Coping with time taxes

Maybe you got monetarily richer over the last few years, but do you have more time outside work? A time tax is a required task with no productive output. When you do not keep these taxes under control, you end up with no free time for your family and friends.

To avoid these time taxes, I know of some strategies:

  • Working at home and online is a highly effective way to avoid time taxes. I am always amazed how much faster I can buy an item on the Web. Lining up for a cashier is so XXth century! Working at home means you spend less time in hallways chatting randomly with colleagues and students.
  • You should avoid synchronous meetings including phone calls. Having to be at a certain place at a certain time introduces several small time taxes in your schedule.
  • Focusing on a few essential and simple projects means you will spend less time filling up forms and doing other bureaucratic chores. There is no evidence that complex projects are better for your career. You know you are focusing when your life is simple.
  • Your emails should be less than five sentences and you should write them during a time period of the day so that email remains asynchronous.
  • Learning to say no is essential to keep your sanity — and your significant other. Without control, random service tasks or secondary research projects can eat up all of your free time.

References: Harold and Nine shifts site.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

One thought on “Coping with time taxes”

  1. In the new year, I found every of my colleagues are busier. I talked little with them (I hope not because your post). I found that people are less interesting than before. Come on! this is life. We are supposed to have fun, not just productivity in our jobs. Talk with your colleagues and waste some of your time.

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