So how exactly can you slay time vampires? You don’t. Because like their blood sucking counterparts (let’s pretend they’re real), they seem to have the ability to escape permanent death.
Time vampires. They’re productivity’s biggest threat. The proverbial apple dangling from the forbidden tree that just keeps materializing in front of you. They’re much like the endless flow of alcohol to your system that make you crawl and moan in agony the next day. They’re everything you want, everything you think you need, and everything you end up regretting eventually.
They’re everywhere. Every waking moment is filled with time vampires that suck the marrow out of your life. They can be your family, friends, friends of friends, people at work, people you meet on your way to work, people you don’t know, and people you don’t even want to know. They’re just about anyone who put new meaning to the word congeniality. They’re those who mindlessly chat with you oblivious of how you wish to spend your time.
They’re the interesting bits of online news, features, gossips, and huge amounts of content you come across. They’re the moments lost in thoughts of past, future, and fantasies far removed from the present that’s begging for your attention.
It’s hard to evade distractions when they’re at every turn. But it’s ultimately harder to simply allow those time vampires to consume you. Sooner or later, you’ll have to regain some measure of control over them lest they continue to siphon off the time left for important things.
Whatever purpose you have for being alive, you’re given plenty of time to do it. But that gift doesn’t come in infinite supply. It’s tempting to soak everything up. And yet, maybe it’s more rewarding to leave something behind that serves as a testament of your unique purpose for being here.
Regulating the kind of fun time vampires give you is not asking for stress. It’s merely answering the important question of what is it that you have to do that will make you sigh in contentment at the end of the day. It’s not about the grandness of a plan or the greatness of a task. Rather, it’s acting on things you need to do because they’re what you’re meant to do.
Attempting to break free from time vampires is daunting. It’s not easy to give up those things that can be immensely satisfying. There’s probably neither straightforward answers nor easy solutions. Maybe you need to find out on your own what approaches or formula work for you. And while steering yourself away from time vampires’ lures, it might help to remember that:
- Self-discipline takes time to develop – Don’t resist too much. It’s been said that anything forbidden can be highly appealing. Perhaps it’s because of the element of danger involved or the promise of discoveries reserved for those who dare to find out. When faced with dilemmas of giving in or giving up, gradual resistance is better than outright sacrifice. Self-discipline is not a magical potion that will make you invincible overnight. Build on the level of self-discipline you have accepting that it’ll take time. That way, you’ll have a more realistic approach in managing your time. Self-discipline is essentially about choosing to work on your project(s) regardless of how incredibly boring or difficult they may get at any given moment. You build it every time you sacrifice immediate gratification in favor of long-term rewards. In the bigger scheme of things, it’s what you put off that often defines the end game. So, consider discipline as that strict grandmother who tells you to finish your meal while serving you extra helpings of veggies while all you want is to run to your laptop with a plateful of desserts.
- All things pass, eventually. – Notice how quickly news and social media updates get buried on your online feeds? Imagine life as a great flowing river with you either sitting on a bank just staring at it or calmly floating on water. Your fascination with it may be satisfying at that time but it doesn’t really get you to where you want to be. The water flows continuously as you sit or float near that riverbank. You can’t control how the water moves nor where it ends. It’s wiser to leave your spot at the riverbank or start swimming to the other end. You’ll still be able to watch the water flow anytime you wish after you spent time doing something else in between. And maybe, that’s how you make progress on your life projects.
- Don’t squander your power. – Time vampires have power. They have if they continue to use up your time. Respect that power. But never feel powerless. Don’t imagine yourself weaker than the Internet or the remote, or the phone, or whatever it is that eat up your time. Think about how you squander your power to change things then stop doing it. It’s time to consciously minimize the amount of time spent on distractions. Value time like a rare commodity. Start mining every minute like you’re life depended on it.
a day to own
or a day to throw away
only you have the power
to choose your way.