Nov 4, 2014

Slay Your Time Vampires

The wrong employees, poor processes, weak systems, and bad partners can suck the life out of your company.

They’re not only time sucks, they are productivity and energy drains. They drain you and your team of your precious resources and prevent you from accomplishing your goals.

Tom Benson, CEO of WildPlay Element Parks, calls these productivity drains “Time Vampires.”

Time Vampires drain your energy

One of the first people I ever hired turned out to be a Time Vampire. He was a really nice guy, and he tried really hard. But he was a cultural mismatch for our company.

He didn’t get our sales process. He couldn’t keep up with the pace of our company. And he struggled to learn our systems and approach. But it took me months to figure that out. I worked with him, coached him, and managed him. But nothing got better.

Eventually I had to accept the reality of the situation. He was not the right guy for the job. We had to terminate his employment.

Firing him was hard, but it was the right decision. Following his termination I slept for three days. I didn’t realize how much energy he had been consuming. I was burnt out and exhausted.

Look for the symptoms of a Time Vampire

We all face Time Vampires in our work. Some are big and ravenous, and others are more subtle.

Look for the symptoms of a Time Vampire:

  • Cliques and politics: Are your staff being catty with each other? Are they defensive or irritable? This is a sign that something is holding them back and distracting them.
  • Punching the clock: Are people working for the weekend? Are they starting late and packing up early? This is a sign they aren’t finding reward in their jobs.
  • Bringing home problems: Do you find yourself complaining about a person, a partner, or a part of your job outside of work? This is a sure sign of a Time Vampire. They stick with you well outside of work.

Look for the signs that something is consuming too much time or wasting resources, and find a way to slay that Vampire.

Identify and slay your Time Vampires

Time Vampires feed on the health and vibrancy of your company. They are parasites.

You may be able to survive with a Time Vampire, but it’s not doing you or your company any favors. Get rid of them.

When you spot a time suck or a productivity drain give it a label. Call it a Time Vampire. Once it has a name it’s much easier to resolve.

Be committed. You cannot grow a vibrant, engaging brand if you are dragged down by Time Vampires. Find them, identify them, and slay them.

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