It seems like instant coffee takes forever anymore. The microwave, the buttons. Who has time for that? And Minute Rice is out of the question.
If you're like most people, you have three days worth of stuff on your list for today that can only get done if you ignore eating, emergencies and hygiene. It's outrageous. The last things you need are time-wasters. With that in mind, here are five familiar and universal types of people you should avoid at all cost.
The Missing Punctuation Person
This is the incessant talker who can never find the end of a sentence. Once cornered, your deliverance is nearly hopeless. "So I knew it was on sale but the lady said it wasn't, well I just couldn't stand for that, I'm just like my dad, he wouldn't take anything from anybody, I remember when I was a kid and we..."
There is only one way out. An abrupt interruption. Perhaps a feigned kidney failure. Even a real kidney failure would be better than hearing the rest of that story. Either avoid the "missing punctuation person" altogether or have a near death experience available at the ready.
The Favor Asker
Everyone needs assistance now and then but "favor askers" request your help on a regular basis. They usually begin their sentence with, "I hate to ask you this but..." They want you to get them a cup of coffee, drop their clothes at the dry cleaners or stop by the store on your way in. Not because they can't do it but because it's inconvenient. The undertone is that, as long as you cooperate, everything will be fine but if you resist, there's going to be trouble. So let there be trouble. I have just one thing to say for "favor askers," "Delete them out of your life as soon as possible."
The Belittling Helper
This is the person who enriches your life by their unsolicited critique. How else would you know how wrong you are? The confident whisper to help you be more conscious of yourself, the loving revelation, the left handed compliment. "You look slimmer in that dress." Belittling helpers waste your time by causing you to stop and question yourself for the rest of the day. "Is that what people think about me?" "Should I continue to live?"
Seek critique only from those who have your best interest in mind. For further instructions on how to deal with "belittling helpers," see "The favor asker."
The adviser is an expert in home repair, sports, cars, music, politics, and history. He also has inside information on the financial institutions even though he drives a panel van from the mid-eighties and never wears socks. Best of all, he doesn't need an opening question to get him started and your opinion is not necessary during the monologue. The adviser loves nothing more than to argue. Your best exit plan is to be excited. Write down his advice then run out the door to make a phone call.
The Unqualified Lead
"Let me take this to the meeting and I'll give you a call on Monday." But Monday never comes and if the goodies are not exchanged for the gold, the company goes nowhere. From the sole proprietor to the mega sales team, regular people waste precious time chasing prospects who were never interested to start with. Probably because they don't understand the three criteria that make up a qualified lead. Unlike those who learn the time-saving, profitable strategies by following this shameless plug to "How to Generate Qualified Leads -Essential Strategies to Grow Your Small Business."
Time is valuable. If the average person lives seventy-five years, how many seconds do they get? If you add them up and "tote the one," that comes to, let's see, a lot. Every one of them counts for something but, once a second is spent, it is gone forever.
Share them generously in service to others. Listen, care, teach and go out of your way to bless as many lives as you can. In return, you will be rewarded with laughter, joy, love, and a feeling of well being you could never buy with all the money in the world. But don't allow anyone to take your seconds away. They were given to you as a gift. Spend them wisely, have a great time and don't forget to be outrageous.
This article by Matt Fore was originally published in The Huffington Post / July 18, 2016