10 ways you waste time every day
Pick a few to quit and you’ll free up precious time for the things that matter — your studies, your family and yourself
At a Glance: Put a limit on the time-wasters you engage in every day, such as checking email and spending way too long on Facebook.
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 45 seconds
Any of these classic time-wasters look familiar? You can squeeze some extra time out of your busy day if you identify and stop doing them now! Check out this list to see where you can find a few extra minutes in your day.
No, you haven’t gotten one since you looked a minute ago. Get into the habit of checking email just three set times a day; say 9 am, noon and 4 pm. (Might not be bad to set a similar rule for Facebook, too.) Creating rules around these classic disruptors will help you control your time.
Looking for your phone or keys
Make a list of the items you regularly misplace and resolve to get them under control. Decide on the one place in the home you will always leave these items. Now, focus on setting it absolutely nowhere but there. If that fails, TrackR or another tracking device might be the solution to mindlessly keep tabs on your belongings.
Doing things your kids can do
After all, even a 6-year-old is capable of putting toys away. Brainstorm together the things they can take off your plate. You’ll probably have to issue reminders, but if that takes less time than doing the actual chore, it’s a win.
Even worrying about paying bills can be a time-suck, not to mention paying them. If you haven’t automated every last bill payment yet, take a little time to do that now. Though it takes time to set up, automation is so worth it in the long run.
Whether you tend to slip into the black hole of news, Netflix or Facebook, try to put a cap on it. Set strict limits for yourself and try to enforce them. These are some of the biggest time-wasters we contend with these days!
When diving into any type of task or project, silence your phone. Let the kids know that when the door’s closed, interruptions are emergency only. Put headphones on to deter coffee shop or workplace conversations and distractions. The goal is to focus while you're working.
If you’re someone who often takes forever to make decisions, from what to make for dinner to your paper topic, focus on cutting down your decision-making time. Don’t overthink. Go with your gut. Set a timer for a couple minutes to help keep you honest, especially with clear decision-making trouble spots.
When there’s something you really need to do, such as finishing a paper or studying for a test, do you start running around doing less pressing things (think: organizing junk drawers and folding socks)? If you feel yourself giving attention to busywork instead of the real thing, try to shift your focus back to the priority.
Don’t waste precious time on complaining, negativity and gossip. If you find yourself circling back to the same topics, take note. Make plans to change the situation — or work on letting it go.
Life is about more than work. Take breaks to de-stress and connect, even if it’s just a 10-minute walk around the block with the kids. Little breaks really can make you more productive. Plus, you’ll be happier, which is worth everything.
You'll feel the difference in your day by reining in just a few of these time-wasters. Tackle a few that feel approachable and feel the benefits of your efforts.