We all want more of it….
More time to get things done.
More time to spend with our loved ones.
More time to find out our calling in this life.
While we all crave more time, there are plenty of ways we waste the time we already have on a daily basis.
Today I’m sharing the 25 ways you’re wasting time on a daily basis, and how to fix it so you can reclaim your time back!
25 ways you’re wasting time on a daily basis:
1. Watching too much tv
(I’m so guilty of this). Instead of watching hours of tv every night, try reading a great book that captures your attention in the same way that tv does. The Girl on the Train has been a recent favorite of mine.
2. Eating junk food
Fueling your body with good food that will give you energy instead of junk food that will drain you can help you to be more productive! You can find some easy and healthy snack ideas here. If you’re looking for a healthier snack option that is a good substitute when you’re having junk food cravings, this kettle corn has been a new favorite for me recently. It helps that the packaging is super cute too!
3. Answering your phone when you’re in the middle of something
Answering your phone when you’re in the middle of getting work done is a surefire way to kill your productivity entirely. If you know the call isn’t something urgent, let it go to voicemail so you can call them back when you are finished with the task at hand.
4. Being addicted to social media
Are you someone that is constantly refreshing your Facebook or Instagram feeds looking for the latest updates from your friends? Social media can be a huge time suck if you let it be. I also know that it’s easy to fall prey to the social media trap when you aren’t aware of how much time you are spending on social media each day.
Try deleting all social media apps off your phone to limit your access throughout the day and only allow yourself to “check in” once or twice a day so that you aren’t spending huge amounts of time on social media in general. You’ll likely feel more free by not checking it all as much too!
5. Checking your email constantly
If you find yourself checking your email multiple times every hour, there is a good chance that you are spending way too much of your day in your inbox. While it’s important to be responsive with emails, especially work-related ones, it’s usually not necessary to be checking your inbox 10-15 times per day.
Instead of constantly monitoring your emails and letting it interfere with your productivity, try checking in just three times per day so you can focus more time on getting your to-do list done, and less time getting sidetracked.
6. Failing to put things back where they belong
Sometimes when we get home from a long day, it’s easy to take the lazy route and toss our coats over chairs, drop our keys on a random table, and kick off our shoes and leave them whenever they may land.
The truth is though, if you take an extra minute or two to put these items where they belong when you get home, you will likely save yourself even more time when you’re trying to look for them the next time you leave the house. Spend the time putting things back where they belong so you don’t have to waste more time later on trying to find them!
7. Emailing someone back and forth
If you have an email chain with over 20 emails going back and forth with someone over some small details, it’s likely time to pick up the phone. While I usually always prefer using email over the phone for work, there does come a point where it is much more efficient to pick up the phone and have a ten minute conversation to hammer out the details rather than spending 30 minutes continuing to go back and forth with your email chain and getting nowhere.
8. Not having a schedule in place
Having a loose schedule in place for your day helps to put your brain on auto-pilot so that you don’t have to put so much energy into figuring out “what comes next” in your day. Even if your schedule changes on a daily basis, try to put a rough plan in place every night for what the next day is going to look like. It will likely help you to get through your day with confidence knowing that you are being intentional with your time.
9. Making promises you can’t keep
If you know that you won’t be able to keep your word, try your best to not make that commitment in the first place. Don’t offer empty promises or commit to things that you are unable to follow through with. Be realistic with the promises you can keep and don’t waste your time or anyone else’s by making promises you know you’ll have to break.
10. Spending time with toxic people
Toxic people can be very detrimental to our overall happiness levels if we find ourselves spending too much time with them. Read this post to learn how to stop wasting your energy on toxic people.
11. Being passive aggressive
This has been a personal pet peeve of mine lately, even though I know I can be passive aggressive at times too. Being passive aggressive usually means we have something that is weighing on our mind but we don’t typically just come right out and say it. Instead, we make subtle or not-so-subtle hints to try to tell someone else our feelings without actually saying what’s on our mind.
Next time you are feeling this way, try expressing your feelings in a more direct and constructive way instead of beating around the bush. I can promise you will feel so much better!
12. Not being fully present
Being fully present in any given moment not only allows us to work more efficiently, but it also helps us to enjoy life more. Soak up every moment, even the ones where you are working on unpleasant tasks. I think you will find yourself enjoying those unpleasant tasks more when you fully immerse yourself in them and try to enjoy the process as best as you can. Read this post for more tips on how to be fully present.
13. Constantly multitasking
I get it, it’s hard to focus on only one thing at a time. But it can be really hard to get much of anything done well when you are bouncing around from one task to the next and aren’t giving anything your complete attention. Stop trying to do a million things at once, and I think you’ll find yourself not only producing better work, but being a lot more efficient too.
14. Spending too much time caring about what others think of you
I know this is easier said than done, but caring too much about what others think leaves you in a place where you are living your life for what others think you should be, rather than what you want to be. Care less about what others think, and more about what you want.
15. Not automating bill payments
Do you keep forgetting to pay certain bills on time and as a result are paying late fees and stressing about it all the time? Automate all the bill payments you can so that this isn’t an ongoing worry.
16. Not having a morning routine
Having a simple morning routine has brought so much peace and productivity to my life. I share more about how I implemented the tips I learned from the Makeover Your Mornings course in this post to turn my mornings around, and I cannot recommend creating a morning routine enough. It is a game changer!
17. Sifting through clutter to find the things you need
If you find yourself constantly sorting through clutter to find things, then it’s time to donate and get rid of some things, my friend! Life is a lot easier and less stressful when you’re not always looking for things you need or sifting through crap you don’t even use. If you’re wondering what to keep or what to toss, ask yourself these 12 questions to help you declutter as you go through your possessions.
If you struggle with a lot of paper clutter in your home, The Paperless Home has been a great resource for me to simplify my office and home from the piles of paper that once inhibited it.
18. Waiting for good things to happen
Stop waiting for good things to happen to you and instead get out there and make them happen! There’s no better time to start working toward your dreams than right now. You deserve to live a life you love!
19. Having no idea where your time goes while online
Sometimes while we are on our computers, we really have no idea how much time we are wasting on things like social media or YouTube. RescueTime is a great free resource to use to get a better picture of your habits while on your computer, and how much of your time is actually being spent doing productive tasks. It’s a cool app that tracks your time spent on applications and various websites and then sends you a report to give you a more accurate version of how your computer time was spent.
If you have one task that you are absolutely dreading and just keep putting it off – stop the madness! You will feel so much better if you just get that unpleasant task done with so you can focus on other things and not constantly have it at the back of your mind.
As I get older, gossip is something I have less and less tolerance for. While I am by no means perfect and definitely still find myself gossiping on occasion, it is something I’m really trying to work on. Concerning ourselves too much about what others are doing is a recipe for unhappiness and discontentment in our own lives. Do you ever walk away from a gossip session feeling good or accomplished? No? Me neither.
22. Struggling to make decisions
If you are someone who often struggles with making decisions (I personally struggle a whole lot), try listening to what your gut tells you when have to make your next big decision. It can be easy to over-analyze every little detail when you need to make a decision, but often your gut can tell you the right answer without all of the deliberation involved.
23. Not using a planner
Being organized is one of the absolute best ways to save yourself time on a daily basis. Using a planner to keep track of your schedule and to-dos helps to assure you don’t forget anything important and aren’t wasting time trying to figure out the plan for the day. Some awesome planners I’ve found that are functional yet absolutely beautiful are this one from Ban.Do and this one from Lilly Pulitzer. Pretty planners aren’t absolutely necessary to stay organized, but they do make the process a heck of a lot more fun!
24. Not making your commute time productive
If you have a long commute to work every day, I sympathize with you. I too once had a super long commute that involved driving 1-2 hours each way to work every morning. When I look back, I realize that I didn’t take full advantage of that time spent in my car. Sure, I would enjoy listening to music and try to make the best of the alone time, but I really could have made that time a lot more productive.
Instead of listening to music during your whole commute, try listening to an audio book or podcast to learn something new. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can borrow free audio books and podcasts through the kindle owners’ lending library.
Typically nothing positive can come from complaining. I know that it can be a hard habit to break, but it’s one worth putting effort into. Complaining can often make bad situations seem even worse and are by no means a good use of your time. If you are struggling with complaining and want to break the habit, I highly recommend the book A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted. It’s a great resource to help you stop the complaining once and for all and start having a more positive outlook on life!
Making better use of your time is just a matter of creating lots of little tweaks that can add up to a huge change in the way you spend your days. Most of the time, we don’t even realize how we are wasting our time or the ways we can improve to make the most of our day. I hope these helped you in identifying your own time sucks and how you can have more time to spend on doing the things you love! 🙂
Which one of these do you struggle the most with? Share with me below!
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