We all get the same 24 hours, but how often have you caught yourself saying things like:
- I don’t have time…
- If only I had more time…
- There’s not enough hours in the day…
There are a number of reasons why you can’t get things done, but I’m willing to bet that you’ve got one unwelcome guest who contributes to your lack of time: Time Vampires.
Like wolves in sheep’s clothing, they trick you. They make you believe they are fun, friendly, and harmless, but they are vicious little time munchers that feed off of the most finite resource you have: your time.
Time vampires manifest themselves in many forms, and have been around since people can remember, but today, they mainly manifest themselves in the form of electronics, or people. This isn’t to say there aren’t other forms out there, but I’m going to cover the most prominent ones that I’ve noticed. By limiting or eliminating any of these, you’ll find more time than you knew possible.
Oh yes, the beloved Facebook. Supplanting true relationships since 2004! Facebook is one of the worst Time Vampires ever created. Not only can people spend countless hours informing each other of the most inconsequential things (Just ate a hotpocket, w00t!), but while nothing meaningless is happening, you can play free games (unless you want the really cool stuff, that will cost you!).
In addition to having your privacy ruined, and pictures you hate posted of you without your approval, you can waste ridiculous quantities of time on it, trying to get “connected.”
The precursor to texting, and the downfall of the English language (LOL, OMG, Yeh I Jus sed dat!). People spend hours (especially in office environments) clicking “Send/Receive” waiting to pounce on the next message that pops in that doesn’t have to do with “enhancements.”
Besides making you easily accessible at nearly all hours of the day, and allowing it to happen for nearly free, now you can spend hours upon hours sifting through massive quantities of forwarded jokes, pictures, and stories. Remember, if you don’t forward them to the 8 closest people you know, that special guy won’t ask you out!
I bet if we were still writing letters and paying postage, people wouldn’t be flooding us with those things and wasting our time. And, maybe the postal service wouldn’t be in its death throes.
No, these people don’t have the fangs like you see in those silly Twilight films, these are just normal people. Maybe they trap you at the water cooler and talk about everything under the sun, or ensnare you on the phone for hours on end while you try to figure out polite ways to get back to what you were doing.
While many of these people are terribly nice, they don’t realize that they are literally sucking your time away. The worst kind are the ones who steal away your time just so they can complain about things that you either are not involved in, or have no control over.
4. Video Games
What better more wholesome way to spend an exorbitant amount of time than running around killing your friends and swearing at them over the microphone. Now, swearing aside, I’m a huge hypocrite in saying this, but it’s no longer a Vampire of mine. The one thing that video games now do which I appreciate, is to quantify the total amount of time that you’ve spent playing the game.
Not all games do this, but the ones I’ve played do. I’ve literally spent days worth of time playing video games. How can anyone complain about their lack of time when they’ve played a full 100+ hours on a video game?
5. Smart Phones / Telephones
Telephones and smart phones have made us too available for too cheap a price. Now, people are fine sitting on the phone with you for hours on end because they are bored, and you are in there network! And if you don’t have a person sucking away your time, you can spend your time on: you guessed it – FACEBOOK! You can also check your messages, or play games.
Because nothing screams “family meal” like each person at the table (of Applebees, because there isn’t enough time to cook) with their heads down basking in the glow of the Facebook app on their iPhones. You can spend time with your family whenever, how often do you get to like the latest post from Justin Bieber?
The Smart Phone is probably the worst of all Time Vampires because it is with you always, and is a portal to many of the other time vampires such as: People, Games (angry birds, anyone?), texting, and Facebook! And you only have to pay $100/month to have all of your time stolen from you!
This Time Vampire makes a 45 minute meal out of me two times a day. Not only do I spend a bunch of time sitting in traffic while commuting, but I don’t really accomplish anything with that time. I could be spending time with my family, but instead, I’m trying to avoid getting side swiped by Rambo in a Camaro.
I spend roughly 375 hours a year commuting to and from work. That is nearly 16 full, 24-hour days, or nearly 47 work days commuting! That is one fat vampire if you ask me! I’m just surprised I’m not skinnier with that kind of feast going on!
Time Vampires are all around you, and if you can’t learn to say no to the unnecessary ones, you’ll find yourself asking the questions that I mentioned above. If you feel like you don’t have a lot of time available to you, it is because you’re spending it elsewhere. Find out where your time is going, how much of it is going, and how you can stop it.