Lately I have been spending a lot of time spinning my wheels about time. Specifically I have been complaining about other people not valuing my time! My days have been filled with clients who do not send timely information then expect that I will be available to rush the work for them. Of friends who call in the middle of the day to ‘just chat’ about nothing. And then a family member who called for computer help and disrupted my ‘downtime’ only to abruptly say ‘let me call you back’ when another call came in. Unfortunately, I then waste more of my time fuming because ‘They don’t value my time’.
This morning I have had an epiphany!
Although I can not control how they see or value my time I can control access. I can control how much of my time I am willing to let someone else waste.
You see, just as I can not expect others to know how I feel, unless I tell them. I can not expect others to respect my time unless I create boundaries.
So here is my three steps I am going to try (film at 11 <grin>)
1. I am going to try the line: “If I take the time right now – as much as I would love to chat – it’s going to make me late for my rest of my day.” (Or something similar). Conversely, I am going to begin my daytime ‘dish sessions’ with friends by asking ‘Do you have time to talk?’
With one particular friend we have sent private messages, emails or text to ask ‘do you have time to talk’. Often we begin our conversations by sharing our time limit. Even if it’s just ‘I only have a few minutes’. Try it with your friends, co-workers, or even clients.
2. I am going to be clearer with my clients about what I need and the time-frame in which I need it. My problem client likes to ramble about how busy they are as an excuse for why they can not get me the information I need in a timely fashion. My bottom line has to be that I can not work late every week because of a lack of organization of their part.
3. I am going to remember that I am not obliged to answer my phone just because it rings.
I’ll leave you with the song that inspired the title. But before I do….What tips or tools do you use to keep others from wasting your time?