You’ve Been Robbed! Time Bandits Strike Again!

Time BanditYour time is being stolen each and every day, and you don’t even know it until you call it quits at the end of the day. Where does the time go? Chances are good that some time bandit stole it…
What’s a time bandit? Any distraction that gets in the way of your goals, and takes up your time without providing any benefit.
On any given day we all get pulled in different directions by something, or someone. Some days it feels like you’ve been pulled apart in four directions. There’s the sales meetings, the written proposals, cold calls, travel, and of course the occasional visit from a co-worker who happens to drop by to bend your ear.
The problem with time bandits is that they are quite difficult to defend against unless you build a Great Wall of China around your desk, and have a Beware of Dog sign posted conspicuously on your door. Fact is, the only defense you have against the time bandit is to make sure that your time is secured, and hidden away from the time bandits so they can’t steal it in the first place. For example, having a check list of action items, and the discipline it takes to complete them within a specific amount of time will help you safeguard your time from the time bandit. You also have to list your action items in order of priority. Some action items are more valuable than others. This requires you to safeguard your valuable time before you begin your day. A daily action item list serves this purpose.

May I suggest that you start thinking about your time as if it were money. Like money, you spend time. If you look at every moment of your day as costing you something, then you are more likely to safe guard against having your time stolen as you would with money. After all, you don’t carelessly leave an open purse in a conference room, and you don’t throw your wallet to the floor for all to see. Try camouflaging your time, and taking great care to have a daily plan, and a set of rules as to how you will spend your time. Remember, it’s up to you as to how you spend your time, so spend it wisely, and understand that lurking somewhere in the shadows is a thief with nothing better to do than steal your valuable time.
On a final note, I think sales prospects have caught on to the threat of the time bandit. They are quite aware of the threats coming from time bandits (some salespeople). That’s probably the reason why many prospects are not bothering to answer their phones anymore. To them, voice mail jail is the best place to confine any perceived threat to stealing their time. Your thoughts?

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