Time is like money. We need to guard our time because so many things contend for our time. And when time is wasted, all that happens is that we end up feeling stressed, unproductive, or even burnt out.
Organizing our time first of all takes giving accountability for our time. In some ways we ‘redeem’ our time when we organize our time. But there are some thing that we need to be careful of that can eat into our time even unknowingly and these are the time wasters to avoid.
Here’s how to avoid time wasting things and habits :
1 Losing track of time
It is easily done. We can easily forget time is gone. It never ceases to amaze me how people get by without a watch. My watch is my companion. I feel ‘lost’ without it. Chuck is one person who hardly wears a watch…but then I am constantly ‘nagging’ him about how much time has gone
But each to their own! However, learning from my ‘frustrations’ with Chuck and having to be his time keeper clearly spells to me that if you are not conscious of time, time will fly.
You will not know how much time has been spent on a particular task. You may think that you have only ‘spent’ 10 minutes when in actual fact 27 minutes has gone.
Don’t work aimlessly without knowing if time is going. You will be unpleasantly surprised otherwise
2 Social Media
Like it or not, social media is here to stay. Majority of us have smart phones and therefore use social media. In fact, let me add the internet to this point.
Social media and internet can bite into your time. Here are some interesting figures on how much time we are spending on social media a day. It states for example that globally, people spend more than 50 minutes a day across Facebook’s suite of apps (not including WhatsApp).
Maybe I hear you think, it is only 50 minutes. Well think again, that is a big chunk of your time, nearly an hour. And how much of that time is really improving our lives. Liking, commenting, sharing or uploading our latest selfie is hardly making us feel more content or happier. Quite a few content is SPAM and we do see somethings that are stranger than fiction…not to talk of ‘friends’ that exaggerate their lives!
We need to be jealous of our time when it comes to social media else we can find that we have spent a great amount of time doing basically not much! Or even becoming addicted to social media..oh yes…we do see our friends now and again posting that they are taking a break from Facebook and so on…that is because they know that social media has got out of hand.
3 Phone Talk
It is amazing how much time we spend on the time. BT (a telephone UK company), used to say It is good to talk. Yes, I sure do subscribe to talking. Talking is good therapy. A lot of people can feel a lot better just by talking.
However, we must also be careful of this time eater. Spending hours talking, gossiping even about anything and nothing can suck your time. Before you know it, you have spent an entire evening having a good chinwag doing nothing but yapping away.
If a quick text can suffice instead of a phone call that will end up being lengthy and endlessly chatty, then go for it. Remember a lot of time, people are just complaining too, which just leaves you feeling a lot drained wishing you had never spoken to them in the first place!
Now you are thinking this is something you have no control over…yes and no. What you do when stuck in traffic or waiting for a delayed train or plane can cut down on a lot of frustration. If you waiting for a bus or even a delayed one, you can still using your time productively other than being on social media 🙂
You can reply to an email, read something worthwhile, write out your vision for a project you have been planning, do some worthwhile research on the internet or something that moves your day or life ahead.
If you are stuck in traffic, well…you can see if there is an alternative route using a route planner app. Or you can listen to an audiobook or an inspirational message/podcast. Please do not use the time to text or make phone calls. Remember it is illegal in the UK to even touch your mobile phone when the engine is running even if you are stationary!
I really am no fan of meetings so no surprise that perhaps I am biased and that meetings appear on this list.
Of course we can’t achieve anything without meaningful meetings. Note the word ‘meaningful’. However, some meetings just go on and on. There is no specific agenda, neither is it planned well. A lot of talk with no resulting action.
Meetings have a place and there should be meetings. But there must be clarity as to why a meeting is being held, and what the meeting is about. Someone must take charge of the meeting. Hopefully there will be minutes so that the same thing is not dragged into the next meeting!
People must keep to the meeting agenda and what the meeting agenda is about.
Also with the advent of online meetings, there is not always the need for a physical meeting. There are travelling times involved in getting to onsite meetings and if the meeting can still be achieved online, why get people to spend time in traffic (see point 4) for 3 hours for an hour long meeting?
Just food for thought!