Time Vampires & How to Beat Them

Monday, August 8th, 2016

A time vampire is anything that sucks the time from your day stopping you from completing the tasks that need your attention, hindering you from maximising your productivity.

Time vampires can be anything from Facebook to talkative colleagues; read our blog to help you pinpoint your own time vampires and possible ways to combat them.

Hourglass

Your colleagues can be your worst time-vampires. Resist the urge to be pulled into office gossip and unnecessary coffee breaks at peoples desks. Keep a close eye on colleagues who approach you mid task and whisper “have you got a minute…”. Talking to others and helping them fulfil their daily tasks not only distracts you from addressing your own priorities while you help them, it also takes more of your time as you struggle to get back into the swing of the task you were absorbed in before the interruption – it’s a time sucker! Set clear guidelines for when you can be disturbed, ensure that your colleagues are aware and respect the time slots you assign to not being disturbed.

Don’t tick boxes – doing things for the sake of it is a poor use of your time and doesn’t help anyone. Look at your task list and question the purpose, if you have a meeting but nothing to report consider rescheduling. A task that was relevant last month may not be relevant the next, always ensure that your time is targeted to areas that really matter, don’t simply retread a well trodden path just because it has always been your routine– you never know how much time you could free up.

Have discipline – we’re all guilty of picking and choosing the tasks we’d rather fit into our day. It’s so easy to put off the jobs we’re not looking forward to doing, but avoidance is never a good use of your time and takes your focus away from the jobs that really need your immediate attention. You need to have the self discipline to step back and analyse your workload, differentiate between urgent and non-urgent tasks and have the strength to face them rather than picking and choosing your workload. Those daunting or tedious tasks are rarely as bad as you expect, and they wont leave your to-do list until you complete them.

Avoid distractions – we can’t always blame others for distracting us, sometimes we’re our own worst enemy. Give yourself a helping hand and remove tempting distractions like Facebook and twitter from easy reach. Treat it as a reward for blitzing through your to-do list, not a crafty way of putting off doing tasks you’re not looking forward to.

Learn to delegate – have faith in your staff and delegate tasks you don’t need to be involved in. Don’t let pride get the better of you, consider who else could satisfy the needs of the jobs further down your priority list, freeing up your time to deal with matters that need your attention.

In short the key to fighting your time vampires is organisation! Organise your workload, organise your day into strict time-slots and organise your distractions to minimise them.


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