machinery - How many of us have wanted to sit and scream and bang the daylights out of a pc that does not give us the required data or information. A computer that takes a long time to start up, a copy machine that gives shamefully faint photocopies, even a leaky faucet or a stubborn drawer or door knob can waste a lot of time and send us up the wall. If you have such equipment or machinery, get it changed at the earliest possible date. It is worth the amount of time and energy that you waste on it every day.

Apart from these each person may have particular time wasters, like for instance, a car that refuses to start in the morning, difficult hair that insists on looking like Medusas head on a bad snake day, an elevator that takes for ever to reach your floor. Use your common sense and try to find alternate methods or even better, if you cannot find an alternate method, you could put the time to some use like read your morning paper in the elevator.

Back to Time Management Index






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College Student's Guide to Time Management
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Organization. the Key to Time Management
 Time for everything

Planning for Success
 The beauty of planning

Prioritization: Essential in Meeting Deadlines
  Arrange for success

When to Say "No"
 Your existence depends on it

Staying Motivated
 Avoid procrastination

 The good and bad of it

The Time Killers
 Watch out for these

 Timely education news

New York Times
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