February 7

Make Every Second Count

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5 Simple Tips to Stop Wasting Time

In this video, we’ll look at 5 easy tips to stop wasting time. You’ll also find resources to help you eliminate distractions so you can not only make everyday count, but make every second count.

Let’s get started.

5 of the Biggest Timewasters of Your Day

Even if you’re dedicated and organized, the reality is you still likely waste time. Whether at work or at home, 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 five ways you waste time every day.

Stop Scrolling on Social Media, Email, and Texts

Yes, social media, email, and texts have become a vital part of our lives. But the world won’t stop turning if you don’t look at your social media for 15 minutes.

It’s a big distraction to hear that familiar ‘ding’ with every new email or text message that comes through. Your time is precious and if you keep being distracted by looking at the latest notification, you lose productivity from completing your tasks.

Research shows that each time you get distracted, your brain needs more than 20 minutes to refocus. Imagine how much wasted time that amounts to at the end of the day!

The Fix: 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.

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 too far that we actually run out of time to do any of the things on our list.

The Fix: Find an online planner and create a to-do-list. Then, pick one day out of the week where you plan out the whole seven days in advance. Schedule in work-related projects, meetings, and deadlines. You can also include a workout schedule and get-togethers with friends.

Multitasking

Another thing that we do to trick ourselves into believing we’re being productive by doing several things at once. At first glance, it seems like we are using best of our time by being so productive. And 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. Ultimately, it’s just another form of distraction.

The Fix: It’s simple. Just put all your attention and focus on one task at a time. When you’re done then move on to the next task.

Checking the News

Nowadays, it seems something is happening in the news every five minutes, or sooner. Because of this, 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.

The Fix: 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.
One great example 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.

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’re initially working on.

The Fix: 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 something 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: 86,240 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!

About the author

James Brauer

James Brauer, Ed.D., MBA is currently a school administrator of an online public virtual school serving students throughout the state of Iowa. Previously, Brauer served as an assistant principal and special education teacher. He is passionate about leadership and management, health and wellness, and personal development.


Tags

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