Don’t get caught up in the drama of other folks

October 26, 2009
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The checkout aisle of the grocery store was full of magazines: People, InTouch, U.S. Weekly, Soap and other assorted, or should I say “sordid” publications that can be summed up in three words — other people’s drama.

They all had similar themes: who got divorced, separated, engaged, married or jilted. What celebrity is loving the other, beating the other, making love with the other or killing the other. I looked at all the covers, smiled and went about my business.

But it got me thinking: What else is in the category of “other people’s drama” and what is the net effect — to you?

There are an endless number of “celebrity news” programs and crime shows on TV — drivel about who did what to who. Watch them? Why? As if this weren’t enough, there are soap operas, where the drama never ends — for 20 years. Watch them? Why? To see how someone else’s life turns out? Why not focus on your life?

But wait! There’s more drama: News and interviews about what some dumb lying politician thinks, what some “expert” predicts will happen to the world, or what some dumber radio talk show host thinks. There are also local TV news programs that feature killing, bombings, fires, floods, kidnappings, the weather, politics and other assorted drivel and drama that rob you of your time.

Note well: Business news is important, especially when it pertains to your business and your economy.

But wait! There’s more drama: reality shows. Enough said.

But wait! There’s more drama: Your neighbor’s drama, your friend’s drama, and your workplace drama could fill volumes — your volumes.

It dawned on me that if you just eliminated “other people’s drama” from your life, time management would no longer be an issue — ever. You’d have 20 extra hours a week, minimum. Maybe you could use that time to change your dorky voicemail, build a Web site or blog, or do something for YOU.

Other people’s drama is a complete and utter waste of your time, energy and attitude. It does noting to build your character, intelligence, knowledge, reputation, career, success or wealth.

Here are a few painful questions:

Do you spend more time on other people’s drama or your career?

Other people’s drama or your children?

Other people’s drama or building your personal brand?

Other people’s drama or your success?

Other people’s drama or your marriage? (ouch!)

Idea: Put a stopwatch to it. Click it on when you’re watching or reading about other people’s drama, and click it off when you stop. Put the number into memory, and total it at the end of the day. Then multiply it times 365. Then divide by 60 (minutes in an hour), then divide that by 24 (hours in a day). Then look at the number in horror. That’s the number of days you wasted focusing on other people’s drama.

An hour a day equals 15 full 24-hour days at the end of the year — a three-week (full 24-hour day) vacation’s worth of time, pissed away on what Brad and Angelina did, or what Lady Gaga is wearing, or how “octomom” is surviving.

What about YOU? What are you doing? Let me give you an answer: not enough for yourself or your loved ones.

Where is your time being spent?

Where could it be invested?

Here are a few “time investment” ideas:

If you must have some drama, create a Facebook page. Reunite with some old friends or relatives. It’s fun and will teach you Internet skills and social media skills.

Register yourname.com and start a Web site. Do the same for your children or grandchildren. The Internet is here to stay; why not master your presence on it?

Read or listen to a self-help book. Attitude, creativity, service and networking are all business skills you can improve, and are certainly more powerful for your earnings and your family than what’s happening to some drunken, drugged out celebrity in Hollywood, or some idiot trying for their 15 minutes of fame.

Take a walk. Clear your mind to think for yourself instead of cluttering it with useless information. Bonus: When you take a walk, you also get the local weather report. Just look up.

It’s easy to get caught in the drama time trap, but consider the rewards for ignoring it. Think of the time you’ll have for you.

Challenge: Try ignoring drama for 30 days. Start working on yourself instead of flushing your time down the toilet focusing on other people. I promise you won’t miss anything. The same drama will be there should you decide to go back, and it won’t matter if you don’t.

Free GitBit: There’s one more major AHA! about other people’s drama I’d like to share with you. To get it, go to www.gitomer.com and enter DRAMA in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or e-mail salesman@gitomer.com.

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