Ever wonder how time slips away?

Your time slips away. That’s why you say things like, “I just don’t have enough time,” or “I got nothing done today! Where did my time go?”

In my third book, The Inefficiency Assassin, as well as in my keynotes and workshops, I discuss the concept of what I call time leaks. When we lose time because of an inefficiency, that’s a time leak. We might lose 30 minutes to social media or surfing the internet when that’s not what we originally intended. That’s a large time leak. Many time leaks are usually much shorter and happen throughout the day…procrastination, interruptions, distractions, less efficient ways of completing tasks…these time leaks can add up to two or three hours each day! That’s a lot of time that we choose to allow to disappear.

Here’s another way time slips away and we lose time: buying coffee.

While waiting at a popular coffee joint for my carpool partner to arrive, I watched the line of cars both in the coffee house and in the drive-thru. The wait was roughly 10 minutes. That’s a 10-minute leak when you could get your coffee at home or at the office in less time. How long did it take to find a parking space? How long did it take to get to the coffee house? How long will it take to get to where you need to go? Suddenly, your coffee break (or your start to the day) might actually be a 30-minute time leak. If you do this five days a week, that’s a 150-minute time leak. That’s 2 ½ hours per week down the drain!

But wait, there’s more! Do you order plain coffee? Or do you order one with bells and whistles – cream, flavorings, syrups, sugars and so on? You might be adding on 200 – 1200 calories to your drink, which means now you need to work out even longer in order to not gain weight. The extra calories cause a time leak through the need to spend additional time unnecessarily on an activity. Or, if you prefer not to work out, the accumulation of months or years of the additives and weight gain might land you in a doctor’s office – which is a huge time leak.

Isn’t it amazing to think how stopping for one cup of fancy joe can cause you to lose time? That’s how time slips away.

What are your time leaks in your day?


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