It seems to be the Great American Dream to somehow master the art of finding more time in the day to define your dreams, crush your goals, and fit in a bit of self-care. Mastering your time is a constant evolution and something we consistently need to re-evaluate. The best way to assess and master your time is to examine your current routine and find better ways to maximize it. Keeping your focus on making the most out of your time in your personal life will have a healthy impact on your professional life, as well. Let’s take a look at six time-wasting habits that, if changed today, could have a significant impact on your output and quality of life.
1. Procrastinating on Completing Quick Tasks.
It’s human nature to put off tasks that don’t necessarily spark excitement for you. A simple task that only requires a few minutes of your time can quickly cost you an hour if you keep overthinking it, avoiding it, and moving it around on your to-do list. Stop wasting mental energy by pushing it off and make a commitment to just get it done. Your future self will high-five you.
2. Aimless Social Media Scrolling.
It can be quite annoying when people say, “Well, I’m too busy to do…[insert excuse here]” but you see them spending hours scrolling and posting every life event on social media. We’ve forgotten–especially over the past couple of years–that human interaction and connections with others can be far more satisfying and productive than spending time staring at your phone screen. So, put the phone down and schedule a coffee date or phone session with a friend to remain connected and engaged with others. Productivity apps that block or restrict the amount of time you spend on social media can be beneficial in sticking to your goals. For an example as an iPhone user, leverage focus time settings or limits on social media.
3. Binge-watching TV Shows. While “Bored”
While there is nothing wrong with binge-watching TV when you need a night’s rest and unwind from a long day or even week, it should always be done in moderation. Spending hours binging shows rather than spending time interacting with others, exercising, or fitting in self-care activities results in losing valuable time that you will never get back.
4. Having a Disorganized Home or Work Space.
If we’re being honest here, we can admit that we all have an everything drawer, space, or room that holds all of our junk and items that we’ve run out of space for in our house. But clutter doesn’t belong anywhere near the common spaces of your home or in your workspace. This type of disorganization causes unnecessary confusion, stress, and even anxiety. Designating a place for everything in your house creates a mental state of clarity that prevents wasted time looking for lost items, stressing about the mess, or experiencing common domestic injuries. We’ve all had them! Save time by making time to organize your spaces for optimum productivity.
5. Having an Ineffective or Haphazard Daily Routine.
In today’s climate, most of us have earned our honorary degrees from Multi-task University. You name it, we’ve done it: tossing in a load of laundry or throwing meals into the slow cooker between zoom calls, overseeing contractors in your home, or homeschooling kids. While multitasking is a topic for another article, there are better ways to maximize your time that is less stressful and more productivity-focused.
Looking at your upcoming week and planning ahead is a great way to start. By scheduling time to address the big rocks on your plate, you’ll be better prepared when something unexpected comes up. For example, meal prepping and grocery shopping for the entire week on one day to avoid the daily “what are we having for dinner” question can be a serious game-changer. This also saves you money by avoiding impulsive buys at the store by sticking to your recipe list. Planning ahead reduces mental stress and clutter which allows you to use that time for focusing on your family and friends.
6. Saying Yes Too Often.
It’s often been said that if the concept of someone or something doesn’t spark joy, you should say no. Outside of mandatory things like work projects, eating healthy foods, or activities associated with your children, this rule applies to all areas of your life. We have so few opportunities in life to do the things we’re really thrilled about. So, when a mundane, time-consuming task or appointment tries to sit in the middle of your hectic calendar, don’t be afraid to give it the boot. Delegate when necessary to ensure you have the time to complete your critical tasks while still fitting in time for yourself. Once again, your future self will thank you when you look down at that blank space on your calendar. Don’t forget to spend that time doing something that makes you feel alive.
Hamilton Raye is Your Outsourced Admin® organization focused on providing Founders, Executives, and Leadership with reliable, professional, and trustworthy support to unlock their most valuable asset: TIME. For more helpful blogs and articles on maximizing time management, productivity, and efficiency, visit our website.