Dilbert Robbed by Coworkers

Dilbert.comYour time is your most valuable and finite asset.  It’s up to you to protect it.

My morning ritual starts with reading Dilbert, Scott Adams’ brilliant comic strip.  As you can imagine I was pleased that his topic was about issues with Outlook.

While Dilbert’s example is extreme, it shows the plight of many workers who fall prey to others using up your time.  The ability to use Outlook (or any other collaborative calendar system) to easily set aside the time of others is both a time saver and a time waster, depending upon how you use it.

There’s nothing  cheaper than other people’s time

When it’s easy to take another person’s time it becomes less valuable.  It’s always there for the taking.  Much like thieves who blow their loot then go back for more.  Like Dilbert the victim feels as if they have no value. If you give it away freely it will have no value to others and you will have none left for yourself.

Use Outlook to Protect Your Time

If you’ve attended one of my eCourses, workshops or coaching sessions then you’ve heard me preach about blocking time for your important activities.  In a corporate network environment like Dilbert’s it’s basic survival.

Fortunately Outlook (and Notes) and I’m sure other systems) makes it very easy to protect your time.  Just create appointments with yourself for your important (by this I mean high pay-off activities that add value) activities.

Make sure you mark the time as “Busy” in the appointment window.  This will show your time as busy in the scheduling tab of the time thief’s new appointment window.

Like a thief casing a house to rob they’ll see you have a security system and move on to another victim.