Where Did the Time Go? - How to Beat the Time-Stealers

Do you ever get to the end of your day, look back and find that you've achieved absolutely nothing? For a goal setter, there is nothing more frustrating than those days that just seem to mysteriously disappear.

In my experience there are three main reasons why some days seem to slide off into the ether without you noticing.

Here are my biggest time-stealers and how to stop them.

  1. Not having a plan. Although I am a regular and, I think, pretty efficient goal setter, I do not always start every day with a proper plan. Sometimes for various reasons, I miss my regular planning slot the night before and I wake up with only a vague idea of what I am going to do today. So I start something, do it for a while, then drift to something else and maybe dabble for a while in something completely irrelevant and then, before I know it, the day has gone. So my Stealer Beater No 1 is - Write down your plan and stick to it.
  2. Distractions. Even when I do have a well-written plan; even when I have mapped out my day, hour by hour, I still sometimes let down my guard and allow distractions to get in the way of achieving my set tasks. Sometimes, sure, there are genuine emergencies and things that absolutely must be done, but these are thankfully rare. What I'm talking about here is the day to day things that crop up all the time. People needing your help, ringing telephones, an inbox full of e-mails. All of these have their place, but they should never be allowed to take priority over your goals. So Stealer Beater No 2 is - Take control of your distractions. Only allocate them the non-critical time they deserve and only do them when it suits you.
  3. Lack of motivation. There have been times in my life when I struggle to find the energy to meet my goals. When this happens, I ask myself two key questions. Is this procrastination? In which case the only cure is keep working right on through the voices in my head, telling me to quit. Or is this a lack of belief in my goal. If I find myself questioning my belief, then it is time to re-examine the goal and figure out if it is really what I want to do. Sometimes, it turns out that I have set the wrong goal, or things have changed and it is less relevant to me now. So my final Stealer Beater is - Drown out the voices or run a goal check. I guarantee it will be one or the other.

Try applying these little tricks on a daily basis and you'll be amazed how much more efficient your days will become.

  • About

    headshot: David Beroff in St. ThomasDavid Beroff started writing software at the age of 11, and was teaching Computer Science at Rutgers University by the time he was 18. After designing software for two decades, he started his own Internet marketing firm in '95; one of his company's earliest successes was Freedback.com, a free feedback-form service that was later sold to Wondermill.

    Beroff had bought and sold four million voluntary, opt-in email leads generated with properties like LeadFactory and SuperTAF before the business failed in '07. He is the author of the book, Turn Funny Email into CASH!, and is currently developing a new social media site, AboutTh.is.

    He has two grown children, and now lives outside of Scranton with his girlfriend and five cats.

  • Contact

    If you have any questions or concerns about our website and/or our advertising, please feel free to email me directly: David (at) Beroff (dot) com.