Strategic Time Wasters

Strategic Time Wasters by Mahieu Spaid


Have you ever met a successful business person who never appears to do any work?  They are the out at gatherings or talking happily into their phones over anything other than what sounds like business.  They are probably the one annoying the “hard” working guy in the cubicle next to them.  Yet, when the financial reviews are in they are always in the top 10%.  Is this irony and frustration to the “hard worker”?  Only you know which one you are. Personally, I have seen this play out in the workplace many times.  You ask begin to ask yourself what are they doing differently?  They never seem to work.  Do they have something you lack?  (Ignore the sarcastic and snippy voice in the background because the answer is “No!”.  They are not the golden boy/girl destined for greater things than you.  We all started out the same when we were born.  

Think of yourself as an empty vessel.  As you go through life you put things into that vessel.  You take the things you learn and fill it up.  Your experiences, thoughts, and memories also take up space.  Visualize everything you into yourself.  Let’s face it; we all have times in our lives when we needed to empty it.  Don’t hold onto it.  Let it go and make room for something better.  Then, think about your day and ask if you are one step closer to your goal.  Do you have everything you want and need in life?  If the answer is no, then it’s time to examine what you are filling yourself with every day.  Imagine what the people around you fill themselves.  Most successful people who do have the things they want and are content with their lives would agree that we are the average of the 5 people we spend our time with the most.  They help you fill the vessel.  Are the people around you successful? If they are unhappy, complainers, or time wasters, then it might be time to find a new group to spend your time with.   The phrase full of __it originated from somewhere.  

We can learn from those people who miraculously fall into the top 10%. I call those people “strategic time wasters”.  They make into the top 10% for a reason.  It is not some magic that happens because they were born “special”.  Believing results occur without effort is only a way to fail.  There is no magic when it comes to achieving a goal.  The top 10% have probably experienced 10 times more failures than those who stay at the bottom.  So stop feeling sorry for yourself.  It was action, work and the ability to get over failure that got them into the place they are now.

Another difference with someone who is achieves their goal each month is they learned to zero in on the skills that create success.   In other words, they know how to waste their time.  The phone calls are scheduled to people they know will give them the biggest return.  Businesses and their personalities they meet are put into yeses ”, “ maybes”, and “no’s”.  When they call they are not the nervous car salesperson.  They call to connect and form a relationship with the person on the other line.  They always have their eyes open to new possibilities, and they know which group the person they are speaking with falls into.  There is nothing to be nervous about.  Many people in the business world are more than happy to network.  Many of the entrepreneurs and “wantrepreneurs” I’ve met love connecting with new faces.  This is a normal practice in successful business.  The best ones want you to see you succeed like they did and join their club.  If you’re new to the game, don’t worry.  Some of them even help nervous newbies with cues, and will even prompt you along to get out your name and the reason why you came the “meet-up”.

Remember to balance the social outings with food for your brain.  Waste the 15 minutes you have to spare with books related to what you want to achieve.  Do you have a long commute or spend a lot of time driving to appointments?  Apply the advice they give to the next meeting or project.  Look for ways to fill up your empty vessel, so you can empty it for the thing on your list.  Those who achieved our dream were thirsty for what wanted By the end of the day they have probably filled and refilled 10x times more often than the person who will be there 40 years later still daydreaming about getting out of their cube. Get out!  Get out and take off running!  Find the top 10% around you and start filling up.  Skeptical?  Try to follow their model for 6 months and check your numbers.   Ask them advice.  Listen and refine to see if you can improve anything they are doing.   If you don’t see a difference, then try another 6 months.  If your results are the same, then look for another 10% or a Ponzi scheme.

The point is to get moving and focus on what you want.  Your outlook on life and passions will change in a better direction than curling up in your cube to cry when no one is looking. Thisis about getting you closer to what you want out of life by adding the value of time.  Those fifteen minutes a day could be used to work on your relationships, finding a job you don’t hate, or being happier about where you are.

“Strategic Time Wasters” beginner list on how to get started:

1.  Intentionally schedule and plan “gossip” sessions via phone and dinner invites that gets you a step closer to your goal.

2.  Use downtime to surf the web or YouTube for content they can use later.  Yes, they do have times when they watch cat videos.  We all need our breaks.  Their mind is so used to looking for new ways to fill their vessel that they will get a business idea from “idiot” videos.  

3.  Listen to audio books or podcasts in the car related to what you want to achieve.  Please remember to pull over if you need to write down an idea.  

4.  Carry a notebook or use your phone to take down ideas you get throughout the day.  This way you won’t forget them when your life gets busy or you have to run an errand after work.

5.  Take one step closer to your goal.  Make of list of things that it will take to get closer to what you want and take action every day.  It could be something as small as setting up a new email for the business you want to create.  Surf the web for information on the company you want to sell your product to.  

6.  Make a list of 10 ideas every day.    You could probably fill a notebook at the end of a few months.  You can even get this done before your favorite show.

7.  Spend time with the people who will get you there.  Go to networking events and find like-minded people with the same goals.  Learn from the people who have achieved what you wanted.

Bonus strategy tips

Here is a summary of strategies you can use to get closer to your goal:

1.  Invest in yourself.  Fill your life with things that will get you closer to what you want out of life.

2.  Fill your life with the people who share the same goals.  Invest in the relationships around you.  Value what you see around you.

3.  Feed your mind with what it needs to grow.  Read the books and make use of social media or YouTube for strategic time wasting.  Don’t endlessly search videos that fall into the “idiot” category unless it is your goal to be one.  Look for other entrepreneurs, books trailers and speakers who will inspire not fill your vessel with __it.  

4.  Refill your life once in a while.  Your mind and body need relaxation and exercise.  Keep your body active and know when to rest.  Refilling doesn’t mean standing next to a “drainer”.  We all know who they are in life – the ones who will zap all the energy out of your life as you stand and listen to them.

5.  Make a goal to find 10 new ideas or ways to achieve what you want.  This will get your mind stimulated and open to possibilities.  Then, narrow it down to the ideas that are in the “yes” category.

6.  Take action on your ideas or “yeses”.  It may not seem like it but the boisterous person next to you does actually work.  They just don’t treat it like a late night homework assignment that’s done at the last minute.  I call this “fox trotting”.  They take small, quick steps and trot along pivoting before they hit a wall.  Their work is broken down into scheduled phone calls with people who can get them to their monthly goal. The dinners and business meetings are used for networking, and relationship maintenance.  

7.  Have fun.  What good is all the advice in the world if you’re not enjoying it?  If you drag yourself to work every day, then maybe it’s time to find something else to do.  Why would you stay?  We all deserve our dream job.   So, get started.  Keep going back to step one until you find it.

-Mahieu Spaid

Author & Artist at Mahieu Studios - providing resources & inspiration for the creative mind.