Time Killer Checklist: Are You Suffering From Them?

I bet you’re frustrated over never having enough time to get everything done in the day. There are only a fixed number of hours in the day, and no matter how hard we wish for it that will never change.

Unfortunately, most people find they have too little time to get everything done because they have several time killers in their life – things that take up much more time than they should. Here are 5 common time killers, as well as tips on how you can avoid them.

Poor Equipment

Have you ever had to wait for your computer to start up, or a file you need to open, or even a photocopier to make the copies you need? Perhaps your computer is even crashing constantly, forcing you to restart several times a day.

Often these problems come about from buying the cheapest option, or not maintaining the equipment properly. It’s a false economy to do either – the few dollars you save is vastly outweighed by the cost of the time you lose. Fix or replace any such equipment as soon as possible.

Telephone Calls

The telephone is a two-edged sword. When used correctly, it can be a great time saver. But at times it can be another time killer.

Always know exactly what you are going to say before you call someone. Quickly identify yourself, and once you are talking to the right person cover what you need to and hang up. No casual chatting!

If you are receiving calls, and/or have a mobile, decide on fixed times when you will and won’t answer the phone. For a normal phone you can screen your calls. For a mobile, simply turn it off and let the calls go through to voicemail. Then pick a later time to go through all the messages, and only answer the ones that are important.

People who won’t stop talking

We’ve all met them – they love the sound of their own voice, and just won’t stop talking. Unfortunately, saying you have to go rarely works. Your best bet is to avoid them where you can. If you receive calls from them, screen your calls (perhaps using caller ID) so you don’t have to talk directly to them.

Traffic jams

Everyone living in the city has run into traffic jams at some time or another. While there isn’t any way to get through a traffic jam any faster, you do have a few options.

Consider leaving earlier (or later), to avoid the traffic. If that’s not possible, investigate public transport options like the subway. Finally, see if there is something else you can do in the car at the same time – perhaps listen to a training CD, or get a lift with someone else and do your work while they deal with the traffic!


Meetings can be huge time killers, especially if there is no clear agenda for the meeting. If possible, avoid going to meetings that you don’t have to attend. If you can’t escape a meeting, encourage the use of a fixed agenda so everyone knows what should be covered. This allows people to (hopefully) gather their thoughts ahead of time, and will limit off-topic conversation.

We all suffer from time killers in our life. The people who are successful know how to identify those time killers, and how to avoid them.