down the drain

If you love life, don’t waste time,

for time is what life is made up of.

Bruce Lee

Do you ever find yourself falling into the trap of wasting time? Time is an extremely valuable commodity! When you waste your precious time, you are actually keeping yourself from achieving the things you desire.

And, as often as we discuss time management, many people cannot figure out where the time goes, or how it slips through their fingers. Or, perhaps they don’t want to know. Either way, the management of your time will only be successful, freeing you up to those things you’d rather be doing if you cut off some of the things that drain it and you.

Here is a short list of some of the top time wasters. If you find yourself spending too much time on any of these activities, you might consider trying to change some of your habits so that your time can be more productive and rewarding.

1. Worrying. Many people will waste their time worrying doomsday about things they have no influence to change. This is simply unproductive and bad for your health, mind, and spirit. If you have something troublesome or worrisome coming up, devise a plan of positive action on paper, then let it go. After all, worrying will not accomplish anything positive.

2. Television. We live in a couch potato society! People schedule their lives around their favorite television shows and then spend less time doing more important activities like attending social events that could strengthen their relationships. If all else fails, record your favorite TV shows and watch them during your leisure time. Or better yet, put a finite limit on your TV intake to just a few hours a week.

3. Video and Computer Games. This is becoming such a time waster that gamers are actually developing what is called “gamers thumb,” a repetitive stress injury. Again, the best approach to this malady is to set time limits for yourself and your children. Also take the time to help your children understand why this is important.

4. The internet. Are you constantly checking your email or browsing Facebook or Twitter? Are your putting off your family and friends too often when they ask that you spend time with them? Keep your time on social media sites short, of course unless you are getting paid for it, and get involved in life. Instead of chatting with your online friends, spend more time with your real-life friends and family!

5. Telephone. Certainly, we like to call old friends and chat them up. But do you chat on the phone all day long? If you do, you may find that you getting very little else done all day. Keep phone calls to a minimum or set a timer for yourself. This way you won’t feel deprived of a good conversation, but it won’t take over your whole day.

6. Commuting. Many of us spend a tremendous amount of time traveling to and from work. You can turn your commuting time into productive time.

  • You can try carpooling or taking the bus, subway or train to work. You can then use this time to read, plan your day, complete paperwork, or even relax your mind before a productive day.?
  • If you drive, you can listen to inspiring and informative CDs or tapes to will help sharpen your mind. You can also use it to catch up on your favorite novel. Much of this can be downloaded to your iPod or other device for playback en route to work.

7. Hobbies. Yes, some people can become so obsessed with their hobbies that they don’t, or won’t make time to do anything else. They rush home from work so that they can get to work on their hobby. If this is you, try scheduling your hobby time so that you are not not skipping meals, missing family time, or cutting into other productive time.

8. Daydreaming. It is often fun and quite healthy to dream about career ambitions or future aspirations. But when those dreams keep you from taking the appropriate actions in your life, then you are wasting time. Avoid getting bogged down with too much dreaming. Make a list of your goals or dreams, then take action to make those dreams come true.

9. Meetings. Although necessary, and often mandatory, meetings are one of the biggest time wasters of our workday.

  • If you’re in charge of meetings, set definitive time-frames for them and stick to your stated time.
  • Limit the length of your meetings by keeping needless chatter and side-agendas out of the meeting.

10. Planning. If you do not make the time to plan out your day, the important things you need to accomplish may never get done, or may be rush jobs. Write down your daily goals and tasks. Schedule your day in the order of your top priorities.

There are many ways people waste time in their everyday lives. But with a little effort, and planning, you can avoid many of the time-wasting activities and turn that time into a productive advantage.

Photo Credit: chrisjfry via Compfight cc