Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Until now, we have been harping about how valuable time is and how time lost is
time lost forever and so on. But now we come to a strange concept and that is ‘Time Killers’. The very word sounds awful, doesn’t it? How can one talk about killing such a valuable resource. But that’s the way the story goes. There are a lot of time killers in this world. We must identify these time killers and stay clear of them. Only then can you put your available time to the maximum possible use.
The time killers that I have listed below are more or less general. They are things that most of us encounter. But apart from these, each one of us may have unique time killers that are particular to our style of living and the way we work.
The killers that I am referring to are quite ordinary everyday things that we see and use in our lives but often do not realize how much of our time they take away.

Seven Terrible Time Killers
• Telephone calls
• Chatter boxes
• Traffic jams
• Finding parking spaces
• Meetings
• Bad machinery
• Long lines
• E-mail
The list could, of course, go on. But before we keep adding to the list, let’s elaboratea bit.

How to Handle Time Killers.
Telephone calls.
The ironic thing about telephone calls is that these instruments are, in fact, great time
savers. In fact the amount of time that people are able to save thanks to telephones
is stupendous. The problem arises when telephones are not used properly.
Take cell phones, for example. Ideally, you should turn off your cell phone when you are having a conversation or a discussion with another person. As soon as you get a call, you may excuse yourself, but you leave the others waiting while you carry on a cell phone conversation. Often we tend to give more importance to the caller than to the person we were having the discussion with. Again the same rule applies. Be brief. A cell phone is to be used to get an important message across to a person who you were not able to reach on the landline.

The next point is about those chatter boxes. Haven’t we all met them? They simply love the sound of their own voices and once they open their mouths, there is no stopping them. They waste not only your time but their time as well. It is much easier
to avoid such people than to get rid of them. If you do get regular telephone calls
from such a person, use caller ID or ask your assistant to divert the call.

Traffic jams and finding parking spaces. Any one who has lived in the city for at least a day will know what I am talking about. There is no getting past a traffic jam at the rush hour. The only thing you can do is anticipate the traffic jam and leave your home a half hour or one hour early. But that does not really keep the time killer at bay. It just helps you to avoid being late. In this respect you have two options. Either you couldfind something constructive to do while you wait for the traffic to move along or the traffic light to change. A better option would be to take mass transit and walk the rest of the way. It is a lot better for your health and by doing so, you can also get rid of the headache of finding a parking space.

Meetings can be an extreme time waster. Whenever you are invited to a meeting,
ask yourself if the meeting could instead be held via telephone? Make sure to draft an agenda and follow it closely so that your meeting does not take up your entire day.

Bad machinery is a time waster. How many of us have wanted to scream and bang the daylights out of a PC that does not give us the required data or information. A computer that takes a long time to start up, a photocopier that gives shamefully faint photocopies, even a leaky faucet or a stubborn drawer or door knob can waste a lot of time and send us up the wall. If you have such equipment or machinery, get it changed at the earliest possible date. It is worth the amount of time and energy that you waste on it every day.

Long lines certainly waste a lot of time. If you can get the job done over the
telephone or can reserve your ticket in advance, do it, even if it means a few extra dollars. It is worth the time you may have to spend waiting.

Apart from these each person may have particular time wasters, for instance, a car that refuses to start in the morning, difficult hair that insists on looking like Medusas head on a bad snake day, an elevator that takes forever to reach your floor. Use your common sense and try to find alternate methods. Even better, if you cannot find an alternate method, you could put the time to some use like read your morning paper in the elevator.

You will get a better idea of how to get over time killers once we handle the
the Time Savers. In TOMORROWS Blog.


  1. Meetings! When I was working this was the most awful of them all. The telephone came in #2 and email was #3. Very good list that brought back lots of work memories. Now I'm going to shift back to retirement mode. That's better.

    Have a terrific day Colleen. Big hug. :)


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