Your Time is Precious – Treat it That Way
Kat / Vertical Axion
Time, and time alone, runs your business. And here you are, running out of time, reading this blog.
That may be a little dramatic, because educating yourself is never a waste of your time. However, we all have a ton of demands on our time, and it’s foolish to waste it on things that don’t matter to us. Generally, this means we need to have a good idea of what we’re doing tomorrow, next week, next month. If you’re not sure you know what you want to do next week or month or year, just ask your spouse. They’ll certainly know what they want you to accomplish.
All joking aside, your time is precious, and you need to treat it that way. But what if someone’s idea of what you should be doing at the moment directly conflicts with what you think you should be doing? Chances are that the mix-up and conversation will distract you long enough that when you return to the task at hand, you find that you’ve completely lost your place. More time, wasted. So what’s the solution?
Stop letting interruptions and impositions waste your time.
How? It honestly depends on the boundaries of your environment. If you’re the CEO of a company, you have more freedom to tell people to leave you alone and let you focus. But if you’re not, there are still a few things you can do.
Who are those who interrupt you daily? It may even be the people that report to you. In this case, set boundaries about when they’re allowed to come to see you. For example, unless there’s something that needs your attention immediately, no one’s allowed to bug you between the hours of 9:00AM-1PM. Figure out when you tend to be productive, and guard that time.
Of course, all of this may take some negotiation with the people you work with and those who are your superiors. Once a meeting of minds has been made, ask everyone in your company to respect the new terms – and encourage them to make their own terms, too.
Sometimes your distractions don’t come in the form of physical people, but phone calls, networks, or problems in your department. Treat the non-emergency situations just the same; kill the Facebook window, put your phone on do-not-disturb, and get what you need to get done. Remember, you only have a limited amount of time that you chose to protect – use it wisely.