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Who are the Time Thieves in Your Life?

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by Susan Jackson (subscribe)
Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Published May 17th 2014

Who are the Time Thieves in your life? That doesn't just mean things that take up your time things that need to be done, like cooking dinner or things you like to do, such as a hobby or a sport. No, the Time Thief steals your time, by intruding on your day or by taking up a significant amount of time, before you are aware of just how much time has been lost.

So who are these intruders? Sales phone calls are top of my Time Thief list. The phone calls are unsolicited. Answering a ring of the phone starts the burglary, by breaking your concentration and the stranger on the phone acts as though they have a right to your time. On good days, I feel sorry for the salesperson, stuck in a job where people endlessly hang up on them but most days they cause immense annoyance. Would this person put up with a stranger entering their home or office and trying to talk them into something they didn't want? I'm sure they wouldn't part with their time. The timing of their calls just reinforces my annoyance. Calls start on 3pm and run right through return from school and work, dinner preparation, bath time with young kids and storytime too, not to mention the 5 minutes you may have managed to find, to sit down at the end of a long day. Get to know the phone code of culprits and don't even pick up the phone. Having trouble with salespeople? Click here for some advice.

Who else is a culprit? Social media must be at the top of a teenager's Time Thief list. It may start voluntarily but then it cleverly sneaks off with your time whether that was free time, school time, study time, sleep time or family time - the time thief has no conscience about where it takes time from.

Social media needs firm handling be aware of time spent, give yourself a time limit before you log on to Facebook. Set an alarm and stick to your commitment when it goes off. Time your usage over several days, you may be surprised at just how much time it is chewing up out of your day.

The reward of identifying Time Thieves is that you can regain that time for something you consciously want to do i.e. for something you enjoy. Consider it as similar to reclaiming land from the sea building on something that was not there before. It can literally put more hours in your day. As for managing the rest of your time, watch out for work tasks that may be so embedded in your personal time, that you fail to recognize it. Or the work colleague or friend who prevents you from finishing your task within the time available. Be firm but kind. Tell them what you are in the middle of and suggest another time to carry on the conversation. Chances are they will be busy then and choose not to interrupt their own time.

The purpose of identifying and eliminating Time Thieves is to create pockets of time for enjoyment for yourself. Once achieved, say no to extra demands. Manage your time in your favour and treat yourself to some stolen moments of your own.

So who are the Time Thieves in your life? Identify the guilty party in the comments box below.
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