Being that I'm somewhat of a lifehack geek who loves everything about time management and efficiency, imagine my frustration when I encounter someone wasting both. You could say it's a pet peeve of mine, and yet it is so rampant.
I value time as my most precious commodity. It's the one thing you can't get back once you've spent it, and when you're out of it, you can't make more of it. The best you can do is make the best use of it while you have it. Frugality is key, my friends!
So, if there's a way to shorten the duration, even frequency of tasks, I'm all about it. If I can somehow automate routine things that only slow me down, I'm on it. If I can prevent a meeting from happening by sending a simple email instead, I'll do it.
It would appear that not everyone has my zeal for such savings of time, effort, and sanity. Here are some examples:
- Just this morning we had a bi-weekly team call. It wasn't led by our usual host, as he was filling in while our usual host was on vacation. As a fill in, he didn't really want a lot of depth in the updates each team member was to provide. Meaning, this was more of a formality than anything.
He even promised we could end the call early if we were to get though our brief updates as quickly as needed. Far be that from stopping everyone from giving long winded updates, making sure that certain topics that weren't relevant to the call were brought up, so that we basically ended a whopping 4 minutes shy of the normal meeting's end.
Way to go, team.
- Last week, I was working on getting some network equipment changes made via the vendors and team that support them. I told my project team that I was coordinating this and that once I had an implementation date from the people actually doing the work, I'd pass that along for everyone's benefit.
You'd think that would prevent someone from sending an email the very next day asking, "Is it done yet?" Nope. Not even 24 hours later, I get an email from a member of the project team asking if the implementation is done yet.
To which, I had to expel the extra yet unnecessary energy to reply to him, explaining that when I have a date, I'll share the date.
Did I really have to write that email? Apparently, I did, because one email telling everyone I'd let them know wasn't enough.
- Or those times you take a good 20 to 30 minutes to send an email that answers every open question someone has, line by line, point by point. Then, they reply, "Looks good, let' meet to discuss."
Discuss what? It's all in the email right in front of you!
- How about when people, usually managers, show up 20 minutes late to a 30 minute meeting they insisted we have? Which means, we get to have the same meeting over again, because that person missed everything that was already discussed.
It totally makes my day when I have to do things twice.
So, I'm just wondering, am I alone in this? Am I the only one who wants to throw himself off a 10th story balcony to end the misery of wasting time?
I write this all (partially) tongue-in-cheek, but it is amazing to me how many people don't take that opportunity that's handed to them by someone else to save a few minutes here or there and instead opt for doing things the long way.
Sure, not everyone is interested in time management and getting their work done before 2pm so the rest of the time can be spent on your passion pursuits. But, couldn't someone take the shorter path just once? Anyone? Hello?