Who Are Your Time Bandits?


Time-BanditI started working on my new blog this morning. At this moment it is 3 pm and I am sitting at my desk and still working on it. I feel frustrated by not having it done already and I am wondering, “What happened today?”

When I started I was really enthusiastic and began thinking about what I wanted to write, and I put my first sentence on paper. Immediately, my phone rang and a colleague asked me a question. After a 5–minute phone call, I returned to my blog and read the first sentence. It was a good beginning. So I wrote my second sentence. Then I heard my son coming up the stairs (I work from home), and he started talking with me about a challenge he has at school. I put the blog aside. After my son left, it was time for a conference call I had planned with one of my clients.

Two hours later, I realized that I had forgotten about my blog. My enthusiasm was not as high as it was when I started, but I convinced myself that now my blog was my #1 priority, and I went back to it. I was halfway through when my husband called me from downstairs to ask if I wanted to have my lunch break. Since I was already in interruption mode, talking to him, I agreed.

After lunch, I started to answer some e-mails that had come in. Now it’s 3 pm and, oops, my blog needs to be finished, but my motivation and concentration are as low as they can be.

So the first question I asked myself was, ”Who are the people that interrupt me constantly?” My colleagues, my son, my husband, my clients, and even my boss. I love them, but they still steal my time. From now on, I will call them my Time Bandits.

Secondly, why did I let myself get interrupted over and over? If I had the courage to say no and explain why they can’t interrupt me now, or the self-discipline to lock my time and not pick up the phone the second it rings, would that not have saved me a lot of time, fun and motivation?

The positive result from today is that I finally finished my blog. I am enthusiastic and motivated about my future approach to time management using time locking, and I’m certain it will save me a lot of time!

Thank you my lovely Time Bandits!!!!

Your thoughts?

Time Locking Sign

Brenda Schäfer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

2 responses to “Who Are Your Time Bandits?

  1. I think that I would be grateful for a collegue who valued my input, a son who wanted to talk with me, a husband who cared that i look after myself and a client, who values my expertise enough to pay me for it. Time Bandits ? Not for me – the are Life Gems…. and the blog – well – it got done at the end of a very rich day.

    • Brenda Schäfer

      Elsa, thank you for your comment and I appreciate your opinion.

      I do value all those things you mention in your comment very much myself. A good relationship with my family, friends, clients, colleagues is very important to me. However the question is what could be the effects if I don’t control my time, if I let myself interrupt on busy days, if I don’t plan my day.
      • It could cause irritation and frustration
      • It could have impact on my concentration and focus
      • It could cause fatigue and or stress
      • It could cause mistakes
      • It could reduce my productivity and efficiency

      Will this help to give my son, my husband, my client and my colleague my devoted attention, which they are entitled to? Do I help them when I am irritated, not focused, make mistakes and being stressed?

      In my opinion if I communicate with much care and courtesy that, at certain moments, I need to lock my time and explain the benefits for them and for me and let them know that I will also respect it when they need to lock their time, it will create a win-win situation for both sides.
      Off course, if there is an emergency, I will always be there for them at all time.

      Thank you again and I look forward to hear your opinion.

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