Time is something we can’t get back when it’s squandered. There are no do-overs and we can’t really “buy time”.
What we can do is try to use time as wisely as possible. But that can be a struggle sometimes when we must deal with other people who don’t have the same regard for time that we do.
There are at least 6 ways other people don’t respect our time. Luckily, we can do something about it.
1. Calling When They Could Text or Email
Cell phones are wonderful. We can take them virtually anywhere we go which allows instant communication on a constant basis.
But this wonderfulness also has a price. Instant communication means we are also constantly interrupted which can be downright disruptive at times.
For example, when we’re working on something that requires intense concentration or has a deadline attached the last thing we need is to be interrupted. This is especially true when the interruption could have been a simple text or email we could address later rather than right that minute.
When this happens we have the power to fix it. We could politely let the caller know we are unable to talk right now and will call them back later. Or, we could set up an automatic “I’m busy, please text or email me, but if it’s an emergency please call me right back” message.
2. Sending Multiple Texts
Why do others send multiple texts when one would suffice? Nicely let them know this is unnecessary and a waste of their own time.
If they are adept at reading through the lines they will get that it they are wasting ours as well.
3. Calling at Unreasonable Hours
Nearly everyone has had someone disrespect their time by calling after 10 PM or before they are up in the morning. Perhaps those people could send a text or email so we could address the issue when we are not sleeping or with our families.
It’s ok to kindly let those people know they should pay attention to the time before trying to contact us.
4. Not Responding
We all have that one annoying friend, relative, or colleague who never responds to calls, texts, emails, or any other form of communication. When we really need to talk to them it can be extremely frustrating.
If we are lucky enough to know a spouse or other family member they are close to we can try to contact that person instead. Otherwise, the only other recourse may be to wait it out.
5. Constantly Arriving Late
When we are waiting for someone else to arrive at a meeting, restaurant, or other event it is rude for others to arrive late. We can gently let them know this is not ok by suggesting the event be rescheduled when it will work better.
6. Rescheduling Every Meeting
Another of the ways other people don’t respect our time is by rescheduling every meeting or appointment they have with us. Sometimes they even wait until after they are late to do it.
At this point we may need to say something like, “Clearly this is not working for you. Instead of rescheduling perhaps you should handle XYZ thing in a different way.”
Time is a precious resource we can’t get back. However, we can take control of it by not allowing other people to disrespect our time or abuse it.