“Just as theft of money is theft, so is theft of time.”
(Mesillat Yesharim, ch. 11)
Yesterday, I was cranky. I’m not usually that way. But by morning’s end, I was in a sour frame of mind. Frustration, kvetching, it was all there. My wife thought it was funny. She doesn’t get jalapeno from me often.
We went some place expecting one thing and got another. As we get older, we’re a lot more sensitive to having our time wasted by others. We wasted our time, an hour and a half gone.
Employers are well-aware of how much time is wasted in office and factory. Web surfing, prolonged breaks and lunches, endless chatter around the water cooler. There are stats on the web that give big estimates of time loss. They’re not flattering.
Time is that limited commodity that cannot be replaced. Our time is finite. We all die. If someone takes my money, it can be replaced. But that lost ninety minutes yesterday is gone for good.
- Do you chatter on endlessly either not answering when you’ve been questioned or filling the air with needless details? You’re wasting someone else’s time and energy.
- Are you fully engaged in the tasks at hand or do you dilly-dally around in a half-hearted way, not giving your best effort and focused attention?
- Can you challenge yourself going forward to answer questions simply and directly?
- Are you able to refrain from giving unsolicited advice or when asked advice, padding it with lots of verbal filler?
In business, those who can sum up and not waste the boss’s time and energy will find favor much faster than those who spend precious minutes in needless circumlocutions.
Point of this post is not finger pointing. I have been lousy at stewarding the time and energy of others. I’m looking to change things up. Time cannot be replaced.
Care to join?