Your time – are you wasting it? A few days ago I was called by a customer service representative of an internationally known printing and shipping company to be surveyed on my recent business experience. As I began the 90 seconds of question and answers, I began to get agitated. Sure the service was good, but did I need to have my personal time taken up later for the privileged of using them for business purposes. So this got me to think about our non refundable resource “time”. We all have the same amount, but we can easily waste our precious time.
Today, let’s think about time as water. I mention this as I just had to have a plumber in to fix a leak in my kitchen sink – so leaks must be on my mind. If you have clients that you work with, try using the leak metaphor regarding time.
Personal Time Leaks in Work Hours
Are you or your clients doing any activities that are non-productive, wasteful or senseless during your working hours? This is not to say we should only be productivity zealots. We do need to plan and schedule in some fun and break time.
Do certain activities consume too much of your work time? Are you surfing the internet, browsing online catalogs, visiting Facebook, checking personal email, chatting with friends on the phone. These activities, while often pleasant and rewarding, may need to be limited during working hours.
Work Time Leaks in Personal Hours
While we may be good at keeping our work day sacred and productive, we may instead be leaking time out of our personal time bank, using it instead for work or business tasks. Are you or your clients checking the business email accounts, making after hour calls that could be done during business hours? Don’t let personal time leak away. We are likely to be more balanced and less stressed if we compartmentalized our time, so that we enjoy our down time or family time.
Create a Leak List
Now is a good time for you or your clients to create a time leak list for home and/or work. Take a piece of paper and write down five time leaks you have at work, then do the same thing for time leaks at home. You can also have your clients do this easy exercise on leak observation.
Work on Fixing The Leaks
Once a leak has been identified it can be fixed. Leaks will usually require changes in patterns of behavior. While this may take time and vigilance, this will help us or our clients prevent the wasteful flow of time. Known leaks are the one’s that need the development of strategies, plans and policies to prevent excessive leakage of time.
Lessen the Leaks and Be more Productive
After all is said and done, leaking time will never be recovered again. Let’s work on reducing the leaks, at home and at work, and enjoy more productive use of our time.