Time wasters are a bad thing. Okay, they’re a VERY bad thing.
So why do we do them?
Now let me set something straight- I am NOT talking about relaxing. We all have to relax at some point, so don’t consider a little rest and relaxation time as a time waster.
But what I am talking about are things that
• Don’t help you relax
• Don’t make you money
• Don’t improve your relationships with loved ones
• Don’t improve your health
• Don’t improve your social status
See where I’m going with this?
Now I know what you might be thinking- “But Colleen, I don’t do ANYTHING that fits that type of description.”
So every single minute of your day is productive doing something good for your life?
I kinda doubt that- and to prove it I want to share a few of the most common time wasters I see all the time.
Time Waster #1: Email
This is- by far- the single time waster most responsible for unproductivity.
How can I say that this amazing thing that has developed over the last 15 years kills productivity?
Well for one thing, it has gotten ridiculous how many emails we send and receive each day. For example if you’re in internet marketing, you may get emails from
• Other IMers
• Software companies
And that’s on top of what you get just from friends and family!
Now obviously you need to stay in communication with these people, right. I’m not saying that you should completely blow off your email, because it’s a great way to stay in touch with your team, family, etc.
What I am saying is to limit how much time you spend on it. Don’t check it 10 or 20 times a day like most people do. Just logging into your email requires a few precious moments that can be used elsewhere.
Plus email is a time waster because you’re likely to take a lot longer to reply to emails. If you know that you only check it once a day for 15 minutes total, you’re going to be VERY brief. In other words, you’ll be handling your time better!
Don’t let your email be a time waster. Manage your email- don’t let your email manage you!
Time Waster #2: Worrying
Do you ever worry about stuff?
Of course you do- we ALL do.
But here’s the thing- worrying doesn’t do anything for you. It doesn’t help you build relationships, make money, anything.
Now I will admit that most of us worry while we are doing other things, right. We don’t usually just sit in a chair and worry about something. Instead we worry about if we’ll meet our income goal this month, or if we’ll pay the bills- all while we’re at work or with our families.
So why is this a time waster if you’re doing something while you worry?
Because multi-tasking does NOT work. Study after study shows that if you focus on just one thing at a time, you’ll do a much better job. By worrying about something while you’re working or with your kids you aren’t going to get the results you want.
Time Waster #3: Social Websites
The internet’s ability to entertain is truly amazing. Sites like Facebook and YouTube can keep us entertained for hours on end, right?
It’s not uncommon for most people to log into these sites “just for a second” and then have an hour fly by before the know it.
This is a HUGE time waster, people. I understand that you’re being entertained- but are you really relaxed? Probably not.
Now if you legitimately can log in just for 5 minutes to watch your favorite inspirational video or something, go for it. Or if that’s how you spend your relaxation time, be my guest.
But just be aware that sites like Facebook and YouTube are some of the most addictive time wasters you’ll ever see. Limit your time on them, or watch other parts of your life suffer the consequences.
Time Waster #4: Television/Video Games/Reading/Entertainment
Maybe I should have lumped these time wasters in with social sites, but I decided not to. Even though these are sources of entertainment just like Facebook and YouTube, they’re a completely different animal.
I say that because when you’re at work, a lot of workplaces don’t have Facebook or YouTube blocked. This means that these can interfere with your work, right?
But a TV, video games or sitting down with your favorite book are things you do at home. We usually do them to “relax”, but the fact is that too much turns them into a time waster.
What’s too much?
It’s up to you, but generally I think 1-2 hours to relax each night is plenty. If you can combine this with time with your family or friends, then it’s even better.
But a very common trend these days is for someone to come home from school or work, plop down on the couch and watch TV or read all night. This is certainly wasting away your life, because there are so many other things you can be doing with your time!
Again, don’t get me wrong- I like these things too. But don’t let these time wasters take up your whole life!
Some of these you may agree with, some you may not. That’s fine.
Either way, I guarantee that you’ll benefit from my next post coming shortly. You might even want to subscribe to my RSS feed so you don’t miss what I have for you!
I’m going to show you some of my very own personal time management strategies. These are methods I’ve used to increase my productivity over 100% in my business and personal life… And it only took me a week to implement them!
I look forward to seeing you on Friday- but until then, cut back on those time wasters!
By the way, let me know one of your worst time wasters by adding your comments below.