On my last management blog, we discussed the importance of identifying our time bandits.  This is essential before we can do anything about them we must determine what they are; when we do this we must be honest. Remember, if we don’t do anything about them then nothing will change, they will continue to cause us issues and continue to be a time bandit. Therefore, we must do something about them.

One thing I always get delegates to do on our management courses is to write words down, identifying what the time bandit actually is and crucially what they are going to do about it.  We must write this down, it is an affirmation that we have identified that something needs correcting and how we intend on dealing with it.

Ok, let’s take a real example I had which is a time bandit on emails.  This was a big problem for me, I was constantly checking emails, and at one time, I was spending more time checking for emails than anything else, continually hitting the send/receive button or looking at my inbox.  Sometimes it would get in the way of other things in my life such as work, or over dinner, yes it was a habit I had created, and I needed it to change.  Shock horror, I had built a time bandit myself.

I decided to do something about it, and it was my choice and no one else’s.  I wrote down on my action plan, only to check my emails at particular times a day.  I would make an affirmation that this would help me and ultimately save me time.  Moreover, I wouldn’t be annoying people continually checking for an email or looking for a reply to something I sent out.

I wrote down that I would only check my emails three times a day, with set times.  Moreover, I stated that I wouldn’t take my mobile with me in certain situations, for example, family time.

Of course, I didn’t just write it down and put it in a file somewhere.  I made sure it was available for me to see on a regular (daily) basis. This is how we change and how we change a habit, by doing something that caused it in the first place, repetition, the action of repeating something again and again.  And we write it down like we would with any goal and plan.

If we write down what we are going to do, then it is much more likely to happen.  Remember you always have a choice and don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t.  This is the first stage of dealing with these time bandits.  Write it down and the second of course is an action which we will cover in the next blog.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.  To see courses where Ralph delivers see our website here.