Four Common Time Wasters

time managementThis week I ran into a lot of time wasters.  Not only things that I do myself but things that others bring upon me.  I started a collection of the most common time wasters that I encounter in a typical day.

Internet browsing

- If you find yourself randomly surfing the Internet.  This can be a huge time waster and if you find your always looking for extra time to get important stuff done consider your random Internet surfing.  Sometimes setting a timer to limit your surfing can help control this favorite time waster.

Reading email

- This topic has been blogged about a lot but it is so true.  Take a look at your email program and see how often your checking email.  If your not a time sensitive email checker then make that time above 15 minutes.  Try changing it to say 45 to 60 minutes.  You will find that the lack of notification won't be missed and you will gain time to do other more pressing work like blog.

Outside interruptions

- I work in a cubical I get a lot of walkups.  As a support person I expect a certain amount of interruptions.  Just because I am a support person, have a cubical and an open door policy should not be an open invitation for everyone to interrupt me.  Nowadays I must put a chair in my doorway with a notice to NOT DISTURB if I want get something done.

Prevent Interruptions

  • Prevent interruptions from walk-in visitors by isolating yourself. Close your door. Put up a sign. Work in a conference room. If you work in an office, take a day to work on important projects at home if necessary.
  • Don't feel obliged to have "an open door policy." This allows people to manage your time on their terms, not on yours. "Open door" means you're generally available for honest communication from any level. It doesn't mean "always" available.
  • If you have an assistant, establish clear guidelines as to what kinds of interruptions are appropriate, so they can screen visitors. The assistant should have the authority to schedule a subsequent meeting, or divert the inquiry to someone else.
  • Block off your time for priorities. Handle larger, important projects early in the morning, before you read your e-mail and before interruptions are likely to occur. Schedule a quiet hour to create essential private time.
  • Inform co-workers or subordinates that you generally like to come in at perhaps 8:00 am, and work on your own until 9:30 am. Only then do you accept meetings.
  • Change the layout of your desk so that you're not facing traffic. Otherwise, you encourage interruptions.
  • If you're storing materials or files that people have to access frequently, move them to another area.

Watching TV tv a time waster

- This is one that I still have problems with.  When I get off work and get home I find myself sitting in front of the TV and not working on other activities like my blogging.  I may sit there with my laptop surfing the Internet and wonder why I can not find time to blog.

Can you find the time wasters?

Let's take a look at a typical day for a computer support person and family man. 

Get up watch the news (TV) and get around to head out the door by 0700 or earlier.

15 to 25 minutes commute to work.  I don't read anything or type anything during my commute for obvious reasons.  I have thought about getting some books on CD for listening to during this time.  Anyone have some recommendations please leave me a comment.

Work 8 plus hours during the time frame of 0700 to 1800 with a minimum of 30 minute lunch.

In a typical 8 hour day I get interrupted what amounts to over 2 hours of unproductive time.  This is not normally something I initiate it is from others about random idle chit chat. 

I won't incriminate myself in the amount of time I might spend surfing the Internet.  I do check mail regularly due to my support position.  This is how I get notified I need to contact a user to help them.  I have tried to change my email checking to 30 minutes or longer but my Blackberry goes off which makes me hit the send and receive button if I don't have it automatically check sooner.

15 to 25 minute commute home.  I do not listen to music for the first half of my commute home.  This allows me to reflect on the day and make a plan for the next day.  I then use the last half of the commute to unwind by listening to music.  Some days I may listen to rock, country, jazz, blues, and some days I will listen to talk radio (depends on my mood).  When I get home I try to not do any work for the first 2-3 hours.  I like to spend a little time with the family and clear my mind.  Now this is where watching TV works it's ugly head into the mix.  I will sit down with the family and watch TV the rest of the night.  Go to bed by 2200 to start it all over again.

I have been working on making a change.  It may be ever so slightly but still trying to do the following.  At work trying to set aside 1-2 hours for me to do what I need to get done what I want not what everyone else thinks I need to do for them.  At home I am trying to use my DVR system a lot more and record the shows I think I need or want to watch.  I need to be doing more with the family at least 2-4 hours with them and then using the last 2-3 hours for my personal time.  Things like blogging, web design, and planning for the next day.

It's time for all of us to reclaim our lives.  If you ever say I don't have enough time in the day.  You need to take a look at these four most common time wasters and make adjustments.

How do you eliminate these time wasters?
What time wasters do you encounter in your normal day?

What is a Piratepod?

This is an exciting interview for me.  Not just because it is my first interview although that is cool in itself.  I had the pleasure of getting in contact with an ole school friend for my first interview.  I hope you enjoy this and look forward to your comments.


Who is Tiffany the Lass and what is a PiratePod?


tiffany the lass of PiratePodsYour Name:
Tiffany "the LASS" Fulgoni

What is 'the LASS'?
the LASS in pirate lingo means THE WOMAN

Wife, Mom, part-time Administrative Assistant @ UCSD, and podcaster.

How do we know each other?  
From our kiddie days in Corning.

What is PiratePods? is a webzine dedicated to interviewing artists, musicians,
filmmakers, actors, and activists from all backgrounds and genres.

From for those of you tired of reading and hearing about the same ten people being asked the same five questions, your ship has arrived.  The piratepod goal is to have a conversation with creative minds in today's culture… wherever they're found.

What do you do for PiratePods?
I'm a podcast journalist for  I also help set up interviews and keep the website updated. logoWhat kind of people do you interview?
Creative people of all sorts.  We all have to work in life and I like to chat with people whose work intrigues or moves me in some way (good or bad).  As of now I have only spoken with people who would fall on the good side, but I wouldn't mind talking with people whose work annoys me.

What is your most memorable interview?
Ziggy Marley was pretty exciting (he was a lot shyer then I thought he would be).

What are you passionate about and why?
I'm passionate about having fun -- not 100% partying all the time, but just sitting around and finding the humor and fun in my surroundings.  I love to listen to my kids and their friends while they are playing
and talking about their day.  It's interesting what's important or stands out to them. black velvet

What is your favorite alcohol beverage?
Umm...Long Island Iced Tea, Champagne, Guinness and Champagne (I think it's called a Black Velvet)

JB: It is called Black Velvet: 5oz chilled champagne, 5oz chilled Guinness, pour Guinness into a champagne flute then add champagne carefully so that it does not mix with stout and enjoy.

What is your favorite non alcoholic drink?
Hot Green Tea, Iced Tea, or water.  Coca-Cola, too.

What is your favorite place on earth (visited or not)?
That's a hard one - Yosemite, Italy, Switzerland, San Francisco, Corning, my house or friends or family members homes.  I love to go on vacations and stay in people's homes -- not only saves money -- but really allows you to hang out and see how other people live.

Thank you Tiffany for allowing me to interview you and introduce Piratepods to my readers.

I spent some time listening to the various interviews on  I listened to podcast interviews of Antonella Preti 'Sharks of the Pacific Northwest'.  I especially enjoyed Tiffany's interview of Timmy Curran surfer, songwriter, and musician.  Timmy Curran offers his album 'Word of Mouth' for free to download.

Happy Friday to everyone and a big rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr to all you piratepod listeners out there.

Thanks Tiffany...