How To Stop Wasting Time
Do you ever feel like you’re wasting time? If you want to be more intentional with your time and go to bed each day with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction then you need to stop wasting your time and create good time management habits.
Life is full of distractions which can make it seem impossible to manage our time. Therefore, you first need to understand that our time is elastic and it will accommodate what we choose to put into it. Too often we say we don’t have time to do something, but what we really mean is that it’s not a priority, therefore we’re not willing to make time for it.
How you spend your time is up to you, you have the power to create your ideal life, all you need to do is stop wasting time and create good time management habits.
Why are you wasting time?
If you want to stop wasting time, then you first need to understand why you waste time. Because the reason why you waste time is that you don’t recognise when you’re doing it therefore you can’t pull yourself up on it. You might think that you’re wasting time because you don’t want to do a certain task or maybe because you don’t know how to do it, therefore it’s easier to postpone the task or avoid it together.
However, if you find that you’re constantly wasting your time, then there may be another reason. I’ve found that one of the main reasons why we waste time is to avoid negative feelings such as boredom, stress, overwhelm, confusion, self-doubt and anxiety. And when you waste time you can avoid negative feelings and instead do something which you enjoy and which makes you feel good.
How are you wasting time?
To stop wasting time you also need to know how you are wasting your time, so you can pull yourself up on it next time. To do this I suggest creating a brain dump of all the ways in which you believe you are wasting time. If you’re struggling with this exercise, take a look at the list below for some prompts:
- Snoozing your alarm
- Re-watching TV programmes
- Mindlessly scrolling on your phone
- Saying yes to things you don’t want to do
- Researching too much, instead of taking action
- Spending too long on easy and unimportant tasks
- Stopping and starting new ideas, but never seeing them through to the end
Use the 80/20 rule
Your to-do list may be one of the reasons why you’re wasting time. A to-do list can make you feel productive and organised but it can also make you feel overwhelmed. If your to-do list is too long and you don’t know where to start, I suggest you use The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule.
It suggests roughly 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results. Have a look at your to-do list and ask yourself, what are the 20% of my tasks which create 80% of my results? Then change your behaviour by spending more time on the tasks which bring the most value.
Create a time limit
I know it’s easier to get cosy in front of Netflix but to stop wasting time, I suggest you give yourself time limits for when you’re going to work and when you’re going to rest. Because there are times when you need to focus, stop scrolling and get to work and then there are times when you need to sit back, slow down and relax.
By creating a time limit you will become more focused and productive as you will have dedicated time to work and rest. Because trying to work and watch TV at the same time is neither productive nor relaxing.
Set clear goals
Set yourself clear goals to avoid wasting time. When you set yourself a clear goal you’re less likely to waste time because you know what needs to be done, making it more difficult to procrastinate.
Grab a pen a paper, and write down what your goal is, then set yourself tasks which are focused on achieving this goal. This will stop you from wasting your time doing busy work (tasks which feel productive but don’t help you achieve your goal).
To stop wasting time, I suggest you have dedicated time to work on a particular goal or task which is important. Think about your schedule and when you can dedicate time to your goals and other important tasks.
I suggest starting with your morning routine if you set your alarm before the rest of the house wakes up and before you need to start your day, you can dedicate time to specific things. You will also find that you’re more focused in the morning with fewer distractions.
Make the most of your commute
Another great way to stop wasting time is to make the most of your commute. However, this point only works depending on your lifestyle. For example, every day I have a 30-minute train to London followed by a short tube journey. There’s a lot of “dead time” here and by dead time I mean time when it’s difficult to be productive.
Of course, there are always ways around this. During my commute, I love to listen to personal growth podcasts but you can also use this time to read books or maybe you’re able to work during your commute. If you drive to work you can still listen to audiobooks and podcasts!
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful to stop wasting time. Keep working on your goals and taking steps towards the life you want to live and with the right balance of work and rest you will achieve it!