Watch out for Time Thieves!

How to fight time traps and time thieves…

Time thieves are all external influences that steal our time. The “Top 3” of these are telephone, meetings without an agenda and e-mails.

1.    Telephone: Why do others get to decide when you will talk with them? Let the secretary or the voice-mail take messages and return calls when it fits your schedule and your plan. Cell phones can be turned off.

2.    Emails: Use the delete key more often. Go offline – in doing so you can avoid continuous disturbance while working. Look at your e-mails at a specific time two or three times a day.

3.    Meetings: Never meet without having one person who is responsible for the agenda. Make sure that there is a guideline or plan to follow. Always  have a time limit. Make clear opening statements about the agenda and schedule.

In addition to these three common time thieves, there are more factors that disturb your workflow: unscheduled visits, tasks without goals, unclear communication and information, computer problems – all these time thieves can be battled. With planning, even the traffic jam on your way to work can sometimes be avoided!

‘Time management’ is ‘self management.’ When time is not managed productively, it can be identified by alarm signals such as overtime, little spare time and continuous time pressure. As a result, there will be dissatisfaction, more mistakes made and fewer positive results. You react, not act! In order to get control over your time and amount of work, you need an effective time management plan. The first step is an analysis of the situation. What are my time thieves? In which time traps do I get caught? Where can I become more efficient? Once the problem is found, it is a step-by-step process of change to get rid of old and unproductive habits and to replace them with new productive ones.

Reducing time thieves will result in:
•    More freedom for creativity
•    Stress relief
•    Better overview
•    More free time
•    Systematic and constant achievement of goals
 

You can find more information about time thieves, time traps and how to generally improve your skills in the area of time management in our ‘Priorities Organisation Planning’ BEITRAINING programme.

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