As human beings, we tend to waste time. We set out to do something and waste hours procrastinating until it’s almost too late. The amazing thing is that we know we are supposed to be doing something but still push it away until later. The nagging feeling that tells us we should be doing something else important with our time.
The downside is that we always feel overwhelmed with our tasks and fall behind on schedule because we wasted time before executing them. These are core attributes of poor time management, and a lot of people suffer from this.
It is worse now with the prevalence of social media. People will spend every hour of their free time checking trending topics, gossip, memes, gifs, and podcasts. Some don’t even get enough sleep. And the effect? They wake up the next day, too tired to be productive.
Why Is Time Wasted?
Social media is the most significant culprit behind time wastage. The amount of time people spend on social media doing unproductive things is alarming. Statistics show that that 3.5 billion people use social media worldwide – 90.4% of millennials, 77.5% of Gen X, and 48.2 % of baby boomers; The average time per person is over 3 hours daily.
It is hard to go out and not find at least one person scrolling through their screen, even when doing other things and being with other people. The content on the internet is designed to pull you in and demand your attention. People spend a lot of time, consuming this content, sometimes to the detriment of other things.
Not planning your day.
It sounds like a no-brainer – if you do not plan your day and schedule a time slot for different activities, you might waste more time in certain areas. However, it is shocking how many people wake each day without a plan. They just jump from task to task without any direction. Randomness is easy to disrupt. It is easy to focus on things that you should not be doing because you failed to plan for the things you should be doing. Waking up to another day without a concrete plan does not cut it. You need to make concrete plans before entering any day. Without a plan, you are most likely to waste your time through the day without achieving any goals.
People can be incredibly lazy. It probably has something to do with inertia and the body’s unwillingness to do anything at first without involving willpower. Laziness is a problem that everyone battles with but is especially prevalent with the younger generation. Until they hit 18 and leave high school, younger kids depend on their parents for everything, and most parents indulge them. They spend hours on their phones, playing games, and at parties. Their parents always step in to fill their slack by cleaning up after them, cooking, doing their laundry, etc. The downside is that they come to expect other people to do it for them, even when they feel lazy.
Poor time management.
Some people do not appreciate the value of their time. If a friend were to walk up to you to grab money out of your purse, you would know how to call them to order because you know you need that money. But if a friend walked up to you with juicy gossip to waste your time, you would indulge them because you don’t know what you should be doing with your time instead.
Once you don’t value time, you will waste it. You have to see your time as an asset, like money (check out how to make money online in 2021). When you are careless about your time, it only shows that you have not learned to value time.
Disorganization makes you waste precious time either looking for stuff or trying to arrange your stuff. A disorganized environment is detrimental to your productivity; because your environment affects your mental state. Know this; you are wasting tons of time by keeping your desk untidy. Keep your workspace tidy and make your work more enjoyable.
Why Am I Wasting So Much Time?
We know that there are things we should be doing, yet we fail to do them when we have to. Instead, we focus on other things that are less important in the grand scheme of things. When this happens, you feel like you are wasting your time because you haven’t done the things that you are supposed to. After all, no one ever feels like they have wasted their time when they do the things they need to at the time they are supposed to. In fact, that’s a big mark of productivity, and we feel fulfilled after we have achieved them.
The haunted feeling you have about wasting your time is because you choose to spend your time on things that don’t mean anything to you. You feel haunted and guilty because deep inside, you know you should remain true to yourself by doing something else that matters.
There are so many reasons that cause people to waste time, even when they know what they should be doing. However, the chief of them all is the lack of motivation. The absence of motivation can be disastrous. Motivation is what drives you to continue to strive for the things you want. It comes in any form and can mean different things to different people.
Once you are motivated to do something, there is always an inspiration to change. Without that motivation, life spirals into a vicious cycle of procrastination. Suddenly, you don’t feel the need to make changes, even though you know you have to. If you are not motivated to do certain tasks so they put it off for as long as they can.
What Wastes the Most Time?
The biggest time-waster is a distraction. When you do anything asides from the things you are supposed to, they become distractions. It doesn’t matter the inspiration behind it. As long it takes you away from your goals and purpose, it becomes a distraction.
Some of us set out to do the right thing, and just as we are about to begin, a call, text, or mail comes in that drags our attention away from important tasks. Distractions are inevitable, which is why disciplined individuals do everything they can to eliminate or reduce exposure to them.
You won’t be able to get anything done if something keeps drawing your attention away from your task every few seconds. When you lose focus on what is important, you risk wasting resources, harming your progress, and ruining your short-term and long-term goals. Check out my motivational quotes for work which will help you to focus and work smarter.
What Time Waste Is Ok
It would be pedantic to label everything asides from work as a time-waster. There are things that appear to be a time waster but have value to us. For example, socializing with your friends and family is not a waste of time. The value you create from socializing is essential for your mental health.
Perfectionists may go overboard and decide to eliminate all forms of socialization from their lives to focus on work. Don’t turn down your friends to focus on work alone. Doing social things is important for your physical and mental health. You should find a way to balance it carefully with work. Remember that what makes a thing a time-waster is the intention behind it.
Procrastination and Wasting Time
Procrastination is a big problem that many of us are guilty of. When we have something we don’t feel like doing, our brains can come up with amazing ways to avoid doing them until the very last minute. The ridiculous part is the sudden interest in things we would never be caught doing before. Someone who usually hates cleaning can find fun rearranging and cleaning their space because it is an excuse to avoid their tasks.
It is ironic because procrastination only makes you feel guilty and eats away at your mind. To eliminate that guilt, you throw yourself into even more distractions to avoid dealing with it, creating a vicious cycle that feeds your procrastination. Procrastination, if not checked, can have disastrous results. In a work environment, it could even cost you your future career.
How then can you keep procrastination in check?
1. Understand why you procrastinate.
There are reasons why we procrastinate and turn to time wasters. Most times, it is because we find the task unpleasant. When you find the job too boring to garner your full attention, you will spend that time doing something else.
2. Have strategies to prevent your procrastination triggers.
We all have signs that lead up to procrastination, like that little voice that coerces you to pay attention to what they deem more interesting and important. Once you identify what those triggers are, it helps you eliminate and set up defenses against them. Remember, out of sight is out of mind. If you know that anything around you will trigger you to leave your task, eliminate them.
With organization, you focus on what’s important and reduce procrastination. You begin to see what procrastination will cost you. Put the easy tasks first and build momentum towards the more difficult ones. As you complete each task, you begin to feel less overwhelmed.
How to Stop Wasting Time on the Internet
It is not going to be easy, and you might not get it right the first time because the temptation to hit the internet will always be there. You need the internet for so many things, including work. But because many things call you attention, you can end up in a rabbit hole and forget your work.
1. Regulate your use of social media.
We are hardwired to search for social connections; we crave that connection and satisfy it with the use of social media. One way to avoid wasting time on the internet is to shut off your social media. Before beginning a task, log out of all your accounts, freeze the apps, or delete them from your phone. It will be quite a new habit to adapt to, but it is worth it.
2. Schedule your internet time.
You schedule the time you spend on every other thing; your internet time should not be an exception. Instead of leaving yourself free to hop on the internet willy-nilly, limit yourself to only specific times.
3. Have a work-specific device.
If your current situation requires you to work with the internet, and you cannot resist the temptation, you can always get a device that is specific for work. The only things permissible are work-related stuff. Put your other devices out of sight and reach and just focus on work until it is time to take a break.
How to Stop Wasting Time on Phone
1. Turn off your notifications.
There is no need to interrupt yourself with every little sound your phone makes. One way to reduce that distraction is to turn off the notifications for as many apps as you can, especially your social apps.
2. Don’t take your device.
Your phone should not be the last thing you see at night or the first thing you see in the morning. It is a bad bed-habit. By keeping your phone out of your bed, you reduce the temptation to start the say under an avalanche of news, updates, and messages.
3. Stay accountable.
Some apps can help you keep track of the amount of time you spend on your phone. You can set goals like the specific amount of usage you want to get from your phone and stick to it.
How to Not Waste Time and Study
There is a technique called the Pomodoro Technique that makes studying easy and less hectic. The technique involves using a timer to break down your task into intervals, typically 25 minutes long, separated by short breaks in between. Each interval is called a Pomodoro.
The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the late 80s by then university student Francesco Cirillo who found it hard to focus on his studies and complete his assignments. Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, he challenged himself to spend just 10 minutes on focused studying. Encouraged by the level of commitment he showed, he found a tomato (called Pomodoro in Italian) shaped timer, and the technique was born.
Students who find studying at a stretch a challenge will benefit from using the Pomodoro Technique. It helps you cut out distractions, maximize your time while encouraging interest in your studies.
The Pomodoro Technique is simple and easy to follow, which makes it quite popular. Here’s the basic strategy behind the technique
1. Get a to-do list and a timer.
2. Set your timer for 25 minutes, and focus on just one task until the timer rings.
3. When your interval ends, tick off one Pomodoro and record what you have accomplished.
4. Enjoy a five-minute break.
5. After four Pomodoros, take a longer, more therapeutic break for 15-30 minutes.
Do the following to make the most of the Pomodoro Technique for your studies and manage your time well.
1. Break down complex tasks.
If your chosen study subject requires more than four pomodoros to complete, divide it into smaller, more actionable steps to make your progress clearer.
2. Put small, simple tasks together.
You can add up any task that takes less than one Pomodoro together. For example, “grab your note,” “turn off your phone,” “read one article on the subject,” can go in one interval.
3. Once you set a Pomodoro, it must ring.
The Pomodoro is indivisible and cannot be broken, especially to reply to messages, emails, or chats. Mark any request or message that comes in to check later during a break. In the event that something unavoidable disrupts, take your 5-minute break to address the issue, then start again. Francesco suggests that you keep track of these interruptions as they occur and reflect on how to avoid them for your next study session.
Stop Wasting Time Quotes
“If time is of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.” – Benjamin Franklin.
“There’s no good way to waste your time. Wasting time is just wasting time.” – Helen Mirren.
“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.” – Eva Young.
“If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.” – Billy Joel.
“When you kill time, remember it has no resurrection.” – Aiden Wilson Tozer.
Stop Wasting Time Memes
Every second in a day of your time is irreplaceable, so you should learn how to value it. You need to know that time is irreversible and that life is measured in time. If you fathom the importance of time, you will never waste it on frivolous activities. When you begin to view time as a gift, you will use that gift judiciously. Use your today well, because today will never come again. When it is gone, it is gone forever. So, utilize it well.
Make your time count, and your life will count. Time is precious, carpe diem!