Success is an outcome of fearless hardwork. Is there even a lingering small doubt in that? Merchants of Doubt series tries to clear misconceptions in people's minds about success and what it requires to achieve them. I am going to talk about time wasters in various forms here in this article. Time wasters are things, people, or even can be an event like a phone call. But how do you handle them?
When I started writing a book, I wanted time - lots of time to think and create what comprises a beautiful book - story, people, characters, elements of love, romance --- the whole basket. But I knew I had taken up a work that would be impossible to solve in the next few months. I wanted to create and deliver these items one by one for myself. So I analysed where my time is being spent and I came up with a list of top 5 time wasting rituals that I followed that hurt my time management a lot.
The following were the culprits:
- Movies (netflix, prime etc)
- Commute time
- Unwanted meetings
- Not so important client commitments
- Social media, phone calls and others related to mobile
As with any problem, there is always a solution and I wanted that solution to be a long-term benefit to me on improving my life, time management and productivity.
Let's analyse these problems one by one.
Netflix has 137 million paid subscribers. Prime has more than half of it. These numbers speak volumes about the number of people who are using these on a daily basis. So much of people are now spending their daily time on movies and series, and binge watching them. Soo much of time wasted or not being put to productive use. I'm okay with watching movies or series occassionally, but not always. And this is exactly the mistake that I did.
This is another time waster that cannot be underestimated. Also this is something that one cannot avoid at all, incase you are working with a company that is far away from your home. Best options - change the company or change the home. But nah, both could be difficult for some people. So what do you do? You can try to convert your commute time to something that you can use to start working on your goals? What do I do? I do a lot of things - which I will share in another post.
I get into meetings which don't have an agenda or with no clear motives. It will be mostly like something that the discussion will happen and no concrete decisions will be made. But then an hour would have passed and there is nothing that you can do to get that 1 hour back. So what is it that you can do? Set up a meeting with always clear agenda. And always end a meeting with a set of action items.
Not so important client commitments
I am sure you would have days where your client would expect too much out of you and you have to do it because it will otherwise affect your relationship with him? Yes, but what else can you do? I think you should push back on it and create a framework (without being written down) where it will help you decide what are the things that your client expect out of you. This has helped me lots of time in my past to delegate some of these works to my teammates.
Social media, phone calls, Netflix etc
This is probably the highest probability of problems for most of us. But for me, its the least because I have almost set aside time for my phone daily a few times. Apart from taking calls and messaging friends and family, I don't use my phone that much. But yes, you should also put a leash on these if you can.
I have just given you an idea about what needs to be done and I haven't delved deep into these issues nor the solutions. This is what I am trying to do in the future posts. Keep reading and share the articles.