We are all guilty of wasting time in our lives, and when we are busier than ever, this can have a negative effect on our productivity and general happiness. Sometimes it’s hard to even notice how we are wasting time – identifying your time-wasting activities is the first step. Here are some habits you need to avoid!
Mindlessly scrolling through social media
Hands up if you find yourself doing this several times a day… We know we do! One minute you’ve picked up your phone to check something and the next you are scrolling through an Instagram dedicated to a man who takes selfies as he sneezes (#Snelfie if you’re curious). When we do this, we seem to lose all sense of time and before we know it the day is over, and we’ve achieved nothing. Set yourself strict times when you can and can’t check social media, and you will notice your focus improve greatly!
Although multitasking seems to be the obvious way to get more done, it actually hinders your productivity! You find that you are switching between tasks which will take more energy than just focusing on one activity and seeing it through to completion. Do one thing at a time until you have finished that thing and see how much quicker you whizz through your todo list.
Checking your emails constantly
The beauty of email is that it doesn’t have to be replied to immediately – otherwise it would be a phone call! Save yourself time and set times during the day that you will check your email and reply, and for the rest of the time, keep it logged out. Otherwise, you will waste your time checking, reading and replying when you could be getting on with things.
A lot of time wasting comes from having disorganized systems. If you have to spend ages finding a file, or remembering what a code means, you are wasting time that could be spent more wisely if you had more efficient organization systems. You don’t have to be militant of course and what works for one person won’t work for another, but just having a system in place to make things quicker and easier will buy you a whole lot of time in the long run.
We are all so easily distracted by things that “need” to be done. Rather than adding them to the todo list for another day, we end up doing those random chores like dusting the light fittings or organizing the cans in the cupboards, which is a waste of time that we could be spending doing something more urgent. It may feel as though you are being productive, but it is just your brain’s way of convincing you that you are doing something useful when you are really wasting time.
If you cut out the time-wasting habits in your life, you will notice an increase in your productivity and the quality of your work. It will give you hours of time back in the long run that you could spend doing much more fulfilling things than searching for documents or scrolling through Facebook. What will you do with all this extra time?