Posted by: Madhavi CN | December 1, 2010

Time Management (Part 3): Time Hijackers

Here is how to fight the ‘Time Hijackers’:

Television: It is educative, informative, entertaining, but most of all it is addictive! Think of the times when you thought of taking a 5-minute break from your activity to watch TV. Did the break last only 5 minutes? But TV would be good while exercising. We may do well to our heart by doing a mile more on the treadmill while watching it.

Unplanned Guests: Unplanned guests are as much a trouble as guests who overstay. Beware! 

Addictive Projects: Sometimes we are so much involved in the project that we do not let go when the project has hit a cul-de-sac. Decide when you need to wrap up if things do not work. So is it with certain relationships that have hit stalemate.

Internet: There is no other avocation that is as fulfilling as internet browsing. Connectivity makes opportunities seem endless. Use rationality to stay focused and not be an e-vagabond. 

e-Mail: This consumes quite a lot of time in a workday. Constant checking of your inbox is to avoided. If reading forwards is a pain, sending forwards is a sin. Filter the mail and pay attention only to those that matter to your priorities.

Non-core activities: Be it a business or an individual, focus on the core competencies. If something needs to be done but it saps your energies or you lack the expertise it demands, outsource it. These can be anything – cooking, driving, cleaning, helping the kids with their homework et al. Others may find doing the same activities as relaxing or raison d’etre; but this is about you. So without any guilt, focus on what you excel in or are passionate about.

Clutter: The ideas are bursting out and you are searching for your pen or the battery charger or even worse your spectacles! Or while you are firing away your ideas into action, there is a status call on something important that you have forgotten. Havoc breaks loose and the creative spurt fizzles out. To overcome this, start small by focusing on what you need to do here on and stick to schedules – ‘important but not urgent,’ so that do not erupt sometime later. Cut on clutter in your surroundings, activities and most importantly mind. ‘Let go.’

Technology: This is as much an enabler as a disabler of efficiency. It promotes communication and information. It busts us and our work with the same too. Do not get caught up with your Blackberry that you may lose connection with someone you are living with. We need to make a smart use of technology; else, the digital stress causes distress.

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