Volume XXI, Number 46 (Issue 1050) November 13, 2023
One of my bigger pet peeves is having to fill out forms. It strikes me, given the plethora of information that has been accumulated on each of us including our complete medical, financial, and personal data, that lengthy blank forms should not be the bane of my or anyone’s existence. And yet, every time I visit my physician’s office, it seems I am required to fill out pages of forms asking the very same questions I completed at my last visit. Granted, I can appreciate the need for updates on things like medications or any changes in diet or symptoms, but a complete refresh of my medical history including that of my relatives seems unnecessary if not overkill. Besides, it seems logical to me that my doctor should know what medications he has prescribed. Thus, an opening question like, “Have there been any changes since your last visit?” when answered with a “No,” ought to allow you to skip to the signature line at the end. But that is just me.
Pet peeve number two is getting stuck behind a pokey driver on a winding two lane road. That is a surefire way to test my patience. Odds are you may not have cause to travel around East Texas like I do. Consequently, you may not know the specific patches of asphalt I am about to mention. Nevertheless, I dread the stretch of Texas Highway 21 between San Marcos and Bastrop and U.S. Highway 79 between Jewett and Buffalo and Buffalo and Long Lake. Little has the potential to jerk my chain like those and similar roadways.
Pet peeve number three is more a collection of things than any single irritant. Still, it falls into the same genre as the first two. Specifically, I am referencing unwelcome interruptions whether it is a solicitor ringing our doorbell (my office is upstairs), Robo calls from any source, e-mails and bot-driven content promoting products and political views I never signed up for (and have no interest in) that nonetheless intrude on my inbox and media. It is not that they consume an appreciable amount of time – individually or even collectively. Rather, it is the impact that interruptions of any kind have on one’s concentration.
I cannot recall if I have raised this issue in this space before, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. What I do know is when I speak on time management, one of the central tenets of making effective use of one’s time is to minimize interruptions and avoid multi-tasking like the plague since both add roughly thirty percent to the time it takes to complete a task. That is because the interruption obliges us to shift our focus and then reenter and reset our thought process. Thus, like my other pet peeves, things that abuse and misuse my time are a problem. There can be no
argument that I am impatient. My family and colleagues can easily attest to that. That is why making effective use of my time is so important to me – unless I am the one choosing to waste my time. Thus, I could have titled this essay “Don’t waste my time.” So, let me ask you, how do you feel about others wasting your time?
Soli Deo Gloria
“Be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
J. Keith Hughey
Web site: www.jkeithhughey.com
Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2023 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.