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I find myself anxiously waiting for the popup ads on a website to allow me to skip to the information I really want. Five seconds seems like an eternity to me at that point. I also am willing to pay for commercial free versions of apps for my iPhone. I don’t want to be trying to concentrate on a 30 point word in just the right place in Words with Friends and be distracted by some flashing image for a product I’ve already purchased and no longer need. I also am willing to pay for
Netflix to be able to watch a TV program in 42 minutes and skip 18 minutes of commercials. And, I don’t have to wait for the next episode in many cases; I can immediately go to the next one that answers the cliff hanger issue in the last episode. I’m sure I’m not alone in waiting for the next installment of House of Cards and be able to binge watch, commercial free.
One of the Seven Wastes in business is LOST TIME. Waiting for a computer program to download. Waiting for a machine to be ready to accept the next part. Waiting for someone to get off the phone. Waiting for a meeting to start. Waiting for someone to return from a business trip. Waiting for someone to return for vacation. Waiting for someone to answer the phone. We waste a lot of time waiting, waiting, and waiting.
We also lose time waiting in our personal lives. Waiting for everyone to be ready to leave. Waiting for someone to bring the bill at a restaurant. Waiting in line at the grocery store. Waiting to get our morning coffee in the drive-thru that is supposed to save us time. Some college bound kids are anxious because they have been put on the waiting list to their preferred college. We wait for the bus or the airplane or the train. We wait for traffic. We wait for the birth of a child.
I see two approaches to this challenge. The first is, somewhat obviously, to do everything we can to eliminate and minimize the amount of time spent waiting. Netflix rather than broadcast TV is an example. Speeding up a process in manufacturing. Making one process more smoothly transition to the next process in manufacturing. Hold people accountable to showing up for a meeting by starting on time and finishing on time.
The second approach is to use the time waiting as effectively as possible. Listen to audio books in the car while waiting in traffic. Check email on your phone while waiting in line (not while driving in traffic). Say a prayer or two. Meditate on something. Clear your mind. Take some deep breaths to help you relax.
Sorry, that’s all for now. Time is running out and we all know, “Time is Money.”