September 19

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5 Biggest Time Wasters And Tips To Better Manage them

By Dan

September 19, 2022


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Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try to be productive, there always seem to be a million things getting in the way? If you're looking to increase your productivity and get more done each day, here are 5 of the biggest time wasters you should be aware of to help make better use of your time.

Biggest Time Wasters

There are all sorts of time wasters: from browsing the internet and social media to talking on the phone to watching TV.

And while some time wasters can be helpful in moderation, if they're not managed properly, they can quickly become detrimental to your productivity.

Time-wasting activities suck our focus and energy, leaving us feeling scattered, stressed, and overwhelmed.

In this post, we'll explore some of the biggest time wasters and tips to better manage them.

Here are 5 of the biggest time wasters that you should be aware of and tips to better manage them to help you make better use of your time:

1. Social Media

We all know how easy it is to get lost in the world of social media; it's easy to spend hours scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram without even realizing it.

While social media can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, it's the biggest time waster of them all. A study conducted by Social Media Today found that the average person spends nearly two hours daily on social media.

And although most of us believe we have it under control, we don't. After all, that's what their business model is based on: keep us engaged for as long as possible.

So, how do you break the social media habit? Habits take time to form, so going cold turkey is usually not the best option. Instead, try slowly reducing the amount of time you spend on social media each day.

Start by spending 10 minutes less on social media each day and find something else to fill that time with — maybe read a book, take a walk, spend time with family or friends, or work on a hobby.

Set a timer for a set amount of time, and once the timer goes off, either turn off notifications, log off the apps or put your phone away; allow yourself to use social media for that amount of time each day.

If that doesn't work, use a social media blocking tool like Freedom to block access to all social media sites for a set period of time.

Then, when you've mastered controlling the urge to check your socials, delete the social media apps from your phone because even after we've stopped using social media, our brains are still stimulated by constant notifications and new content being pushed our way, which makes it difficult to focus.

2. Phone Calls and Text Messages

In a constantly connected world, it's easy to get caught up in phone calls and texts, especially if you have a job or business that requires you to be available at all times.

While there's nothing wrong with talking on the phone or sending texts, when it starts to interfere with your work or personal life, it can become a problem.

Phone calls and texts are other time wasters; their notifications are a constant distraction that interrupts our focus and concentration because our attention is pulled away from the task at hand.

If you're in the middle of working on something and you get a notification for a phone call or text, it's hard not to stop what you're doing to see who it is.

And even if you don't answer the call or text right away, your brain is still focused on it, which makes it difficult to concentrate on what you're doing; this leads to decreased productivity and increased stress levels.

Turn off notifications or if you can't turn them off completely, set them to silent or vibrate, and set aside specific times for responding to phone calls and text messages. For example, you could check your phone during your lunch break or after work.

If this tip doesn't work, then the best way to reduce the time you spend on your phone is by putting your phone away.

Let people know that you're not available during certain hours of the day or week by setting up an auto-responder on your email or voicemail so that people know when they can expect a response from you.

And when you are available, let them know that you'll only be able to talk for a certain amount of time.

3. Browsing The Internet

The internet is a vast and wonderful resource that can be used for research, shopping, entertainment, and much more. But, as much as it's resourceful, it can turn into a huge time waster.

Browsing the internet can lead to getting lost in a rabbit hole of articles, videos, and social media posts, and before you know it, an hour has passed.

How often have you gone online to do one thing and spent hours browsing the internet?

To avoid wasting time online, set a timer for a specific amount of time and when the timer goes off, close all tabs that are not related to what you're working on or, even better, log off; the truth is; putting your phone or computer would be ideal but not realistic for many.

Another way to avoid wasting time online is through browser extensions to block access to certain websites. You can use a plugin like StayFocusd for Google Chrome or WasteNoTime for Firefox, which allows you to block websites and set time limits for how long you can access them.

Productivity apps can help you stay focused and on task by blocking access to distractions or tracking the amount of time you spend on certain websites.

4. Frequently Checking Email

Email is a necessary part of everyday life because it's the most common form of communication in the business world — and while it's a great way to stay connected — constantly checking your email can disrupt your workflow and lead to decreased productivity, hence, wasted time.

If you spend too much time checking and responding to emails, limit the amount of time you spend on email each day by setting specific times for checking and responding to messages. For example, you could check your email first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, and before you leave work for the day.

When you check your email, try to be more concise in your responses to get through your email quickly and move on to other tasks.

Another way to avoid wasting time with email is to unsubscribe from newsletters or lists you don't read to declutter your inbox and prevent you from getting distracted by irrelevant content.

You can also use a tool like Boomerang for Gmail, which allows you to schedule when you send and receive messages so that you're not constantly checking your inbox.

5. Watching Television

Did you know that the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day? That's a lot of time spent in front of the television that could be spent doing productive things!

While there's nothing wrong with watching TV — just like social media — it can easily become a distraction that prevents you from getting things done.

If you're spending too much time glued to the screen, limit your time in front of the television each day. For example, you could watch one show in the evening or on the weekends.

In the beginning, it won't be easy, especially if you're used to watching TV for several hours each day, but it will get easier with time; start by gradually reducing the amount of time you spend in front of the TV.

Although it can be tough to break bad habits, it's important to be aware of the time-wasters that can creep into and take away from our day. After all, knowing about them is the first step to addressing and dealing with them.

If you haven't come across any of the above time-wasters, here's how to identify and eliminate the time-wasters in your life.

Time can slip away from you quickly, so be mindful of how you're spending your time. By implementing the tips above, you can start reclaiming your time and increasing your productivity to help you regain control of your time.

What are your favorite tips for dealing with time-wasters? Let us know in the comments below!

About the author

My name is Dan, a few years ago I decided to turn my life around and it all started with time management, I'm here to help you navigate how to best manage your time.

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