Time vampires are thieves that come in when you least expect it and rob you of time. Time vampires don’t target the time you need to take care of your obligations. Instead, they go right for the time you have to make something of yourself.
Just like the devil doesn’t show up in a red suit and pitchfork, time vampires don’t announce themselves with a “I vant to vaste your time.” Instead they sneak in like a cat burglar, zap your time, and leave you with no energy to do what you want to do.
When this happens, you vow to never again lose such valuable time until the next time you realize that you’ve been robbed.
In my life and practice, I have found there are 11 time vampires that disguise themselves as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. These time bandits seem harmless until you’re lying in bed wondering where the day went.
Time vampire #1: Quick questions.
“Hey, you got a sec?” Or, “Can I ask you a quick question?” are phrases that make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. While it may be true that to asktheir question would only take a minute. But for you to answerit to their satisfaction is another story. How many times have you hoped a conversation would take two minutes and the next thing you know an hour has been chewed up?
Time vampire #2: Answering calls.
I NEVER answer my phone if I am in the middle of something I need to focus on. It drives my husband crazy. He’s the type to answer the call only to tell the person he’s busy and request to call them back. I say, what’s the point? Just call them back when you’re free. To answer the call scatters your attention and costs you valuable time.
Time vampire #3: Screen time.
This can be TV, your phone, video games, you name it. Have you ever calculated how much time you spend with the TV on or how many times you check your social media feeds? These are total time sucks. Would you rather spend your time focused on your business, or on other people?
Time vampire #4: Running errands.
I alluded to this one in my book Make it Matter. Be careful in what you think is a ‘quick’ errand. It always takes longer than you expect. Errands remind me of calories: you always consume more than you think.
Time vampire #5: Checking email.
I am so guilty of this. I had to train myself to only check emails at certain times of day. If you check email during a time that you are unable to respond, that email just took twice as long and consumed your thoughts in the mean time.
Time vampire #6: Being a people pleaser.
Guess what kind of people givers attract? Takers. Instead of continually saying yes to people who will never be satisfied, do some digging as to what is truly motivating you to try to make people happy at your expense.
Time vampire #7: Gossip.
There are no positive benefits to gossip. It hurts others and robs you of time as you focus on someone or something that is likely out of your control and probably none of your business.
Time vampire #8: Procrastination.
The classic “I’ll do it later” seems like a time-saver, but the opposite is true. Procrastination takes more mental energy and time than just doing it.
Time vampire #9: Get-there-quick schemes.
There’s no shortcut to success. These schemes look enticing and seem like a short cut but take you away from your goal, costing value time to get back on track.
Time vampire #10: Thinking.
Thinking is often another form of procrastination. There is a time to think and a time to act. I’m not encouraging you to act impulsively. Rather, I’m encouraging you to make a decision. Either act or don’t, but stop pondering it. Set a time limit on how long you will think on something and make a decision, even if the decision is to do nothing.
Time vampire #11: Worry.
Worry is a form of negative meditation. It is also a useless attempt at control and robs you of precious time you could be using for something more life-giving. Give over your concerns to God so that you can focus on what He’s called you to do.
You have been called to a great purpose. Your life was meant to make a difference. You wouldn’t let a robber into your house to steal your possessions; don’t let these 11 time vampires rob you of a life of peace and purpose.
I am in no way saying that all of these time vampires have to go. But if you want to live a life you’re proud of, you will have to learn how to control them before they control you.
If you desire to find and fulfill your God-given purpose, but don’t know where to start, grab a copy of my new book, Make it Matter – A Roadmap to Living a Life of Purpose. It will help you to discover what God created you for, how to develop your gifts, and how to design a life you’re proud of.
Which time vampire will you slay this week? Let me know in the comments below.