A time suck is phrase often used in the blogosphere which refers to activities that take a lot of your time, producing very little or no results. They don't help you get your chores done, or reach your goals. they just suck your time away.
I often spend entire days at my computer. I have three or four windows open at the same time. But most of it is non-productive in my life or my work. I may answer the occasional email that is work related, but it's usually just junk. I play a free online game that I have played for the past eight years. I log in to my Facebook account, just to read funny statuses, play more free games, and see what's going on in the lives of people I know. I read multiple blogs daily, most of which are personal finance. That is probably the most productive activity I do daily, as they help to keep me focused financially.
On my computer desk, I keep a paper and pen list of activities that I need/want to accomplish during the week. Some weeks, the list is very long. Sometimes, it is short. Usually there are a few items on the list that are quite time intensive activities. It's those items on the list that cause me to procrastinate. I despise doing anything that causes me to devote large blocks of time to complete. I spent some time thinking about why that bothers me so. I think it may be because I don't like getting interrupted before I finish one of the bigger tasks. Once I start, I want to be able to get it done, and not have to set it aside to complete at a later time. With how my life is, for a multitude of reasons, it is very likely I will have to stop somewhere in the process, only to restart later.
I know that time suck is a problem in my life. But the question is, what am I going to do about it?
Here's how I am trying to deal with time suck and my procrastination:
- Keeping a running list of things I need to do; chores, phone calls, letters, emails, etc. When I cross one item off the list, I allow myself a small amount of time on one of my other activities once I've accomplished something.
- I 'trick' myself by saying that I'll only spend 5 minutes doing a chore, or some other task. I know it will often take more than 5 minutes, but just by telling myself that, I can stop the time suck activity, and do something more productive.
- Getting ahead of the game: If I can have files and various paperwork for an activity ready before I start it, it cuts down the overall block of time. Also, I will try to have my reports filed ahead of their deadline.
- Move the computer chair: I'm less likely to stay at the computer for very long if I can't sit. If I move the chair to another area of the house just for one day, I hope to get more done.