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Time Pirates

We all have them – and their sole purpose seems to be to jump on board, steal and loot our productivity and steal our precious commodity, time.

I call them Time Pirates.

Pirate FlagIf I asked 100 different people to name their biggest problems with managing time, they would all come up with a variation of these three Time Pirates.

1.  Other People

Yes, these may be people that genuinely need you and your attention/help.  They may even be the people you need – in the form of clients/customers.

But, often they come at the most inopportune times!

Here I am talking most of all about the people that seem to drain you of time – the one who always seems to ask if you have a minute, the one who if you allow her to get started is hard to stop, the one who really doesn’t need you, but can’t seem to make a decision on their own……

These are but a few of the dramas that play out in everyone’s dealing with people.  There are ALWAYS people that will plunder our productivity with their questions, problems and explanations.

2.  Distractions

I love the dog that talks in the movie “UP”.  If you haven’t seen it, he is an intelligent, but easily distracted dog who will be talking along and all of the sudden say “Squirrel” because he sees something out of the corner of his eye.

This is funny, because it is so very true!  Of dogs, yes.  But also of us.

So, what are yours?

Take a few minutes and look around and see what often catches your eye, or notice what noises get your attention.  Do smells bother you?  Do colors or particular artwork make you antsy?  Does the pile of filing get on your nerves?

3.  Unplanned Happenings

Then, there are the unplanned things that are inevitable throughout the day.

And, these might even be filed under the first two, but most of the time deserve their own category.

This is the “phone call from the client whose hard drive crashed and she calls needing you to fax over all of the applicable files – right now!” type of unplanned event.

If all of our Time Pirates can really be placed into one of these 3 categories, then the thing that makes the most sense is to plan how we will deal with these categories.

Develop a system (or several systems) – where you have a clear view of what to do each time it happens.  For  example,  a flowchart or a checklist that deals with your most common interruption.

Then when something comes up, you can mentally process it and drop it into that system.  And instead of going into a tizzy or letting it affect you, you are ready to deal in 30 seconds or less.

The Time Management Secret That Most Business Owners Never Learn


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