"They screwed him over. It's so unfair."

The woman was talking to another woman outside the supermarket. Her words caught my attention. A story of injustice? I had to hear more.

I quickly put together the back-story: This woman--let's call her Jane--was leaving her job. A friend of hers--let's call him Tarzan--just kidding, let's call him Bill--had interviewed as her replacement, and the manager had offered him the position. Bill asked for a few days to think about it, which the manager agreed to.

But Jane came in to work the next day to find an announcement that someone else--not Bill--had been given the position.

Naturally, Jane was shocked and upset. Her friend, Bill, had been misled.

But the curious part for me as a listener to this story was what happened next...

Jane proceeded to describe to this other woman outside the supermarket all the reasons why any rational person would NOT want to work for this company. The gossip, the office politics, the petty grudges, the power trips.

Do you see what's strange about that?

Let me use an analogy to explain.

Let's say someone promises you a gift--a big box with shiny wrapping paper and a ribbon on top. But then they give that gift to someone else.

You'd probably feel hurt. Maybe even wronged or offended or betrayed.

But what if the box was opened to reveal a big smelly turd. Literally a bowel movement. Disgusting!

How crazy would it be to stay upset over that? It's a turd in a box!

So Jane was spending all kinds of time and energy complaining about how her friend, Bill, was screwed out of a turd of a job.

Pretty crazy when you think of it like that.

Jane's story illustrates one of the fundamental KEYS of effective time management. There are high-value uses of your time and low-value uses of your time. Complaining, in this example, was a low-value use of Jane's time.

What exactly do we mean by high-value and low-value?

The value comes from what degree the action produces the results that are most important to you. Those results might be tangible like money, quantifiable like losing weight, or subjective like happiness.

What are some of the results that Jane might want? A job for Bill. An apology for herself or for Bill. The company to change its policies. A feeling that the world is fair and just.

How effective is complaining outside a supermarket at getting those results? Not effective at all.

If you find yourself short on time for the things that are most important to you, identify low-value activities in your life, and eliminate them as much as possible. Blaming, complaining, and gossiping are some examples. Anything that takes time and does not produce a result that's important to you.

Then on the flipside, identify your highest-value actions--the things that actually DO produce the results you want--and do them more often.

In this simple way, you'll increase your productivity and get more of the results you most want in life, in less time.

Copyright 2006 Curtis G. Schmitt

Author's Bio: 

Curtis G. Schmitt invites you to learn the 5 Master Keys to Effective Time Management and Planning in a teleclass people are calling a "life-saver," "powerful," and "inspirational"! Use these 5 master keys to unlock the door to greater peace, passion, and productivity in all areas of your life. Register for this teleclass today: http://www.TurnOnToLife.com