Improving Your Relationship With These Time Wasters Can Help You Take Back Your Productivity
Before I start what may seem like bashing one of our beloved past times, let me be clear, the point of this is just to create awareness around some of the things that could be eating up your precious time and hindering your production.
We all fall victim to these time wasters at some point. We are all susceptible to these things. However, because we experience them, does not mean that something within ourselves is wrong.
All we need to do is be able to recognize when we have fallen victim to these time wasting scenarios and then learn how to pull ourselves out of them.
Here Are The Top Six Biggest Time Wasters We Encounter Often:
Don’t you just love your television entertainment? I mean, think about it, it is always there for you when you need it most. It’s reliable, it doesn’t sell you out and it is always willing to serve you with exactly what you want—entertaining content and comfort.
There’s nothing wrong with watching TV. In fact, millions of people watch television every day and enjoy it. The problem typically lies within the amount of time we spend watching television.
There are plenty of great programs that can be quite educational but let’s be real, we are not doing much with knowledge that we are picking up over the television. Very few of us are anyway. The education is just not there, and neither is productivity.
Allow watching television to be something that you treat yourself with each day. Don’t allow it to consume you. Because just like cellphones consume us, the television will do the same exact thing.
Today we have smart televisions, which have access to a lot of the same access to media and applications that our phones and computers do. If you are going to have your television on often, try maximizing the education power that can be extracted through the access of applications on your television.
My worst encounters with procrastination was in my college days. I remember being so low on energy from working two jobs, having three little kids to come home to, and then begin to work on my assignments. Sometimes I was so tired that I would put off a research paper to the very last day. Consequently, this led to some extremely stressful times. Unnecessary stress is what I call it.
That is what procrastination leads to, it creates unnecessary stress within your life all because you are wasting time. Precious time, that is constantly whizzing by you. Leaving things to the last minute is a sure fire way to get your adrenaline up. Some people say that they actually benefit from procrastination, but from my personal experiences, there is not much benefit in that strategy.
Luckily I am not a big procrastinator, I have learned how to push through in moments of laziness and fatigue. I rather become occupied with the process of constantly having to pull for willpower, then to just “give in” and allow for procrastination to slowly run my life.
If you are consistently searching for new opportunities within your day to figure out how you can become better, then you know that there is so much to do. The more you procrastinate on those opportunities, the more unnecessary stress you are going to bring upon yourself. Not to mention, lose out on those opportunities if your last minute process doesn’t plan out the way you thought.
Life is too short to be wasting time procrastinating on all of those important things you know you should be doing.
Getting Lost On Social Media
This one is just as bad as the television (if not worse). Social media platforms are designed to try to hold as much attention from the consumer as possible. Basically, they want you sucked into the social media black hole for as long as possible.
Throw in some digital and social media marketing and you have a monster that you are constantly battling against each day. This will always be there as long as you are locked in to one of those platforms.
Learning to control this has a lot to do with self-control and self-discipline. When you see yourself getting sucked into the “trap”, try to slow yourself down and remind yourself that there are more important things that need to get done first, rather than wasting time scrolling through social media.
I don’t know about you, but a “quick minute” check, can turn into a half hour of zombie like scrolling 😂
Learn to set time limits on your phone in order to limit the amount of time you are spending using specific applications. Set reminders for yourself to bring you back to your focus. This is a battle, a legitimate battle that we are facing today when it comes to our time.
We only have so much time on our hands, and social media platforms and marketers are all competing for your time.
Learn to protect your time and not waste it.
Don’t commit to something if you have something more productive to do with your time. There is a lot of value once you master this time waster.
Some of us aim to please, and when we are invited somewhere, we don’t like to say no and create conflict, so we say yes to time wasting activities.
When you say yes to participate in something, you are automatically giving up your own personal time in which you could be doing something productive, instead trading it for whatever you just said yes to. More often than not, you didn’t want to go from the beginning, but you felt bad and ended up saying you’d attend.
Now, if you are saying yes to things that bring value to your time, then of course by all means—say yes!
But, if you are saying yes all because you are being pressured by someone or are experiencing guilt that someone else is putting on you, then you are wasting your time.
If you have things that are at the top of your priority list and you know you should be dedicating all available time to those things, then don’t say yes to something that will eat up your time.
People need to stop saying yes to things they don’t want to be doing, especially if it is a waste of their time.
How do you know if it is a waste of your time?
By easily identifying other activities that provide you with far greater value that you could be dedicating that same amount of time to.
Don’t waste your time saying yes to someone if you have more important things to do. Value your time and use it wisely, how we allocate our time today predicts where we will be in the next 5 years.
Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself struggling to start something that you know is of high importance to you?
Maybe that important thing is going back to school, going after that promotion, starting a business, or getting into better shape. These are just random examples, but think of a good one that pertains to you. Each can hold significant value in ones life if executed properly.
The problem is that many people never start working on their goals and dreams because they fear imperfection. Everything needs to be perfect, everything needs to go perfect. They say things like “I am going to start one day.” Hoping for that perfect time to roll around.
Only issue is, they never end up starting because that “perfect” moment in time, never arrives. Don’t be one of those people who go through their whole life not accomplishing their dreams all because they needed to wait for the perfect time.
The same goes for not starting all because you are scared to make mistakes and fall flat on your face a few times.
You fear this because you are starting something new, you will make mistakes, but in your mind mistakes are not allowed, because you are searching for a level of perfectionism. This type of thinking will paralyze you.
If you are too caught up with things being perfect then you are going to waste an immense amount of time in comparison to the person who starts something new and learns along the way. The person who just starts, they are not afraid to use the imperfections within their work to improve their skills.
Perfectionism will keep you stuck in the mud. You will waste years of your life simply waiting for some perfect moment, or that piece of work to be perfect before you can show it off to the world.
If you have something you want to go after, start now and improve along the way.
Believe In Help and Believe In Yourself.
I have seen people multi-task like a straight boss. There are people out there who can work on 2 or more things and end up at the finish line with three full completions instead of one.
As amazing as this may sound, I cannot do it. I cannot multi-task. If I am going to do something to the best of my ability, I need to focus on that one task at hand. I can’t distract myself with one or two other activities all because I want to finish something faster or get more done in less time.
If you are anything like me, stick to focusing on one mission at a time and use all of your time and effort to finishing that mission before you begin moving onto the next one. I have tried both, and focusing all of my effort into one task always seems to give me the results I am looking for.
There is so much hype out there surrounding multi-tasking and people that think it is this great, grand ability and they should be doing it too in order to become productive. In fact, I have gone to job interviews where I have been asked if I can multi-task, to where my answer is always—no. I rather a company pass on me as a potential candidate than to have to try to pretend to be something that I am not.
Unless you are a true multi-tasking expert, you will often find yourself wasting your time trying to do three things at once.
Instead, apply patience and try to work on one thing at a time, focusing only on executing to the best of your ability.
A great way to show how much of a waste worrying is, let me give you a peak into a child’s mind (our child) and their perspective of worrying. This helps to demonstrate how we, as adults, have simply maintained this childish behavior.
In our home, we have three children, and every so often, children are expected to visit the doctor for their checkups. If you have children of your own, you know that every kid associates going to the doctor with getting a shot 💉. 🙄
Often times, before the actual doctor’s visit, my kids will have a heads up about their future encounter with the doctor. Without knowing anything about what this doctor’s visit is all about, my kids start crying and trembling at the thought of having to get a shot. 😒
Their emotions will shift quickly into worry and fear, their focus get’s shifted on receiving a shot and experiencing the pain, and then to top it all off, they will spend every waking moment worrying until the time arrives to go to the doctor.
At this point, we are in the car driving to the doctor’s office for their appointment and they are contemplating how to get around having to get a shot in their little minds.
When we arrive to the doctor’s office, we walk up to the reception window, press the doorbell and wait for someone to slide the window open. We sign our name, let them know we are here for our appointment and just wait. My wife and I sit in the waiting area patiently waiting for the doctor, as we watch our children sit in pure terror and worry.
We console them and give them the most encouraging words possible, but this does nothing for them.
At this point, we are part of the bad guys team 😂
The doctor calls us in with a warm greeting and welcome. The doctor takes their vitals, weighs my kids, takes their measurements, ask some follow-up questions and then the doctor says—”Okay you are all set, I will see you next time.”
“You mean no shots, no needles?”—my kids exclaim immediately.
All of a sudden, faces of fear become faces of joy. Tears of fears, become tears of joy and within seconds, they are back to being present and focused on what is important.
What took place here?
From my perspective as a parent, my children allowed their minds to focus on worrying about something that was all created within their minds.
They had no facts, no reassurance of what was going to take place. They just immediately locked into worry. Consequently, hours and days were wasted on worrying for no reason.
If this doesn’t spell out for you how much worrying will kill your time, then I don’t know what does. Us adults, can take this example and flip it into our own world. Grown-ups do the same exact thing.
Try not to lose yourself and your time in worrying. Accept the challenge and move forward.