Last Updated on August 4, 2022
Many things can waste your time during the day, and if you’re not careful, you can easily lose an hour or more without realizing it. That can be a big problem because time is precious, and we only have a certain amount of it to get things done.
On the one hand, you don’t want to become so regimented that your day feels like it is cast in stone and there is no room for anything that isn’t on the to-do list. But, you can get caught up in nonessential activities that are a massive waste of time. That’s what we’re going to talk about here.
This blog post will discuss 10 things that waste your time, and that you should avoid if you want to be productive. Avoiding these distractions will help you get more done and make the most of your precious time.
10 Things That Waste Your Time
1 | Becoming Absorbed in Electronics – let me count the ways
- social media: It’s very easy to get lost in social media, constantly updating your social status, and before you know it, an hour has gone by without you getting anything done. If you’re trying to be productive, it’s best to avoid checking your social media accounts altogether and avoid wasting time.
- checking your email: Email is a huge time-waster, and it’s so easy to get sucked into the vortex of your inbox if you’re not careful. If possible, try to limit yourself to checking email just once or twice per day as opposed to every few minutes—or worse, every time a notification pops up.
It’s also a good idea to avoid letting email notifications interrupt the task at hand, and replying right away because it can often lead to long, drawn-out conversations that are unnecessary.
If you can’t help but check your email constantly, try using an app like Boomerang to delay sending and receiving emails until later in the day, when you’re less likely to be distracted.
- fiddling on your phone: Phones are huge distractions, especially for millennials who grew up with them. It may be difficult to resist the urge to check your social media or play games on your phone, but if you’re trying to be productive, it’s best to avoid using your phone entirely.
Instead, try scheduling specific times for using your phone or taking a break from work so that you don’t get overwhelmed and tempted to use it.
Smartphones can be a huge time-waster, and it’s important to limit their usage as much as possible. If you absolutely must use your phone during the day, try using an app like Freedom that disables internet access for a set length of time and can help you avoid distractions and stay focused.
Try to schedule specific times for checking them, or install a blocking extension like SelfControl that will keep you from visiting certain websites until a timer runs out.
That is a time management tool that can be beneficial and keep you from wasting time on the wrong things.
2 | Constantly Checking the Time
Most of us wear a watch and own a cell phone, so at the very least, we should be checking the time frequently. However, if you’re trying to be productive, it can actually become counter-productive—especially if you just keep looking at how much work is left.
It’s best to put your phone away or turn it on silent so that you’re not tempted to check the time every few minutes. Ideally, you should just focus on the task at hand and not worry about how much more work is left.
3 | Watching Videos or Playing Games Online
This is another activity that can be a huge waste and easily consume an hour or more of your time without you even realizing it. If possible, try to limit yourself to just 10-15 minutes of watching videos or playing games per day and save the rest for when you’re done with all of your work and have free time.
If that’s not an option, consider using a browser extension like StayFocusd, which will block certain websites after a set amount of time. In that way, you’ll be less likely to get lost in your videos or games.
4 | Doing Unnecessary Tasks
There may be specific tasks that we do each day that aren’t essential and really only waste time. Maybe it’s browsing the internet when we could be working or spending too much time on a task that doesn’t matter.
If you work in an office environment, it is easy to get caught up with things like attending unnecessary meetings, or phone calls/personal visits between co-workers that are a waste of time.
Setting boundaries at the office, or even at home with family members, can help minimize wasted time on unnecessary tasks or conversations.
Take the time to identify these tasks and see if there’s a way to simplify them or eliminate them. That will free up more of your time for the important things and you’ll have a lot more time in your day to get things done.
5 | Listening to Music When Trying To Be Productive
Music can be relaxing and even help us focus if it’s the right kind of music — but it can also be a huge distraction. If you’re trying to get something done that requires concentration, it’s best to avoid listening to music.
Try playing music before or after work instead of listening while working on a task. By doing so, you’ll be able to focus more fully on your tasks and get them done in less time than if you had been distracted by the tunes.
6 | Talking On The Phone Too Much
This is another activity that can easily get you sidetracked and consume too much of your time. If you have a habit of spending too much time on the phone, it’s about time you break it.
You will be surprised at how much more productive you can become if you strictly limit yourself to 10 minutes per call during the day.
Talking on the phone takes time, but more importantly, it wastes your concentration and takes mental energy. This can be detrimental to your productivity levels because once you lose that “magic window” of focus, it can be challenging to recapture it.
If you need to talk on the phone, try to schedule your calls for times when you know you will have less work to do. That way, you won’t have to worry about losing focus and can fully concentrate on the conversation at hand.
7 | Doing Unnecessary Chores During Work Time
If you work at home or work from home, it can be difficult to draw a clear line between when you are “at work” and when you aren’t.
This is why most people who have their own business or work from home often find themselves doing unnecessary chores or running errands during the day, which takes them away from their desks for longer than necessary and distracts them from working on important tasks.
If you want to be productive, it’s vital that you draw a clear line between when you are “at work” and when you aren’t. For example, rather than vacuuming the living room or doing the dishes, try tackling these chores during the evening or on the weekend.
You should also make it a rule to avoid taking long breaks, as this can easily lead you down the rabbit hole of time-consuming activities, wasting time on unnecessary chores.
8 | Rummaging through Old Photos
We all love looking through old photos. Whether it’s the time we went on that amazing road trip or when we visited Europe 10 years ago, there is something very nostalgic and unique about these moments in our lives.
But if you’re like me, you probably also have a ton of photos on your computer or phone. And when you start looking at old photos, it can be tough to stop. We find ourselves down the rabbit hole again.
In the end, ten minutes turns into two hours, and what do you have to show for it? Nothing! You didn’t produce anything that you can use or enjoy. So if you want to avoid wasting your time, try not to look through old photos when you’re supposed to be working.
9 | Watching TV Shows
There are some people out there who spend their whole day watching TV shows. It is most common with people who work from home or have their own businesses.
They might work for a few hours and then take a long lunch break, only to return and finish up around dinner time — all while wasting time watching episodes of their favorite TV show!
Although watching TV shows can be relaxing, it is definitely not the most productive use of your time. You’re better off reading a book, meditating or participating in some kind of physical activity that engages you for at least an hour.
10 | Hanging around negative people
If you want to become more productive, you should avoid associating with negative people.
When we spend time with these people, we naturally start adopting the same mindset and eventually begin feeling very “down” and unmotivated. This is why whenever possible, you should try to avoid spending time with your friends who are constantly complaining, as this mindset will eventually affect you.
Instead of spending precious minutes with those who bring you down with their negative thoughts, spend more time with people who lift you up and motivate you to do great things. In the end, it’s very difficult to be productive if your mindset is not positive and optimistic.
A Simple Remedy? Follow a Routine
After reading about all the time-wasters above, you might start thinking that it’s impossible to be productive.
However, having a routine will help you stick to a schedule, save time, and achieve your goals, particularly if you’re someone who is easily distracted. You know who you are!
When everything is planned out in detail and scheduled in a notepad or an app on your phone, it becomes much easier to remain on track throughout the day and not waste time.
So there you have the time-wasters listed above that rob you of your productivity during the day. if you want to make sure that every minute of your day counts, eliminating these things are a great place to start.
Use your time wisely and don’t get side tracked, wasting it on stuff that is unimportant or won’t help you in the long run. You will thank yourself later!