Who Are Your Time Bandits?

Time-BanditI started working on my new blog this morning. At this moment it is 3 pm and I am sitting at my desk and still working on it. I feel frustrated by not having it done already and I am wondering, “What happened today?”

When I started I was really enthusiastic and began thinking about what I wanted to write, and I put my first sentence on paper. Immediately, my phone rang and a colleague asked me a question. After a 5–minute phone call, I returned to my blog and read the first sentence. It was a good beginning. So I wrote my second sentence. Then I heard my son coming up the stairs (I work from home), and he started talking with me about a challenge he has at school. I put the blog aside. After my son left, it was time for a conference call I had planned with one of my clients.

Two hours later, I realized that I had forgotten about my blog. My enthusiasm was not as high as it was when I started, but I convinced myself that now my blog was my #1 priority, and I went back to it. I was halfway through when my husband called me from downstairs to ask if I wanted to have my lunch break. Since I was already in interruption mode, talking to him, I agreed.

After lunch, I started to answer some e-mails that had come in. Now it’s 3 pm and, oops, my blog needs to be finished, but my motivation and concentration are as low as they can be.

So the first question I asked myself was, ”Who are the people that interrupt me constantly?” My colleagues, my son, my husband, my clients, and even my boss. I love them, but they still steal my time. From now on, I will call them my Time Bandits.

Secondly, why did I let myself get interrupted over and over? If I had the courage to say no and explain why they can’t interrupt me now, or the self-discipline to lock my time and not pick up the phone the second it rings, would that not have saved me a lot of time, fun and motivation?

The positive result from today is that I finally finished my blog. I am enthusiastic and motivated about my future approach to time management using time locking, and I’m certain it will save me a lot of time!

Thank you my lovely Time Bandits!!!!

Your thoughts?

Time Locking Sign

Brenda Schäfer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

Cohen Brown Management Group is the internally recognized leader in sales-and-service cultural and behavioral change, specializing in consulting and training processes for management, front-line, support/customer service units and call centers. Performance Grapevine provides thought leadership insights on sales training, sales management, leadership training, time management, consultative selling, behavior change, organization change, and culture change.


  1. elsa pahnke 12 years ago

    I think that I would be grateful for a collegue who valued my input, a son who wanted to talk with me, a husband who cared that i look after myself and a client, who values my expertise enough to pay me for it. Time Bandits ? Not for me – the are Life Gems…. and the blog – well – it got done at the end of a very rich day.

    • Brenda Schäfer 12 years ago

      Elsa, thank you for your comment and I appreciate your opinion.

      I do value all those things you mention in your comment very much myself. A good relationship with my family, friends, clients, colleagues is very important to me. However the question is what could be the effects if I don’t control my time, if I let myself interrupt on busy days, if I don’t plan my day.
      • It could cause irritation and frustration
      • It could have impact on my concentration and focus
      • It could cause fatigue and or stress
      • It could cause mistakes
      • It could reduce my productivity and efficiency

      Will this help to give my son, my husband, my client and my colleague my devoted attention, which they are entitled to? Do I help them when I am irritated, not focused, make mistakes and being stressed?

      In my opinion if I communicate with much care and courtesy that, at certain moments, I need to lock my time and explain the benefits for them and for me and let them know that I will also respect it when they need to lock their time, it will create a win-win situation for both sides.
      Off course, if there is an emergency, I will always be there for them at all time.

      Thank you again and I look forward to hear your opinion.

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