Wasting Time – What Can You Do About It?

Wasting time – What can you do about it? 

Like this wreck, a whole day can go by and you feel you’ve accomplished nothing.  It happened many times during my journey learning about creating an online business.  Sometimes it felt as though there was a conspiracy against moving forward.  And so it is in many, many things we do. 

Often, while going through university courses, you wander for hours through books and papers researching for the next paper.  You wonder “what’s this all for?  Why am I using all this time to write one paper?”  At work, your computer is not working and a couple of hours go by before the technies can fix it.  In the meantime, 2 hours are gone waiting.  At home, someone calls with a problem.  An hour and a half later, you’re hanging up the phone.  You couldn’t just hang up or say goodbye – they needed your help after all.

What can you do about it? 

In some cases, there is not much – you need to research and hand in that paper or you won’t get your mark.  Computers are important and sometimes things go wrong.  You like your friends and family and you want to help them whenever they ask for that help.  What can you do?

Actually, there is always something you can do to save yourself some time

a)  ask experts for the most efficient way to do something.  In the case of writing a paper, ask a few of the professors how to research efficiently and how to write a paper which will cost you the least in time and yet get what you need to complete your degree.  Or you could ask graduate students how they’ve perfected research and paper writing.  This way, you’ll probably save a lot of time.  I did.  A professor gave me some very direct help and a couple of very small books on how to research and write papers well – it saved me countless number of hours compared to my previous attempts.

b)  ask if your presence is actually required to solve a problem and how long it will take to get a resolution.  Sometimes, we feel as though we “need to stick around”, when in actual fact, the people working on your problem, say, with your computer, don’t really need you and, likely, would prefer not being interrupted with questions or have someone look over their shoulder.  Go do some other work perhaps on another available computer or meet with your colleague if they are available to discuss your project.  There are a number of things you can do to utilize your time well when your equipment fails. 

c)  ask a lot of questions and, if the conversation is taking more time than you have available, ask if you can continue a discussion at some other point.  During the conversation, ask a lot of questions – who, what, where, when, how, why, etc. – you’d be amazed how asking questions can clarify a situation for someone.  Or, when they call,  let them know it’s not a good time and ask if you could set a time the next day to talk about it. Or,   after about an hour, it’s time to move on – set an appointment if necessary the next day or whenever you have the time.  Stay in control of your time.

So when you feel that something could possibly waste your time,  stay control and ask yourself what you could do to save yourself some time.  Be polite and considerate of others but make sure you stay on track.

Lorraine Arams

Leave a Reply