Keeping up - our modern time impatience

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Derek Stockley provides a time management article about a modern phenomena - time impatience.


Do you find yourself "popping" the toast up before it has finished browning?

Do you abandon your shopping trolley because there are two people ahead of you in the checkout queue?

Are we becoming time impatient?

There are some tell tale signs. The toast and shopping situations described above are examples.

Do you find yourself doing similar things?

If you do, it may be time to review the situation and make some adjustments.

Effective time management often involves issues of control, the major one being who has it. Do you have control or are you reacting to external factors?

Email and time impatience

Email is a very useful tool. However, the growth of unwanted (not requested) email means that many people have become adept at using the delete button on their email tool bar.

If you have 100, 200 or 300 emails in your in-tray, it is very easy to get "into the swing" of quickly scanning and deleting. This rhythm is interrupted by genuine emails. Unfortunately, because of that rhythm, it is possible to hit the delete button too quickly.

The first solution is to take control of your information processing styles. If you find yourself skipping important content, slow down, go back and review, and then take the appropriate action.

The second solution is more preventative. This means reducing the actual volume of items in the in-tray. Effective spam filters and virus checkers are a great help. Removing your email address from email lists is another. If an email newsletter list item is not useful, or has served its purpose, "unsubscribe". If the proportion of unwanted "advertisement announcements" is too great, "unsubscribe".

Only receive and read the items that add value to your work. If content is duplicated, choose the best source and remove the others. Remember the old training approach: Must, Should and Could. These days, only the Musts make it.

In summary, if time impatience is affecting you - take stock - and slow down. The way you deal with your email can be an example of time impatience. If you have too much email, take steps to reduce it at its source, not your in-tray.

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