I think we all, from time to time, get ourselves involved in activities that do not contribute to our greatest success or happiness. We’re all looking to be successful in life but sometimes we are wasting our time doing things that are holding us back from reaching our full potential. And, often, we don’t recognize those things until someone points them out.
People can have more money than others. But we all have 24 hours in a day. No one can buy more time on this planet. A wasted dollar comes back, but a wasted minute is gone for good. That’s why people with high emotional intelligence don’t waste their minutes. They consider time more precious than money.
We waste precious time during a lot of other occasions. I’ve put together a list of ways I’ve lost a lot of time and from various experience and reading from varied articles.
1. Worrying: Most of the time, we can’t control the situations or even the outcomes. Yet we spend a lot of our time thinking and worrying even though we can’t change or control certain things.
2. Stuck with Social Media: If you don’t control how much time you spend on Social Media, the hours will fly by and you won’t have accomplished anything on your to-do list. So either put a time limit on it—set an alarm for when you need to minimize it, close the app. Use it as a reward.
3. Stuck in Job: We spend more time at work than home, this is one of the most common places where we could be wasting a lot of time. Everyone talks about creating jobs, but no one talks about the quality of those jobs. Why would you go to the same building Monday to Friday 9 to 5 week after week? Don’t waste your time staying in a job you don’t like while hoping the attitude of your boss or policies of the company will change. Keep searching until you find your dream job.
4. Negative Influence: Friends are supposed to lift you up not bring you down. “You’re the average of the 10 people you spend the most time with”. So if you want to rise above and expand your horizons, you need to surround yourself with people who do the impossible. Stay away from value extractors and surround yourself with people who live with a purpose.
5. Gossiping: Judging and talking behind people is a big waste of time. Unless you’re endorsing people, it’s very rude to talk about someone who is not present.
6. Comparing yourself to others: When you’re constantly comparing yourself to the next person and it’s bringing you down, it’s time to shift your mindset. Everyone has a different lifestyle and priorities. People have diverse backgrounds and stories. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. It’s best to spend your time chasing your own dreams than to feel down by thoughts like “why someone else has more than you”? Remember, it’s not about what you have; it’s about what you did to get it.
7. No Plan/To-Do List: You must have a purpose, a laser-focused plan of things they want to achieve on a particular day. Have you ever gone to a supermarket and just wandered around isles. It’s much better to know what you have to buy then get in, get it and get out. Also focusing on what you need instead of what you “want” can help you speed up the process.
8. Interrupted frequently: Every time you're about to get started, somebody knocks on your door/calls with an emergency/asks for help with the kids. The solution is to schedule work time where your productivity is sacrosanct. Fix it by leaving a voice mail greeting announcing your unavailability, then turning off your phone, committing to avoiding email or social media until you've made real progress on your critical tasks.
9. Unsure how to start: A lot of tasks get done surprisingly quickly once you take the first step, but sometimes that first step is hard to take because you don't really know what it is. The best way to get past this roadblock is to identify that first step. Fix it by review your pending project, and break it down until the first step becomes clear, make a to-do list of tasks that make up the total project, then do one at random.
10. Unmotivated: "Just not feeling it" is a legitimate reason to not want to get something done, but it doesn't fly as a reason for not actually doing the work. After all, you're the boss and need to get the work done; the fix here is to find a way to motivate yourself. Try promising yourself a reward.
Successful people make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. The key to being successful in life is not making the same mistake twice, learning and growing from mistakes, and becoming a better person because of them.