The second season of House of Cards, the Netflix phenomenon, is out and I face a problem. Can an ambitious entrepreneur afford to watch 12 episodes of high quality entertainment? Apart from occasional news, I currently consider TV my enemy, a box that would happily rob my time and prevent me from doing things that actually matter.
But it’s not just TV that’s robbing my time. I noticed the other day that I had a typical girl moment. I was staring at my wardrobe and spending half the morning trying to decide what to wear that day! I caught myself in that moment and gave my self a good talking to. “How can you let such an unimportant decision steal your valuable time?” And don’t get me wrong, I care greatly how I dress. But to get stuff done, one has to make such decisions in a split of a second and accept an occasional fashion mistake.
My boys started school in September. My first instinct, and that of most mothers, was to engage with all the possible activities that the school offered to parents. To be involved with my kids’ schooling, right? Thankfully I soon noticed that most activities were actually a real bunch of time robbers and had very little to do with the success of my children. How could I build a business, write this blog post or learn new things if I was hanging out at every school 'cake morning' or a 'pub evening'?
A phone call from a friend, I can’t possibly call that another time robber or can I? The truth is that in order to get things done during the day and to spend time with my family in the evening I only speak with my friends occasionally and only call them when I’m in a car. (Oh yes, I have hands free.) I don’t want to neglect my friends though, but rather than letting that phone call turn into a gossip hour and to realise that all of a sudden my whole day is gone, I rather see my friends for a proper dinner and try to see a couple of good friends at the same time.
Then there are even nastier, every day time robbers, such as procrastination, indecision and lack of priorities. Sometimes we can think about our project for days, perhaps months, without doing much about it. We don't know where to start so we don't start at all. It's the worst of the time robbers in real action!
I've started a time robber hunt. I ask myself "Is this what I'm doing really going to MAKE A DIFFERENCE?" and if I get a yes, I'm spending my time wisely. I look at the following areas:
- advancing my goals and dreams
- quality time spend with my family and friends; and with my kids I ask myself if I am being the kind of role model I want to be
- improving myself and learning new skills I need to move forward towards my goals
- taking care of my mind and my body (this includes having fun and relaxing)
The above thought process puts pressure on the quality of everything I engage in from business meetings (no useless meetings) to entertainment with friends (life is too short for a bad wine, or company). But is there a possibility I could categorise watching House of Cards into relaxation? I suppose there is as long as I don't make it my lifestyle.
Will you join me in the Great Time Robber Hunt? If we women make our time robbers visible it is easier for all of us to catch them, one by one. That's the goal. Let's bring them out of the woodwork!
I'd love it if you would share below your time robbers! Which time robber will come out as women's biggest enemy?