It’s a busy time of year for everyone. Quarterly results. New business generation. Holidays. Ginormous to-do lists.  You can almost feel the fangs on your jugular through the sheer ability they have to suck our time and energy. Bring forth my light-hearted, but hearty peak into the Time Suckers!

The Human Form

Drive by: It’s 5:30 pm on a Friday and your boss or coworker stops by with a deadline. A stilted remark without context. Or an assignment that just leaves you spinning in a morass of confusion.

One Offs: You’ve contracted with a client for a very specific scope-of-work, but today, he sends you task far off the beaten track—and not in a Robert Frost “Road Not Taken” way.

Weather conversationalists: You’re on a deadline and you need. To. Work. Now. But a colleague swings by with the best of intentions and ends up eating valuable minutes of dedicated time to complete your task on deadline.

The Technology Form

Time Worn: faxes, land lines, snail mail—harkening days gone by. True enough though, people still have them and expect you to as well. There’s no time sucker like figuring out how to use the office postage machine.

Social Media: While a great way to connect, you can casually intend to check your Facebook or Twitter at 4:30 pm and glance at your screen only to realize it is now 6 pm and you should go home.

Tips and Tricks about the Treats Vampires Can Impart


(Source: AP Images)

It all comes down to prioritization. Knowing when to end the conversation. How to have the honest discussion with a client about the scope of work and maximize budget dollars. Although a burden, these Vampires are teachers in disguise. Funny reminders to relax, take a breath and appreciate the ability to re-prioritize, recalibrate and refocus.  Pardon the pun (well actually, there were many in this post) but the time has come to put a “stake” in the ground if you want to finish your year off strong, with balance and focus.



Janet Tyler is the Co-CEO of Airfoil, a high-tech PR and marcomm firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Detroit, London and Hong Kong. Follow Janet on Twitter: @Janet_Tyler