Day 15: Identify and defeat your time wasters

Let’s face it – everyone wastes time sometimes…I think the key is to be intentional and deliberate in how and when you allow wasting time to exist in your life.  All time wasters are not created equal.  Some serve an actual purpose {and therefore maybe aren’t technically “wasting” time} – others steal seconds and minutes that add up into big chunks of time…and then we wonder why we never have enough time…can’t get as much done as Susie does… I think there are at least 2 types of time wasters:

conscious:  I’m ready to wind down for the night or relax and I’m going to spend 30 minutes or an hour on xyz…

unconscious:  I glance at email during school and 30 minutes and 10 rabbit trails later, I realize we need to move on to the next part of our day…

I think when conscious time wasters are used judiciously, they can be of benefit to life – unconscious time wasters are pretty much always a loss.

Step 1:  Identify your time wasters.  Where/when do you get swept away on something you never planned?

  • internet/email/blogs/Pinterest – technology keeps us constantly connected, so this can happen almost anywhere and at any time
  • day dreaming or sitting around doing nothing
  • watching tv
  • gaming – Angry Birds, Candy Crush or whatever game is the latest craze?
  • diy project/crafting – intent is good, but the timing is wrong
  • shopping for no reason
  • commute/stuck in traffic – when we lived in Raleigh, leaving 5 minutes earlier for work could make for a 30+ min shorter commute
  • dawdling to finish a task – 3-5 minutes tacked on to the end of every part of your day adds up significantly over the course of a day/week

And I’m sure there are a pile more…look at your life and think about when and where you waste time.  Are you investing your time in a manner that you can be proud of?  I can so quickly get lost in reading blog posts or looking at all the eye-candy on Pinterest.  Those things aren’t bad in and of themselves, they just have a time and a place and need boundaries.

time is precious

Step 2:  Make decisions about how and when you will utilize time wasters – be intentional about it!

  • We watch TV for a bit at night after the kids are in bed as a way to wind down and sometimes when I’m cooking dinner – I try not to turn it on during every chore – if I turn on the TV while folding laundry, I’m apt to sit there long after the laundry is folded
  • I have 2 or 3 blogs I quickly check every morning and then that’s it for blogs until school is finished and my day is much further along
  • I try to stick in a book if we’re going out for an afternoon of errands and keep my tablet nearby when we’re out-of-the-house – it’s easy to return a quick convo or tweak a listing while Brad’s driving and that is time reclaimed
  • I don’t spend a lot of time on Pinterest, and when I do, I try to only visit late at night after kids are in bed or early in the morning before they’re up – I know I can get lost there for way too long
  • I like to play online games A LOT – I’m a puzzle/game girl – I got hooked on Candy Crush a few months back and shudder to think how much time I wasted there.  I have since really tried to limit and plan any game time – a quick game while Brad’s pumping gas or on the phone, but not the whole time we’re driving in the car…play a little bit at night while we’re watching TV but not for hours on end…and for the most part, not at all during the day, it’s just too easy to get swept away.
  • I’m all about a good diy project or craft, but it’s also easy to do something “fun” like that and neglect the laundry, meals and other important tasks.
  • When it’s school time, I keep my email down and only use my laptop to record our progress in Evernote – I don’t want to steal that time from my children

My goal during the day is to be present for my family and time wasters interfere with that.  Think through the time wasters in your life – make a list and then ask your husband/spouse for their take.  Brad and I spend so much time together that he can sometimes see things I overlook or excuse in my own life…his perspective can be invaluable.  It is inevitable that we will waste some time in life, but we can also orient our lives such that we leverage time and get the most out of it as possible.  I know that’s what I want for my life!

What are your biggest time wasters?

31 Days, ThriveJodi1 Comment