18 normal things that waste your time every day
Hi guys. Today on time management, we’ll be looking at the 18 things that waste your time on a daily basis. Enjoy reading.
We close our eyes for a minute and before we know it minutes have turned into hours and hours into days. Time just keeps running. Even as we go about our daily activities, it sometimes feels like we are being occupied with a lot of things (most of which are obviously irrelevant) yet we have barely come close to achieving the main things we are meant to and the clock keeps ticking. What then are we occupied with? What exactly is wasting our time?
The curiosity making you read this right now is the same curiosity that made me take out time to think about it. I happen to be a victim myself and I believe every one of us is guilty of this too at one point or the other. So, Today I would like to tackle some of the various things that often waste our time without us realizing it. But before that, what exactly does it mean to waste time?
What it means to waste time
Wasting time is often viewed as not being productive or spending time on activities that do not provide any value. It can also be akin to doing trivial activities instead of working; procrastinating or doing activities that do not provide learning or any benefit. Although, there is some waste of time that can be seen as a good waste of time. Time wasting can be beneficial when the perceived value is changed. It might offer no immediate results, but it’s an exercise investing in future benefits.
Anyways, here we are going to be talking majorly on the bad time wasters. On a general weighing scale, waste of time is not a good thing and something that should be curbed to the best of one’s ability. And in order to curb the habit of wasting time, we must know some of those things that actually really waste our time. Here are some things that waste our time on a daily basis.
18 Things that Waste your time everyday
1. No plan\Poor planning
When you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Whenever you start a day without a concrete plan then you are most likely going to waste a good amount of your time for that day because you have not taken time out to properly plan your activities for the day, so anything can safely interrupt whatever you choose to do. By so doing, you would be more prone to distractions compared to someone who has a proper plan for their day.
Planning your day doesn’t involve work and outing alone but goes down to even your meals for the day because not planning your meals in advance is also one major thing that wastes our time on a daily basis. You are more than likely to spend precious time of the day deciding what to eat and shopping for it. Planning about every other thing without seeing the need to plan our meals might make us spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen. Planning ahead and getting things prepared could help that a lot.
A man who wakes up without a plan is better off asleep
Recommended: 5 Highly Effective Time Management Principles
2. Poor Organisation
Lack of proper planning and poor organisation both go hand-in-hand. When you do not plan you obviously become disorganised thereby making your day seem all cluttered which in turn makes you overwhelmed about all you have to do. It’s the Same way one with poor organisation skills might not see the need to plan and arrange their activities for the day. Even when you plan, you have to be organised in doing so else you could still eventually find yourself wasting your time even after all of the planning.
3. Procrastinating on important things
An action now always beats inaction
There is a thief in our life that robs from us the most Paramount thing of our life which is time and that thief is no other than the biggest thief of time itself – procrastination
Though some people might procrastinate work for planning and brain work which is most times important because proper planning helps to save time than rushing into a project you aren’t even ready for. But then again, we can’t always wait all the time till we are perfectly ready or can we? So, even as we plan, deciding to just get at it as soon as possible could also help save time. Also, constantly putting off what needs to be done today for tomorrow just contributes to wasting precious time that would have been used in doing something productive.
Procrastinators delay a lot of things thinking that they have unlimited time to recover. But what it succeeds in doing is wasting our time and increasing our anxiety. It’s a simple fact of life that most of us procrastinate
While we waste our time hesitating and postponing, life is slipping away – Seneca
Recommended: The dangers of procrastination
4. Prioritising the wrong things
Of course, when we procrastinate on the important things, we end up prioritising all of the wrong things. Sit down and ask yourself; what is your priority? It would go a long way in helping you plan and schedule your activities according to the important. Make sure you are aware of the things you must do even if you can’t do everything on your list. That’s “priority.”
When you don’t have an action plan, a To-Do list, a set of goals or some direction in life, it’s easy to give importance to the wrong things. You spend your time and energy pursuing these things when actually they might not be so important in the long run.
See also: The dangers of misplaced priorities
5. Having no Boundaries to interruptions
Protect your work time by setting good boundaries. Guard your time wisely by setting boundaries for what you choose (and choose not) to do with your time. Decide to prioritise free time and decide to say no to things which don’t feel right or you don’t want to do. Be firm that you’re not going to allow yourself to feel pulled in lots of different directions.
Not putting boundaries to interruptions from others eventually makes their unimportant business or misuse of time be your own crises. Thereby scattering your plan for the day. Some of these interruptions could be in the form of unnecessary phone calls. Those who know me know I am not the biggest fan of unnecessarily long phone calls especially when I am busy (even while taking a nap). Lots of friends do come at me on how I don’t pick calls. Yes, it’s not every single call at every single hour that I pick especially when I do know it’s a call that would just distract me. I wouldn’t say I am proud of it but often times it’s just necessary.
Boundaries are important because they stop you saying yes when you’d rather say no. They allow you to focus on the important things to you in your life and not get distracted by things that aren’t that important after all. Of course, we all have to do things we don’t want to do from time to time, that’s just life. But boundaries help you keep on track generally and prevent you from wasting precious minutes of the day
6. Constantly checking social media and surfing the net endlessly
Talking about interruptions, social media can also be seen as one of those interruptions. One minute you are on the internet doing something important and notifications from left right and centre come flying in. Before you know it you decide to just reply one WhatsApp message. One message turns to two and two turns to 3hours on WhatsApp or any other social media platform. We then find ourselves Surfing the web endlessly. We would all agree that one thing always leads to another in the online world.
Keeping up with social media is important to many of us. However, losing track of time and not being intentional about why and what you’re looking at, can be a massive waste of time. Especially if it’s time that you were meant to be used to get important things done. Time spent on social media is huge for most of us. Since even reading three status updates wastes precious minutes, it is easy to see how many minutes we waste here.
7. Welcoming Distractions
It’s safe to say some of the things listed here are actually distractions. Any unimportant thing that takes your mind off your goal for the day and occupies your time is a distraction. Without having to spell it out, distractions are obviously a waste of time. A good example would be the one I have already highlighted in the previous point which is social media. However, distractions can come in various forms, that might not even look like it.
You could be doing something important and before you realize your mind has zoomed into another world entirely (Daydreamers & thinkers like me would be able to relate). Of course, it’s not a bad thing if you are in your free time and doing nothing but not in the middle of something important or if you have something else that you should be doing. We do not realize how much time gets wasted when we do this. I don’t know about you but when I enter into my own world I know how many hours I can spend there.
Anyways, anything that does not benefit you or your goals and is not your priority but yet takes up a good amount of your time is a distraction. It’s not always easy to shun distractions. It’s easier said than done. There would always be there but conscious effort to fight it would go a long way in saving your time
8. Overall Negative Thinking
Yes, I understand the feeling of sitting and thinking of worst-case scenarios or getting all paranoid and in turn get occupied with negative thoughts even when we do not want to. Many of us make this mistake. Why waste your precious time on negative thoughts? Let those negative thoughts about silly disappointments go so you can focus.
Stop replaying the negative words, actions, or scenarios in your mind. Press the stop button and walk away from it so you can have some peace because it does nothing other than waste precious time of your day.
Must read: 4 Must-do away Factors Of Negative Emotions
9. Constant Worrying
Have you ever spent an entire day worrying about something that “might happen?” At the end of the day, your situation hasn’t changed but you’ve lost valuable time. Worrying hijacks your brain and makes it difficult to focus on what is important. We find ourselves worrying about the mistakes we have made or worrying about the future. Most times we get so worried about something but eventually, that thing would pass and do you know what goes along with that thing? Time.
True, it is easier said than done. Here are some ways you rationalize with yourself to decide if things are worth worrying about or even worth your time at all. Ask yourself, is this going to matter in one week, one month, or one year? Will I even remember this then? If not, let it go! And allocate that time into something more productive.
Recommended: 8 simple yet effectual ways to stop worrying
Does complaining ever get anything done?
When there is a problem at hand and you whine and complain more than seek solutions then you are wasting that time. Complaining is just like worrying, it doesn’t solve the problem. So why spend so much time complaining. Even though there are people who go through certain things and are just looking for who to whine and rant to, knowing full well it is never the solution but talking about it makes them feel better(just like therapy). So that might be a little different.
However, complaining about doing something is the time that can be spent on actually getting what needs to be done, done. So you would only be wasting your time when you keep complaining rather than doing. Complaining usually just throws gasoline on the problem and leads to more discussion and inaction. In fact, complaining can as well be seen as verbal procrastination. It doesn’t get the job done.
11. The anger of wasting the previous day
So you wasted the previous day, but rather than getting up and properly planning how you won’t repeat the same mistake, you spend half of the present-day angry about how you wasted the previous day. Oh look, the day has ended already and you have wasted it again. Would you let tomorrow suffer too? Or would you let go of the anger and make the best out of your day?
Often times the anger that boils inside of us for wasting the previous day could, in turn, make us waste the present. Every time you get upset at something, ask yourself if you were to die tomorrow, was it worth wasting your time being angry? It’s more beneficial and would be of a greater good when we accept a particular situation and find ways to make it better or prevent repeating the same mistakes than dwelling on it. Nothing good comes from staying angry. It only just wastes your time and drain your energy
Regretting falls under the same category as complaining, worrying and anger. It wastes your time. The deed as been done, regretting wouldn’t change it, it would only deprive you of the time you should spend doing something more productive. If you can’t change the situation of things then there is no need beating yourself up about it. If you made a bad choice once then learn from it rather than spend quality time regretting. For every choice we make, we use the experience, information, and intentions available to us in that particular moment in which we make it.
13. Letting your past define you
Instead of moving ahead and unfurling all that the future has installed for you, you allow your past hold you down and define you. Letting your past define you not only totally waste your time but could cause you to be stagnant. Your past does not define you neither does it dictate your future. So those few minutes you spend thinking so much of your past are the few minutes that you can use to do something else or even take a necessary nap.
The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited or erased, it can only be accepted. Don’t waste your time with what’s in the past
14. Overloading your To-Do list
Give yourself too many things to do and you run the risk of not getting many; if any, done. Your mind will be all over the place and you’ll be rushing from A to Z with no time for C and completely forgetting D.
You find yourself getting overwhelmed about all you need to do and wondering where to start from and the moment that creeps in, one begins to feel disorganised and stressed already even without doing anything and that eventually leads to time wastage in the long run. So just try to keep it simple and do the things you can do. You can’t do everything at the same time else you would end up procrastinating and eventually do nothing.
15. No delegation
Delegation involves sharing tasks. When you have so much to do, you can choose to delegate tasks, in order to make things easier on yourself. There are certain urgent tasks that need a lot of our attention as well as time and not being able to delegate certain days or time to these tasks just mixes them up with all other tasks. So schedule the minutes needed to those particular tasks that are capable of coming in between other tasks.
We don’t need to do everything, trying to do everything sometimes eventually makes us do nothing. So if there are tasks that can be delegated then lots of time would be saved if they are delegated to others who can do them.
16. Excessive sleep and Sleep deprivation
It’s no news that sleep plays a crucial role in our brains physiological maintenance. But excessive sleep is of no good and contributes a great deal to wasting our time. Hence, why they use the term “adequate sleep“, meaning not less and not more. However, there is no one amount that is ideal for every one per night. People are different, so it makes sense that the amount of sleep each person needs at night will vary. However, most scientists agree that you should get no less than eight hours in total.
Sleeping may feel like a waste of time, but if you don’t get the right amount of sleep, your time spent awake will be a waste too. You will have less energy to do what you love when awake, and chances are you’ll be too grumpy to enjoy being awake anyways. According to Popsci, your cognitive performance suffers when you have a lack of sleep. Many people think they can function on seven hours of sleep or less. Popsci explains that the problem is most people don’t realize they’re sleep-deprived. If you missed a few hours of sleep last night, you may not realize how it is impairing your work today.
So are you wasting your life by sleeping? Sort of, but your life will be wasted even more if you don’t get the recommended eight hours. Your cognitive functioning will be impaired, and you will end up wasting the time you are awake since you won’t be fully alert. And if you choose to oversleep, well you are obviously wasting precious time.
17. Spending so much time on unnecessary and irrelevant conversations
Of course, a time off to make conversation and laugh a little is surely not a bad thing even if you aren’t having a serious discussion. Everything isn’t all about work obviously. You would have lots of unnecessary and irrelevant conversations (which might not be so irrelevant if you look at it from the perspective of building certain relationships). But the main question would be how much time you put into these so-called irrelevant and unnecessary conversation when you have other important things to do.
Your interactions with others consume as much time, if not more, than any other part of your day. So be intentional and cut down the excessive time spent on such interactions. You can eliminate waste of time by learning time management strategies that can help you build more efficient interaction with others. You can also maximize work performance by improving the quality of your communications.
People are so freaked out about making the wrong choice and travelling down the wrong road that they end up making no choice at all thereby Wasting time, money and energy on the wrong things. When you do not make a decision, life makes the decision for you. However, it doesn’t hesitate to bring anything your way that would help waste your time. The earlier you make a decision, the more time you are able to save for yourself.
PS: With rare exception, the only bad decision is indecision, followed by inaction and indecision often leads to inaction and inaction which often leads to time wastage.
I am very sure you are a victim of more than one of these time wasters listed here. Do not hesitate to highlight the ones you are victims of on this list. Also, feel free to add to the list in the comment section below.