Trying To Save Time Is Apparently A Big Waste Of Time
Image credit: Lukas Blazek on Unsplash
I don't know why I keep thinking that anything I do to try to save time, that involves other people, is actually going to work. I've written about this before in my post We Really Are Our Own Worst Enemies, and even recently, I've experienced even more evidence that this is the case.
And, as I get older and more jaded, I'm also pretty sure it doesn't have to do with people intentionally being time wasters, it's that most people simply lack the ability to think in such a manner that will actually save them (or others) time.
Now, this has nothing to do with an unrealistic expectation on my part that everyone be perfect just to please me. However, it makes me sad to think that so few people are capable of saving themselves or others any time at all by doing something, anything, more efficiently.
Every now and then I do come across someone that maybe will say, “how about if we save ourselves a bit of time and do it this way?”, to which I metaphorically fall to my knees in gratitude, ready to cry tears of joy. That's how rare it is.
And perhaps it's not a matter of competence at all. Perhaps the people doing these jobs that require me to interact with them are simply miserable. So miserable that they have no incentive, inclination, or desire to want to do anything to make someone else's life easier. So miserable and mundane that they're just simply aloof, if not completely apathetic.
So, whenever I make any extra effort to try to answer questions before they're asked, instead of someone simply reading the answer right in front of them, they'll just ask it anyway. Whenever I try to “get ahead of the game” by adding extra information to an email, instead of reading the email, I'll get asked about the very thing I already wrote.
When someone says they'll do something by a certain date, instead of actually doing it ON or BEFORE that date, I have to be the one to chase them down to ask where the thing they promised is... or schedule the meeting/appointment because, even though they promised to call me back to do it, it's now my problem to have to solve by dropping what I'm doing to have to call them instead.
I just wish that dealing with people and the systems (business or service workflows) under which they're forced to operate were not such a huge waste of time. Just because most people don't value their time doesn't mean I should have to waste mine to pull them along to where they should already be as grown-ass adults.
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