Dealing With Time Thieves
One of the biggest barriers to finding enough time with your family are those people and things that steal away what precious time you have available after work and child care. Some of the worst offenders and ways of dealing with them are:
Unnecessary phone calls. Either incoming or outgoing. Keeping in touch with friends and family is a good thing–in this hurried age, it can help to enrich your life.. Yapping endlessly on the phone is, however, a real time thief, especially if it saps your time for either necessary or more desirable pursuits. Give yourself reasonable limits as to the amount of time you will spend on the phone. If you are stuck with a rambler, politely say, I’ve got to go, mean it, and hang up.
E-mail Hell. If every time you open your e-mail it is cluttered with many fwd:blahblah files and you hate working your way through them, get off the forwarding lists! Often times it is people who have less time available than you (or who don’t know how to handle their time) who will forward virtually every e-mail they get to a long list of “e-mail buddies.”
Wasted online time. Face it, being online can be addictive. Whether it is banal conversation in chat rooms, jumping from Web Site to Web Site (without having a clue of what you have seen), or playing games online, being connected can mean wasting lots of time. Computers and the Internet have the potential of being a big time saver (for example, research that would have taken hours to complete can now be done in minutes) but also have the history of being a huge time waster.
“Dumpers” Heard these words? “You handle it.” It may be a spouse, a relative, a co-worker, or a child, but YOU become the dumping ground. When you hear “I don’t want to do/don’t know how to do it,” and the “dumper” is fully capable, you need to take control. Unless you bounce back those things that truly can be handled by others, the dumping will continue (or worse, when there is no objection, intensify). They are not going to stop if you don’t protest!
Uninvited visitors. One of the worst time thieves because with the telephone you can always hang up on uninvited callers. When they are standing at the door, it is more difficult for many of us to send them on their way. These might be salespeople, friends, relatives or neighbors, but any of them can steal an afternoon or evening without you even realizing that it is happening.
The chatting syndrome. Conversation with friends, family and neighbors can be worthwhile–sharing ideas, child rearing approaches, etc. Endless chatting about it–or about nothing–or saying the same things over and over in 19 different ways accomplishes nothing but will steal huge chunks of time from your day.
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