How to Identify Wasted Time

There are several ways to waste time, and many of us are well aware of how and when we are wasting time. There are a lot of obvious ways to determine we are wasting time. Most of us spend too much time on activities that we don’t really need to. More often that not, it is not something that we consciously wake up and do. We don’t wake up and plan to spend two hours watching random videos on YouTube, scrolling your Facebook timeline for 15 minutes, or end up doing a low priority task that may not even need to get done at all. We all fall in the trap occasionally, and sometimes we are aware and other times we are not. The solution is simple for the time wastes that we are aware of. You just need to consciously decide to not waste time doing those activities as much. What you need to be aware of are the time wastes that sneak in. Here are a few tricks on how to identify these things.

  1. Watch the little things. You need to pay attention to the little things, you need to pay attention to the activities that you end up wasting much more time than you would expect. Remember that 5 minutes here and there can add up to much more quickly than expect. Five minutes three times a day is an hour and 45 minutes a week, which is 91 hours a year!

  2. Remember the dangers of distraction. You are not just losing the five minutes each time you go to do the activity, remember that you also lose the time that you spend getting back to the activity that you were doing before.

  3. Pay attention to your momentum. Remember that it is not only the distraction that will cost you more time than you would want, but also loss of momentum that can add up to even more lost time. When you have a positive momentum on a task, you are getting much more done than you would if you just working in spurts. Even worse is disrupting that momentum.

  4. Do you really need to be doing this? You should get in the habit of questioning everything that you do. If you answer yes, then keep doing it, even though it may not be something that you want to be doing. In this case it is probably something that you have to be doing. Now if you answer no, find out why. More often than not, we can find a few things that we don’t need to be doing at all. This is the low hanging fruit of cleaning up your schedule.

There are plenty of ways to waste time, there are no ends to the options we have now a days. While the path to wasting time may appear enticing, we need to understand that the costs outweighs the benefits. Therefore, it is worth putting forth the effort in searching out ways on which your time may be slipping through the cracks. Please let me know your thoughts and if there are any methods that you personally use to identify how time slips away from us.