For today’s post, I asked my friend Jenn from Home By Jenn to help us out with procrastination and time wasters. She’s put together some awesome advice for us, and she even made a free printable for us to use to help us work on identifying and banishing time wasters. Here’s Jenn’s post:
Time wasters are everywhere. They are staring us in the face just waiting for us to waste time on them. It is no wonder why people are so overwhelmed and not able to find extra time.
Today I would like to talk to you about the 5 biggest time wasters that you need to stop doing now. I’m going to explain what they are and how you are going to eliminate them from you life. When you are done, you will be able to free up some of that much needed time along the way!
Also, I’ve put together a great bonus for you so stay tuned to the end for the great bonus!
Like I said earlier, time wasters, they are everywhere. Identifying them is part of the battle, the other part is learning how to stop. So like I said, I’m going to give you the 5 biggest time wasters then I’m going to show you how to stop.
Time waster #1 Multitasking
This one may come to a shock to you but it actually wastes tons of time. When you are working on something, you mind needs to focus on that task at hand to produce 100%. When you are bouncing from task to task, you mind still may be on that task you were doing 2 bounces ago.
What if I told you that it takes an average of 15 minutes for you brain to actually become fully focused on the task at hand.
Would that make you think twice about multitasking?
What if I told you that only 2% of the human population can successfully multitask. Only 2% of the human population, that is not many people.
So how do you combat multitasking?
Try batching your work together. Work on like items so it is a gradual shift from one thing to the next. This will allow your mind to shift instead of bounce.
Another great thing would be creating themed days.
What are themed days? Let me give you 2 examples:
- Create a schedule day-that day you set up your schedule, schedule appointments, meetings, if you run social media then schedule your social media posts.
- Create an errand day-that day you set aside for running errands. Do your grocery shopping, appointments, bank runs, post office, whatever it is, if you leave the house or your job for a task, that should be scheduled on your errand day.
Time waster #2 Notifications
Notifications can be so handy but so awful at the same time. Getting those notifications lead to stopping what you’re doing and wasting time.
Do you really need to check status updates every time they pop up on your phone?
Do you really need to check your email every time one comes in?
Remember in that last section about multitasking and how long it takes your mind to switch from one task to another. Same goes for notifications.
So what can you do to stop wasting time with notifications?
You could remove the notifications from your phone and computer.
Removing notifications from your phone and computer is quite simple. All you need to do is go into the settings and disable notifications.
So maybe you don’t want to be that harsh. I get it. It is nice to know when that important email comes through. Here’s something else you could try, turn off your phone or set it to do not disturb for a period of time while you are working on something important.
When you are finished, simply turn your phone back on or turn off the do not disturb. Easy as that.
Time waster #3 Social Media
Yes, social media the time sucker of all things time sucking. You can literally sit down, open up Instagram and boom 30 minutes goes by. Do you open up YouTube looking for one particular thing and then end up watching cute cat videos?
The problem with social media is it’s everywhere. Some people need it for their job. So getting away from it can be hard.
Another time sucker that is in the same lines as social media is email. Did you know the average person receives 121 emails a day. That is a huge time waster!
With that amount of emails a day, you start thinking how the heck can I even keep up?!
So what can you do?
Just like with those notifications you can disable them so you are not being informed every time someone comment on your status, or if your Great Aunt Ida is going to be visiting in 2 weeks.
What I recommend is scheduling social media breaks. We all need them. We just need to time them. Then you will not be running into the situation of spending 3 hours on YouTube.
A great thing to do is create working timed blocks. Once you finish your block of work time, give yourself a reward. So if you work for 45 minutes take a 15 minute break. Make sense?
As far as your email, getting an average of 121 messages a day can sound extremely overwhelming. I create 3 20 minute time blocks a day to go through my email. I am able to stay at a zero inbox with that time schedule.
In those 20 minute time blocks you sort through your email if something is going to take you more than 5 minutes to take care of, it goes into your to do list.
Time waster #4 Procrastination
Oh procrastination, can we come back to this?
How much wasted time goes into putting things off until the last minute? Loads!
When you are procrastinating you are putting things off. You are not being productive. You are essentially wasting time.
You have a plan of what you’d like to do but then life gets in the way. Or you just really don’t want to do that task so YouTube sound like a better option. Then boom, you’ve completely wasted your time.
The task needs to get done eventually so why not just do it.
So, what can you do?
Let me give you a few examples of what you can do to beat procrastination.
Make a list of everything you want to complete. Pick the 1 hardest, most undesirable, or least appealing task. Don’t allow yourself any computer time, phone time, or social media time until that 1 task is completed. Once you have finished that task reward yourself with something.
Don’t go overboard though, keep going through this process until your list is done.
Another thing you can do is create a list and add everything that you want to complete on it. Then go through and prioritize this list. I like using highlighters for this. Grab 4 colors and assign them. Create an urgent category, an important category, an urgent but not important category, and finally a not urgent or important.
Go through your list and finish items by priority. That will definitely keep procrastination at bay.
Time waster #5 No Planning Time
This is by far my biggest time saver tip of all. Create planning time.
When you don’t set up some planning time, you are not creating a plan for yourself. You will start your day without focus, without priorities, without any motivation. Without creating a plan you are not setting yourself up for the most success possible.
Does planning time take a lot of time?
No, all you need is about 15-30 minutes a day, that’s it.
What you need to do…
To make the most out of your planning time you will want to set aside about 15 minutes each evening to plan out your next day. Create a list of everything that you want and/or need to get done. Then you can use some of the advice I have given you above to create a super productive plan.
By setting aside 15 minutes each evening to plan for the next day, you are able to give yourself a little bit of down time to process your day. You go to bed, then you wake well rested and ready for the day that you have planned out.
Before you get going on your day, it is a good idea to take another look at your list. Sometimes things are missed or even added twice. Check your list and get ready to kick procrastination in the butt!
So that is my list of the 5 biggest time wasters you need to stop doing now. Do you remember at the beginning of this post I said that I put together a bonus for you. Well you have come to that part of the post. I’ve created a stop wasting time checklist for you.
This checklist will set you up for the most success as possible. In order for you to stop wasting time, you need to take action. Download the checklist and you will find loads of extra time in your day.