Stop wasting your time
Time is a precious commodity in this world, and we can’t afford to waste it. It’s helpful to think of your daily activities as falling into one of two categories: Zigging and Zagging.
It’s sounds simple but stop wasting your time! You need to closely evaluate the things that are taking up your time.
Zigging is when you’re stuck with unimportant tasks. That long afternoon meeting that will be mostly taken up with tangents and technical difficulties. Reading and replying to unimportant emails. Playing on your phone over a long lunch. These activities will take over your work day if you let them, and you don’t get anything back from them. Everyone needs to take a break at some point in the day, but your breaks should energize you, make you ready, willing and able to pounce on your most important objectives. Make sure that your breaks are doing that for you, and recognize when a break is over.
Zagging is identifying and dealing with problems. It’s making progress on essential initiatives. It’s sweeping the bullshit away so you can focus on the real work. It takes constant examination of your activity to stay on the Zagg side of the spectrum.
Your co-worker has emailed you another unfunny cartoon. Is it worth the sixty seconds it will take you to type and send a polite reply? Will that encourage him to send more? Not everything sent your way warrants a response. You don’t have to be rude about it, but letting an email like this slip through the cracks is going to let you maintain your focus and continue with more important tasks.
You’ve been invited to a meeting after lunch. Will anything important be discussed there? If yes, can somebody give you the essential bits when it’s over? You could easily spend half your week in meetings that can be summed up in a quick email. Let the others get together and give you the short version later, you’ve got more interesting things going on.
There’s no need to snobbishly turn up your nose at your fellow workers who zig their way through the day. Some of them are probably perfectly happy with using their time like that. But we are the ones who choose to Zagg. Having the respect and trust of those you work with is a core component of the Zaggtime principles, and you don’t get that with arrogance toward others who are satisfied with less.