Eliminate The Time Vampires That Are Sucking Your Productivity


If you have ever been deterred or distracted from the task you were accomplishing, then you have faced a Time Vampire.  The term refers to anything or anyone that “sucks” your time much like a vampire would suck blood.  They can be a major detractor from your productivity and can come in the form of tasks or people.

Remember that day when you woke up so focused and determined to accomplish all tasks on your to-do list?  You were on a mission.  It was going to be a busy day and you were going to get through it with success.  Then the day started and you got an unexpected meeting scheduled for that day.  Your colleague kept interrupting you to talk about his priorities and your Inbox kept pinging informing you of all those incoming messages.  Before you knew it, the day ended and your mission was a failure.  You only got through half of what you wanted to accomplish.  What went wrong?  You were confronted by Time Vampires.

The first and most important step in eliminating these productivity drainers is to be able to identify them.  Once you can truly identify them, then you can discipline yourself to avoid some of them, delegate others and eliminate most.


Step 1:  Identify Them

  • Employees who love to complain about all their problems without focusing on a solution.
  • Colleagues or employees’ unscheduled stop ins by your desk to chat up a storm
  • Bosses who prioritize their agenda over yours and add to your workload with no thought to your current projects
  • You, and your inability to say “no”


  • Checking emails throughout the day without setting specific time aside to do so
  • Browsing social media sites during work time. If social media is part of your marketing plan, then set specific time to do so with a specific purpose
  • Multi-tasking and trying to do too many things at once


Step 2:  Handle Them (Avoid-Delegate-Eliminate)

Discipline is the “garlic” to the time vampire.  It is up to you to decide that you will not allow anything that is not a priority to prevent you from completing what is important.

Create a must do list of tasks that are a priority.  Start with the Most Important Task first and work from there.  Schedule your projects as if you were scheduling a meeting and don’t let anything interrupt you.

Avoid the conversations that are best suited for “water cooler” time.  Or better yet, avoid the water cooler.

Delegate any urgent but non-important tasks to others.

Eliminate any distractions that may arise.  This means shutting off your notifications on your phone and email when you are working on your Most Important Task.


With the right commitment and discipline, you can get ready for your next mission and this time succeed.


What is your biggest Time Vampire?