7 Ways to Avoid Wasting Time

March 16, 2018
It happens to all of us. The day is over and we don’t know how time went by so quickly. Maybe we haven’t gotten far enough along in something we needed to do, or maybe we haven’t been able to finish certain activities we’d planned. Or, to be honest, maybe in the end we haven’t done anything at all. The answer is to avoid wasting time.

Sometimes we wonder why we take so long to do something that shouldn’t need more than a couple hours of our time. In some strange way, it’s like time got cut short or the thing got even bigger. Ultimately time ends up being an out of control variable, at least partly. 

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.

-Benjamin Franklin-

Not planning well enough causes us to waste a lot of time. This is valuable time that we’ll need later on to stay up-to-date, or simply to have more free time. With the huge amount of stimuli we’re exposed to, it’s hard to outline a plan of action and carry it out to the T. But it’s not impossible, so here we’re going to give you some strategies to learn how to avoid wasting time.

Punctuality – an antidote learn how to avoid wasting time

It all starts right here, with punctuality. If you show up late, or start late, you’ve already brought disorder into what you need to do. You’re beginning everything with chaos. You’re setting in motion a series of actions that will lead to an anarchic or not well-thought-out kind of order.

bird on clock

Punctuality isn’t just about the beginning of an activity, but also its ending. You have to be as focused when it comes to starting the work as when it comes to finishing it. This should be true with breaks, too. Starting with respect for the time frame will help you a lot when it comes to meeting deadlines, and for you to enjoy the benefits of good organization.

Prioritizing is key

Prioritizing tasks is a key factor when you want to avoid wasting time. There are a few different ways to do this. Usually it means prioritizing the most urgent thing and leaving the least urgent for later. In this way, at the end of the day if you didn’t manage to do it all, at least you moved ahead with the most important thing.

Another way of prioritizing that can be good is to organize tasks by most complex to most simple. When you start your day you’ll be more clear-headed and have great energy reserves. This will allow you to be more efficient. It’s the ideal state to do the hardest tasks. The simple ones won’t take much from you, so you don’t need to be at your 100% best to do them.

Do it step by step, and simplify

This advice is especially useful for people who have a lot of trouble getting themselves organized. All it means is dividing each task into steps and following them one by one, not doing everything at the same time. This will also give you a positive feeling of achievement, and help you better distribute your time and energy.

exploding watch

The best way to avoid wasting time is to do just one task at a time. You’ve probably experienced this feeling before. You want to do so much, that you end up doing nothing at all. Everything is left half-started, and our ability to focus on none of the tasks we’re working on will increase our stress, because we’ve divided our attention and increased the number of failures.

Learn your rhythm and tempo

It’s always important to know yourself well to avoid wasting time. Work is no exception. That’s why it’s essential for you to observe yourself for a while and figure out how long it takes you to finish a certain task. Focus on those that are an essential part of your job.

Don’t just measure the amount of time you use. It’s also good to observe your attitude towards these tasks, and which aspects are easiest or hardest to get rolling. The information you’ll get out of this observation will help you better understand your rhythm and tempo. This way you can set yourself more realistic goals for improvement.

Use technology to your advantage

This is one of the worst modern day problems – always obsessing over our phones, or over what we have to do at work. It’s enough if you simply set yourself times of the day to check your messages, and that’s that.

people swinging

If your behavior is compulsive, that is, if no matter how hard you try you can’t tear your attention away from electronics, you’ll have to do something about it as willpower clearly isn’t enough. For example, you can exchange your phone for one that only lets you make calls, turn it off, or leave it at home. 

Learn to disconnect

This has to do with punctuality and the ability to meet deadlines. Outside of your work hours, cut off your connection with work. This action is a sign of respect for your own time, and by doing it you’re taking care of your physical and mental health.

Don’t bring your work home. It’s fundamental for you to separate personal and work space. The best thing to do is have one work email and another for personal things, and to never let them mix. Ideally, you should learn to completely disconnect from work when you’re not there.

Make the most of your free time

Your job might be exhausting. Maybe when you get off work all you want to do is sit on the couch, watch TV, and “not think about anything.” Or you go right to sleep to get back all the energy you’ve used up. But it sometimes happens that after you do this you still don’t feel like you’ve truly rested.

man thinking how to avoid wasting time

Resting isn’t the time to do those simple activities that you hate the most. It doesn’t have to be passive either. Ideally your rest will actually be playful, creative, and emotional to help you avoid wasting time. It’s better to dedicate time to your family, to the people who matter to you. Talking to them, going out on walks, or starting a relaxing hobby.  Do this and you’ll see how your feeling of tiredness will truly disappear.

Time is a measurement we give to life. It’s life itself. That’s why your time is so valuable, and why wasting it causes negative thoughts and feelings. Thoughts of incompetence, or feelings of uselessness. So try to make time for relaxation and doing things you enjoy. It’s worth a try.