As an entrepreneur, especially working on your own, I am sure you have come to realize what your biggest time waster is and just how precious time is? It is so easy to get stuck doing something mundane and suddenly your day is almost done and you haven’t gotten nearly enough work done or even done half of your to-do list.
We are all guilty of wasting time on certain tasks, and in this post, I am going to look at the five most common time thieves.
Is One Of These Your Biggest Time Waster?
Let’s see if you are guilty of any of them and look at some ways to manage your time a bit better so that you can get the most out of your precious day.
Even if you’re one of the more dedicated and organized people out there, you still waste time. Whether you work from home or in the office, we’re all guilty of getting distracted and losing focus. It may not be deliberate and you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it until it’s too late.
Here are the top five…..
It’s become a vital part of our lives. But the world won’t stop turning if you don’t look at your social media or your phone for 15 minutes.
Another big distraction is hearing that too familiar ‘ding’ that comes with a new email or text message. It prevents you from finishing the task at hand because you ‘have to’ keep looking at your phone every few minutes.
Picture this scenario: you’re in the middle of some important work when your phone beeps. You reach for your phone to see your incoming message. So, you go from message to email to Facebook to Instagram. Then, when you’re done, you notice that 20 minutes have gone by.
Research shows that each time you get distracted, even for a couple of minutes, your brain needs about 20 minutes to refocus again. Imagine how much wasted time that amounts to by the end of the day!
Avoid randomly checking social media, emails, or texts. Instead, set up a certain time during your day for doing just that. In the meantime, turn off any notifications or mute your phone.
Checking The News
In this day and age, it seems something is happening in the news every five minutes. So, it’s easy to use the news as an excuse for procrastination. After all, we all want to be in the loop when it comes to politics, sports, and local news.
Force yourself to stay away from checking news updates every half hour. You can use sheer self-discipline, or you can use a site blocker.
Another great fix is the Stay Focused Chrome app. It helps you ‘hide’ certain websites for, say, 45 minutes. Then, tell the app you want to spend 20 minutes on the so-and-so website. After the 20 minutes are done, the app will block you again until your next break.
Organizing And Preparing
You’re probably wondering: how is this a time-waster? But too often we fall down the rabbit hole of ‘organizing’ our day. Sometimes, we take it so far that we actually run out of time to do any of the things on our list.
Find an online planner and to-do-list. Then, pick one day out of the week where you plan out the whole seven days in advance.
Schedule in all your work-related projects, meetings, and deadlines. You can also include a workout schedule and get-togethers with friends.
Multitasking is another thing that we do to trick ourselves into believing we’re being more productive. Yet, the sad truth is, multitasking wastes a ton of time.
It’s counter-productive when your attention is divided among several tasks at once. In other words, it’s just another form of distraction.
It’s simple. Just put all your attention and focus on one task at a time. When you’re done, move on to the next task, and so on.
Errands And Chores
The problem isn’t with the errands or chores themselves; it’s when you do them. Running errands during rush hour is one of the biggest time wasters ever!
Doing chores is another. You might be sitting at your desk, working away when you notice a dusty shelf or a cluttered drawer. So, you do the responsible thing and start dusting and decluttering.
You tell yourself that it’ll only take five minutes. Then, when you’re done cleaning the entire room/office, the day is over! And you still haven’t finished what you were initially working on.
Plan your errands ahead when you know there’ll be less traffic. Also, try to do your shopping when you know the stores won’t be as crowded and they’re in their least peak hours.
As for chores, set up one or two days during the week when you do all the dusting, cleaning, and decluttering. This way, even if you see catches your attention, you can push back in your mind and wait until ‘chore day’ rolls around.
A Final Note
We all get the same amount of time each day: 86,2400 seconds, 1,440 minutes, or 24 hours. It’s up to you to figure out how you’re going to spend that time.
Sadly, many of us spend our days doing things that don’t really add any value to our lives—or anyone else’s for that matter.
The good news is you can train yourself to focus more and have fewer distractions. Make a conscious effort to add purpose and value to your life and follow through.
You’ll soon notice you’re getting more done during your day than ever before!
Please comment below if you have any of your own biggest time wasters to add to the list.
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