Sometimes we need to realize that time is not some renewable resource or can be bought from some store. Sometimes we forget the wise words of our ancestors, “time & tide, wait for none,” & keep spending in a manner that we have got plenty of it. Let us be clear that taking a break to recharge ourselves is not wasting time. But ‘let me scroll through the news feed five more minutes,’ that’s how it starts. In today’s article, we will discuss fruitful ways to Stop Wasting Your Time.
How To Stop Wasting Time
1. Put your phone on DND Mode
Smartphones are a device of distraction. We love to hear our phone’s notification sounds. Checking our notifications helps us to feel good. The text is typically the bank offering a personal loan or some offer from the store that you would never avail of. As humans, defying the urge to check our text messages is a challenging battle to win against ourselves.
The problem lies in something other than the urge to check the message. Once we open the phone, we read the text message and look at the other notifications. You notice that if someone liked your Facebook post or comments, you waste another 20 minutes scrolling through the news feed.
Social media apps have learned the trick to captivate your attention for long hours. As a victim, you become interrupted while studying, working, or doing something important. Therefore, putting your phone on DND (Do Not Disturb) mode is wise when you are in the middle of something important.
2. Use Websites Instead of Apps
An app for social media platforms makes usage simpler & user-friendly. On the other hand, apps can create addiction because they can send you notifications while websites cannot. Almost all of these apps also have a website. For example, you can use Facebook as an app or website on the browser by using www.facebook.com. The same goes for YouTube, Twitter, & Instagram.
Using the website takes extra effort compared to using an app. For example, the website needs you to open a browser, type the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) & then wait for a couple of seconds to load. Apps can do all this with a touch on your phone screen. You must use that extra effort needed for the website to your benefit. As human beings, we prefer to spend only what is necessary. The extra effort required for the website helps overcome the urge.
3. Log out of websites like YouTube, Facebook
Most social media networks nowadays work on Machine Learning. By analyzing your usage, social media knows accurately what you like & dislike. For example, if you like cooking videos, many recommendations for such videos will pop up. YouTube even recognizes what videos you like watching based on the time of the day. When you log out, media platforms like this have no idea who you are or what you like.
Try to open an incognito browser window & check what videos show up. You may like the videos shown there less. Further, logging out each time & logging in again demands some extra effort. As mentioned in the earlier tip, any extra effort leads to less enticement.
4. Use Time Slots
Work within time slots whenever possible. You can set the first 1 hour of your day to learn & advance in your area of expertise. You can spend the next 1 hour working on any tasks connected to your goals. Then you can spend the third-hour checking emails & so on.
When you work in time slots like these, you can make better overall development. If not, you may drift from one task to another without a clear direction. One task can be extended when another might be cut short. As a result, you need proper planning to jump from one task to another. This is one of the best Ways to Stop Wasting Your Time.
5. Be Aware of Your Time Thieves
Be brutal in cutting out the activities which do not add value to your life. Being aware of where your ‘time thieves’ is the first step to making the most of your available time. You can start by pinpointing the moments during the day which are spent unproductively & work on sinking them. Watching how much time you spend on social media is a major area to be concerned about.
Do you often find yourself looking through your social media profiles only to realize an hour has passed without your knowledge? If so, perhaps you should limit & shorten the amount of time you spend on the internet. How about the amount of time you spend in front of the TV every day?
Suppose your daily routine involves coming home from work mentally & physically exhausted, only to spend the next hours unthinkingly watching TV shows you have no interest in. In that case, you are wasting your precious time. Think about all your passion projects, side businesses, or hobbies you can start & do with the extra time.
6. Do Not Try to Multitask
It may sound ironic, but you are wasting time trying to do more in less time. Multitasking is highly considered in this era of competition, but it does more harm than good. According to research, the human brain lacks the rational & neural structures to execute multitasking. Our concentration spans & areas of control are tied to focus on one thing at a time.
The materialization of multitasking is task-switching or drifting between two activities within a given period. Multitasking wastes time as it gives you a fake sense of security that you can juggle multiple tasks at the same time. In reality, you might be doing the work without the concentration needed to do your work well. This puts you at risk of dull performance or repeating the task repeatedly. Employing adequate timings & schedules for all your tasks gives you a chance to get things done the first time.
With ample planning, you have enough room to inspect the details without getting overwhelmed. This makes you more proficient & as a result, it puts your time to better use.
7. Set an End Time for a Break:
Whenever we finish a task, we feel we deserve a break. The problem is outside the number of breaks we took. The problem is how long the break goes. Sometimes we would complete a task in 30 minutes and convince ourselves we deserve a 5-minute break before we move to the next task. That five-minute break would turn into a thirty-minute break. Set the time to end your break & get back to work.
If you decide to take a 10-minute break, the break ends in precisely 10 minutes. Even if you are catching up with someone important to you, the break should end in 10 minutes.
8. Adhere To The 2-minute Rule
The 2-minute rule was described by David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done. The rule says if you come across any task or a job that requires 2 minutes or less to complete, you should do it then & there without pushing it back. Trying to do the task later, remembering crucial areas & then doing it can take five or more minutes.
In some cases, you may forget it totally. You are just about to go for a break & an email arrives that calls for a quick reply. Do it immediately if you are taking a break & recall an urgent phone call you had to make. Pick up the phone & make the call. As a rule of thumb, if you can complete a job quickly, do it right there. Never procrastinate.
9. Do Something You Love
The most efficient way to stop wasting time is to work on something you love. You do not have to do that as a full-time job. For example, if you want to run a business, you can start a small venture, even with a full-time job. You can even chase a long-forgotten hobby. Did you dream about playing guitar in your school days? Pick up the guitar & spend some minutes every day.
Doing something you love provides a catalyst for ignoring things that waste your time. Working on what you love provides an adrenaline rush. The adrenaline helps you to throw the other distractions out.
To stop wasting time can take a long time. The first step is accepting that you are wasting time. If you work lengthy hours, you will have a tough time convincing yourself that you are wasting time. You must find your biggest time-wasting habits & then build the regulation to overcome those habits. Expect to get rid of these time-wasting habits after a while. It may take weeks or even months. Have the discipline & persistence to target the improvement & organize your lifestyle according to those principles. Here are some ways to stop wasting your time.