Hey Boss, How Much Time Do You Waste Daily?

To waste time in a day doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t do anything. If the work day had 10 or 12 hours, you’ll certainly have something to fill them up with.

You can work hard every day, to pedal your ass off and still not advance because the chain from the bicycle broke and you didn’t realized.

This problem with time management is that is hilarious to tell you that you should manage time. Well, no one can manage it, because we have no power over time. The only thing you can do is manage yourself. Actually, this is the biggest challenge: how can you organize yourself/censor yourself during a certain period. Though Sunday and Monday have the same number of hours, the perception differs.

waste time

“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.” Albert Einstein

I know that you are busy and also working and this article could interrupt this process. It’s so obvious… that I even know you don’t have time to use the potty while at work, which is probably the reason for making all those faces.

Here is my proposition: start with whatever you wish to do during a certain period, without letting any of the following interrupt you:

  • A “crowd” of colleagues or customers sending emails, calling you or even coming over, each of them with a SPAM label; yes, a discussion or an unsolicited visit is still spam. I am not saying you should ignore them, but it’s best to set your own available time;
  • Someone’s super emergency, someone’s, not yours;
  • Someone else’s problem who wants to transfer it to you;
  • Some cute email from a colleague, most likely not work related;
  • An Instagram post with a cat;
  • Some Facebook recipe you are never going to cook;
  • Messenger chat with a friend;
  • A totally innocent scroll on your favorite site, one that lasts dozens of minutes;
  • Some random feedback required by someone who won’t even use it and wasn’t curious enough to check first on fuckinggoogleit.com.

Set a target to do only one thing, the most important during that day, until noon. Once you achieved that, you should start doing the first three most important things until noon. In the end, you should be able to achieve all the important tasks until noon by being super efficient.

Why am I telling you to finish all the important stuff by noon? Because many of the aspects mentioned above cannot be avoided and will happen without you having something to say about it.

What else can you do so you don’t feel like working in vain:

  • Plan ahead; even if a DEADline is due in three weeks, don’t wait day 20 to start solving it;
  • Make a list of your usual activities. Yup bro, put down everything you did yesterday. Yes, for real and spontaneous, without checking emails or the calendar. I can guarantee you are not going to fill up 8 hours, but barely 4. Don’t write down “3 hours meeting”, but the actual things that went on during the meeting, so you’d be accurate when saying it took 30 minutes;
  • It must be very clear in your head what is your role. The same, no bullshit pasted from the job description about what you are theoretically supposed to do;
  • Prioritize the most important tasks. Not the first 42… Try only 3 daily;
  • Try to become friends with the calendar – the thing that sends notifications when you have something to do, meaning it works for you. I don’t recommend a classic paper calendar, it’s not trained to pull your sleeve when the task is due (as many tasks have a certain deadline). Moreover, you’ll have to check the calendar more often than required in order to check the next tasks.

If you don’t know your priorities as a manager (though many of the above apply as well to any employee), you’re very much in danger that your inconsistent behavior will propagate to a larger scale and onto the team you (were supposed to) lead. Because of this, soon the discussion with your superior can turn the KPI do into a KPI don’t (need your services).

Good luck succeeding!