How To Stop Wasting Time: 9 Tips to Help You Be More Intentional With Your Time
Ready for some truth bombs when it comes to the topic of how to stop wasting time?
If you are, then keep on reading.
Not in the mood for a truth bomb. Keep reading anyway.
I promise you will like what you read. Fingers crossed.
Let me ask you something.
Are you a professional at avoiding things that you need (or want) to get done?
I am right there with ya!
I am guessing you do not consider this one of your best traits.
For myself, time management and productivity are areas I am constantly working on.
So let’s cut right to the chase. Get into the nitty-gritty of it all!
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Here Are 9 Steps to Learn How to Stop Wasting Time
1) Why are you wasting time?
You know what? Many times, we know exactly what we are doing. We do! I know I do.
I hear the thing I need to do knocking on the door but I just turn the music up louder to drown out the sound.
Why do we do this?
Maybe fear or boredom. Maybe we are just stuck and have no clue what to do.
So we convince ourselves that it OK to be at a standstill. It is OK to not be doing much of anything.
This entire process starts with taking responsibility. This means fully acknowledging that we are in fact wasting time.
Being aware of this is the first step toward making some positive changes.
So, let’s do that right now. Let’s hold ourselves accountable and then move forward. No more excuses.
Admit, accept and make a plan!
2) What is your crutch?
Social media. Netflix. TV. Did I say social media?
What is your crutch of choice? Your go-to distraction?
Maybe you fill your time doing research about all the things you want to accomplish. Research is great as long as it is building toward something.
We feel good scrolling through other peoples lives for hours but I think at some point we look back and shake our heads. Thought bubbles keep popping up of all the things we could have gotten done during that wasted time.
You have to put the crutch down. No matter how bedazzled and appealing it is.
Putting something off does not make it go away. If anything, it makes you dread it even more!
Let me wrap this task up in a nice little box and shove it to the back of the closet. Stress be gone. But is it really gone?
If you want to find a distraction, you will find one. Every single time.
I have said it before and there is no shame in my game saying it again. I am a list lover. Lists make me a happy gal.
My brain would explode without them.
My husband always tells me to remind him of this or that. Or asks me to remember certain things. I flat out tell him to write it down. (We have a wall calendar in our dining room and we love it)
I stopped treating my brain like my personal secretary.
Sometimes you can feel drained from doing so many things. Or you can feel drained from having so much on your plate and not knowing where to start so you just don’t start. You are literally tired before you even begin.
Make lists to get all that clutter out of your head and written down. This is so much better than just hoping the filing system in your mind doesn’t crash at any minute from overloading.
And there is another amazing thing this does. It can make you feel so much lighter. You are no longer carrying all of this “stuff’ inside.
Start making a list of things you need to get done. Things you want to get done!
And then put value on that list. Make it a top priority.
Here’s a fact. Some things are more important than others. There are things that need to get done. And then there are things that have a little more wiggle room.
Prioritize and ask yourself if something is important.
You could even try a number scale. Assign different things a number.
I also suggest trying this.
Set an alarm reminder to go off at the same time every day. I like to do this around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Take a minute and either write down or go over in your mind (if you don’t have paper handy) what you have done so far today.
And make an effort to not just fill your time. Don’t do “all the things” halfway and then there is no time for the real places that you want to be putting your energy.
What kind of mindset do you think will help you be more productive with your time?
If you said positive, then give yourself a pat on the back.
You need to do things that will create a positive mindset.
Music. Journaling. Meditation. TED talks. Exercise. Three cups of coffee. Talking to your dog.
Let me make one thing very clear. Not being in the mindset to get something done can make it take double the amount of time it would if you were ready and focused.
But let me also say this!
If you always wait until you are in the mood to do something, you may never end up doing it.
There will be some days you just have to start and slowly but surely hope the positivity starts to make an appearance.
But what you can do is give yourself a little push. Do the things that get the ball rolling and then latch onto that momentum and run.
6) Time Blocking
The idea is simple, friends. Certain tasks are assigned to a certain time frame in your day.
This way a task is getting your full attention. Which really can skyrocket your productivity and significantly lessen the amount of time you waste.
Set an intention for your time.
This also applies to deadlines.
Have a sort of schedule for your goals. This certain thing needs to be done by this date.
You do need to set yourself a realistic time frame. Do not set yourself a deadline that you basically know is unreachable.
You have to set yourself up for success.
A calendar can be a real eye-opener to how much time you are actually wasting.
Here is one more thing to consider.
You also have to always keep in mind that things going 100 percent according to plan is unlikely. It is nice to keep things on track. But always have a little space for the curve balls.
Make sure to check out this detailed post on all things time blocking.
7) Waste Time
Do nothing.. sometimes. Our brains need time to shut off.
Yes, you need to take a break every now and then. A real break.
This is good for the soul and the brain.
Now, too much downtime can have the opposite effect of giving you more energy or feeling refreshed.
Don’t get too comfortable laying in bed or on the couch thinking of all the things you could be or should be doing during the day.
I think giving yourself permission to do nothing at times can really motivate you to do more with all your other time.
8) Future Self
What will this do for me?
Think about what using your time wisely will do for you.
Stress less. Accomplish more. Have direction.
And then name some things that wasting time has done for you. Compare the two. Which one brings out the best in you?
I know sometimes wasting times feels like the better option. But that is only in the short term!
9) Be Proud
Acknowledge your progress. Even the baby steps. Any move in the right direction.
You know how you get super pumped in the beginning and then slowly but surely that fades? Especially if you are working toward something big and you are not going to reach your goal tomorrow.
Staying motivated can be challenging. You have to really take notice of the little steps. It is great to always be looking forward to something. But in order to keep pace, we need to also focus on the present.
Here is the thing. You can read all the advice and watch all the inspiring videos. And that is great! I love doing that. You should keep doing that. But then you have to do something with it.
You have to make a commitment and stick to it.
Here is the foundation of this entire article.
How you spend your time is up to you.
We can not control everything. But time is one thing we have a say in.
Have any tips on how to stop wasting time? Drop a comment! I’d love to chat!
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