Have you ever noticed how many time management books line the shelves of books stores, or for the electronically inclined reader, iBook and Amazon? Since I am in the business of helping people harness that elusive beast known as time, I thought it might be interesting to look at time from a broader perspective. So let’s think about how to really waste time right! Here are five sure fire time wasting winners.
1. Worry – Nothing wastes more time than worrying about things that might never happen. Think about it, a lot of time is used up when you are worried about work, the kids, the laundry, being late, what people think about you, your weight, seeking everyone’s approval or the next disaster that may befall you. It takes a lot of time to maintain an active agenda of things to worry about, leaving little time to actually get the things done you are worrying about. So worrying is a great time waster.
2. Procrastination – Volumes have been written about how to deal with, manage and otherwise irradicate this amazing time waster. Every time you set something aside to do later, you borrow from the time you have later. That’s what makes this such a great way to waste time, because, like interest in your bank account, it compounds. If you put off enough stuff you can waste some serious time.
3. Watching Television – Now I am not talking about turning on the television to relax in the evening, that hardly wastes enough time to notice. If you really want to waste some serious time, get hooked on shows that pull you in and compel you to watch; dramas, sci-fi adventures, soap operas, whatever floats your boat. Leave the dishes in the sink, the laundry in piles or take a day off and do some binge watching, that’ll really get you hooked. Then once you are hooked, just let your favorite shows help you plan your activities and you will be surprised how quickly you can add up some serious wasted time.
4. Social Media and Surfing the Net – This is fast becoming a champion at helping people waste valuable time. Instead of meeting friends for lunch you can now just stalk them online and learn more than you would ever find out in person. You can vicariously meet their kids or that crazy aunt they always talk about, all from the comfort of home. What’s also great about wasting time online is you can surf the internet endlessly, believing you are finding ideas and even “deals” for valuable needed items. Not only can a lot of time get wasted but you can delude yourself into believing it’s not! Champion time waster don’t you think?
5. Feeling Guilty – As I coach people on time management techniques, this one indulgence tops the list of time wasters. When you allow yourself to feel guilty because you aren’t getting things done, your house is disorganized, you are late to work all the time, forget to feed the dog or just your own general failures, your time wasting meter just hits the top. Additionally, it is great because guilt also brings along its buddy depression to keep you from accomplishing anything at all. Talk about a double header!
Right now you are beginning to wonder what kind of coach I really am, but I really hope you are also beginning to see that maybe there are some ways that you could get a little time back in your day. Not everything we allow ourselves to do is bad for us, but anything we do in excess does have the power to control and even rob us of the one thing that for each of us is in limited supply; time.