Vampires are out in full force on Halloween night. But it doesn't have to be Halloween to be "tricked" by the time vampires who suck the time out of our (work) day.
Urban dictionary (if you've never heard of this dictionary -- ask your kids) defines a time vampire as: "something or someone who literally sucks your time like a vampire sucks blood."
Perhaps you can relate to one of the following situations.
Work Life Time Vampires
We've all been slayed at work by a time vampire. Their attack takes many forms. Perhaps they send you emails or maybe they stop by your desk and casually ask: "Hey you gotta second?" or "Can I ask you a quick question? It will only take a few minutes." Then they proceed to go on and on. Before you know it an hour has gone by and they are nowhere near finished asking for your help.
You've just been slayed!
Personal Life Time Vampires
You just walked into your home after a long day at work and your phone rings. The second you answer "hello," your friend immediately begins to babble on about -- who knows what? The next thing you know you've been on the phone for an hour -- and the time you were going to spend reading your new book or cleaning out your closet gets shelved for another evening.
You've just been slayed!
Most time vampires do not intentionally suck the time out of your life, but they do so nonetheless. It's not that they are bad people, however, it is your individual responsibility to manage your life by managing your time.
Following are three time management tips you can use to slay the time vampire -- to regain control of your life, at work and at home.
1. Just say NO! Many people do not intend to consume your time. They are innocently seeking your advice, opinion or suggestion. And for this, you should be flattered.
You, however, are the master of your own fate. How you ultimately use or misuse your time is up to you. The ability to say "no" to a request for something because it will negatively impact your ability to get your work done -- and here is the operative phrase -- in a timely fashion, is up to you.
To all you people pleasers out there, a respectful "no" to a colleague is not about putting them off. It is about putting you "on-time!" Tell your colleague you are facing a time constraint and once you have completed your task, you will be more than happy to help them -- if your time permits.
2. Avoid or Ignore the Known Time Vampires. We all know many of the time vampires in our lives. We see them walking towards us, or we watch their email come in or their name light up on our phone -- and we automatically sigh to ourselves and think: "Ugh, I really don't have time for "this" now -- whatever "this" is.
The best way to handle these situations is to not break your stride as the time vampire approaches you -- smile, say a quick "hello" and keep walking. This sends a very clear message that you are busy and do not want to stop and talk.
Do not open up their emails until it is convenient for you, (assuming your boss is not the time vampire) or answer the call until you have the time.
3. Create a No Drama Policy and Avoid the Gossip Gremlins. You will be amazed at how much time you save if you avoid work drama and gossipers. Unfortunately, every office has drama and a gossiper. And everyone knows who loves here all the dirt.
Gossipers thrive on telling anyone who will listen -- who said what about whom. Or who did what to whom. These stories are total time suckers.
Let it be known that you do not want to hear any gossip and that you do not want to be part of any drama. Period.
Office drama and gossip is a total waste of your time and energy.
Following these three time management tips while at work will help you take back your day -- so you will own your night.
To learn more about Dr. Patty Ann, CEO & Founder of Relationship Toolbox LLC, go to: www.relationshiptoolbox.com
Amazon best selling author of: "Not Tonight Dear, I've Got a Business to Run!"