Is it an age thing or is the planet orbiting faster these days? It feels like I barely get the day started when suddenly it’s nightfall again. Last week I read ‘The Organized Mind’ by Daniel Levitin and since then I’ve been making note of the tiny time wasters that eat into my day. One example is the ‘pen search’ shenanigans. I open the desk drawer to grab a pen. There are hundreds laying there and the first TTW is trying to decide which pen I want to use. Once the selection has been made, the next TTW is trying to make the chosen pen work. At least 50% of the time, it doesn’t, so what do I do? I throw it back in the drawer and go through the process again with another pen. It may not seem like much, but I literally could lose 10 minutes trying to locate a pen that works, by which time I would have forgotten what I needed the pen for in the first place. Add up all the lost 10 minutes per day and then the TTWs become significant.
Daniel Levitin, made me question why I don’t throw the annoying pen away immediately. Why do I put it back in the drawer? It’s a weird thing about humans that we continue to keep things that cause frustration and that waste time. Since last week I have been brutal at throwing away pens that do not measure up to my high standards – either do your job or you’re out! It feels kind of empowering to toss those underperforming pens in the bin.
I wonder what other such time wasters can be identified this week and then eliminated from my daily routine? I’ll report my findings next week.
Book: The Organized Mind. Thinking straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levitin.