Mental Health

Why You Waste Time (And How To Stop)

September 5, 2019

Come on, admit it…you waste time.  Oh don’t worry, you’re in good company.  I waste time, too.  I think we are probably all guilty of being super busy, super stressed, and feeling like we {ahem} don’t have time for self-care, when the fact of the matter is, we just aren’t using our time wisely.  Or […]

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Come on, admit it…you waste time.  Oh don’t worry, you’re in good company.  I waste time, too.  I think we are probably all guilty of being super busy, super stressed, and feeling like we {ahem} don’t have time for self-care, when the fact of the matter is, we just aren’t using our time wisely.  Or at least, we aren’t using it as wisely as we could.

If you’re chronically bored, or feel like you don’t have enough to do, this ain’t the article for you, boo.  But if you’re like most of the women I know (both personally and professionally), you may feel like a frazzled, exhausted versions of yourself because there is simply too much to do and not enough hours in the day to get to all of it.  If that’s you, read on.

Before we go any further, I should clarify what does and does not constitute a “waste” of time.  To ensure this is applicable to your own life, quickly think of 3-5 things that you really need to get done today.  Now think of 3-5 things that you really want to do today.  Got em?  Good.  Anything that you do outside of those two lists could probably be considered a waste of time.

Real talk:  If you’re spending time doing something that doesn’t actually need to get done or you’re spending time doing something that doesn’t really bring you joy or peace, you’re wasting your time.  And time, as we all know, is our most precious commodity.  We are all given a certain, finite amount of time on this earth, and I don’t know about you, but I really hate the idea of wasting any of it.

And yet, I do.  Sometimes, I waste my time.  Why?

There are probably a million reasons why people waste time, but in the interest of actually saving you some time, I’ll cut to the chase and share the two main reasons that well-meaning, not gonna waste a moment of life people like you and I sometimes do just that.

We forget that our time will eventually run out

That may sound pretty morbid to some, but it actually doesn’t to me.

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

I believe the reason so many of us waste time is because we forget just how precious it is.  We live most of our lives without thinking about how to make the most of the time we are given, and as a result, we just do what we do, without thinking about it all that much.  Now, I’m not suggesting that you remind yourself on the regular that you and everyone you know will eventually die someday (THAT is what I call morbid), but I am saying that it is wise to remember that time is precious, life is short, and one life is all we get, to quote some dear old friends of mine.  We have one opportunity to live life to the fullest, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.  If you’re interested in my free class on this exact topic, you can find it here.

We are addicted to our phones

I mean, yes, right?  We are.  I hate to admit it, but that little pocket-sized computer we carry with us everywhere is one of the biggest reasons that we waste our time.  *face palm*

Now some will argue that their phone makes them more efficient, because it stores their calendars, to-do lists, etc.  That’s all well and good, but I don’t think there’s a cell phone owner alive who wouldn’t admit that their phone can also be a HUGE time suck.  We’ve all been down the rabbit hole of Facebook and the vortex of Instagram.  I have no tangible way to quantify just exactly how much time I waste on my phone each day (though the weekly screen-time reports have been helping a little), but I know that on most days, it’s a lot.

The problem is, there is SO much that I need and want to do everyday, and if I’m very honest, most of what I do on my phone doesn’t fall into either of those categories. #sorryfacebookfriends

The good news? We can overcome these problems with a few simple tweaks here and there.

Live with intention

Remind yourself at the outset of each day of your desire to not waste time.  Read a quote or scripture that reminds you to use time wisely.  Reflect on all that you want and need to do that day and set the intention to make the most of the precious gift of the day ahead.  When we start the day in this way, we are already well on our way to living each moment to the fullest.

Put your dang phone away

I know this may feel easier said than done, but think back to your intention.  It’s so important that we don’t have our phones in our hands or on our person at all times if we want to ensure we are making the most of our time.  There are many ways to troubleshoot this, but here are a few:  keep your phone on a charging station when not in use, turn off as many notifications as you can, move your apps around so you aren’t as tempted to check your phone each time you see you got a new email (let’s be honest, it’s probably spam or junk mail anyway), have a contest with your friends or family members to see who can have the least amount of screen time per day each week…can you think of any others?  Let us know in the comments!!

Make a want and need to do list each day

You know that exercise I mentioned in the beginning of this post?  I think it would be wise to actually do it at the outset of every day.  Write down 5 things you need to do and 5 things you want to do (I’m lookin’ at you, self-care!), and then?  Do those things.  Before you do anything else, do those things.  You can do them in any order you like, but make it a goal that before you check email, go on social media, or begin your unnecessary work of the day, you will begin with these 10 things.

I hope you find these tips and reminders helpful, my friend!  Now go forth and have the best day ever – you’ve not a minute to lose.

P.S. Get your FREE guide to reducing negative self-talk here!


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