No matter who you are, you have 24 hours at your disposal each day. Between sleep, family duties, work and perhaps a little socialization, many hours are already spoken for. How do you spend any time that’s left over? Where do you focus your energy? Who and what do you surround yourself with? It’s important that any time left is used well. Here are nine tips to help you avoid wasting your precious time.
Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say NO!
Do you ever take on more than you can handle? Try saying “No” a little more often. While it’s important to be a good friend or team player, you don’t have to take on every task someone asks of you. If you spend time doing someone else’s work, you lose that time somewhere else in your life.
Focus on One Major Task Each Day
I’m not suggesting that you only do one thing per day, but it does help to have a guiding light goal. Think about one thing or theme to focus on each day. When you are in between tasks, you won’t find yourself wasting time wondering what to do next. You’ll always have this guiding light goal to come back to.
You Don’t Have to Respond Right Away
Whether it’s a text, a phone call or an email, you can wait to respond, unless it’s something specific that’s time sensitive or needs your attention. Cold calls, random emails or social media notifications can usually wait. Instead choose a time (or a few) to check your messages all at once each day.
Figure Out Your Time-Wasting Triggers
Do you have any triggers that almost always lead to you wasting time? Maybe a coffee break leads to a 35-minute chat about nothing. Do you fall down YouTube holes after watching a single video? Most of us have such triggers, and it’s important to know them so you can avoid them when time is tight.
Make Time for Self-Care
Doing things that are important for your mental and physical health is not a waste of time. Read that again! It might seem weird I would suggest taking time for yourself to save time. Think about it, though. If you get sick, exhausted or burnt out, you will spend a lot of time getting back on track. Scheduling time for self-care means you use your time more effectively in the long term.
How much time do you waste looking for something you misplaced? Making sure everything you need has a logical space is one of the best ways to stop wasting time. Don’t forget to put it back in its place once you’re done with it.
Stop Doom Scrolling
Yes, these are trying times. To make things worse, we are constantly connected to streams of news. It’s easy to scroll Twitter, TikTok or your local news sites consuming constant updates on what’s wrong in the world today. Would you please break this habit? Not only does it waste time, but the negative energy also impacts the rest of your day.
Other People’s Problems Aren’t Yours
You can deliberately choose to refuse to be dragged into office gossip or a friend’s drama. Yes, by all means support those you love, however you don’t have to get involved in everyone’s problems. Why waste time — not to mention energy — worrying about the squabbles are people are involved in.
Build Your Self-Confidence
This might seem like an odd tip for an article on “time management,” however it could be the single-most powerful step you take to stop wasting time. Confident people make quicker decisions, take more decisive action, and don’t need to wait until every detail is perfect. Think about how much time you would save in your life if you could say the same about yourself.
1. What is your most important goal for today or tomorrow? Write down what your main focus will be.
2. Organize one aspect of your life right now. It can be as simple as your desk drawer, your email folders or even your computer’s desktop.
3. What are your time-wasting triggers? Next time you find yourself wasting time, think back and reflect on what may have triggered it.
Donna S. Vieira is a certified Gentle Trauma Release Practitioner and Astro-Empowerment Coach who uses her knowledge of Astrology in sessions with her clients. She’s also a published freelance travel and lifestyle writer, blogger, and editor who has traveled the globe. You can read about some of her travels at FromMyTravelBag.com. She and her chef husband, Fernando, own Globetrotters Bed & Breakfast/Gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, where they have been welcoming guests from around the world since 2002.