Seven Ways to Stop Wasting Time

I've had a hard time lately with time management. I have a lot to do, but it's hard to make myself do what needs to get done. Instead I manage to waste time. I'll sit down to check my email in the morning, and next thing I know, an hour has gone by. I still get the essential things done, but it takes much more time to get them accomplished.

You may know the feeling. For my benefit, I've assembled a few tips for avoiding the 'time-waster' trap. Perhaps they may help you as well.

Have a planning session with yourself. What are your big goals? If you have a purpose, it's a lot easier to stay focused on what's important to you. Think about your long-term goals and what you need to do to get there.

Start each day with focus. What is it you want to accomplish today? Make sure your tasks and activities fall in line with your main goals. If you want to clean your kitchen, then sending email all day does not fit with your goal. Know what you want to do and stick with those things.

Have a clear-cut plan. Instead of going through your day aimlessly, list out your most important tasks and set out to achieve them first. That way, even if you waste time later, you'll still have accomplished the important things. I like to schedule each hour of the day, assigning myself certain tasks for each hour. That way, I always know what I should be doing.

Cut out (or at least cut down on) your time-wasting culprits
. You know what they are - TV, Internet, email, magazines, blogs, chatting with co-workers or friends, ... etc. If you can't cut them out completely (and who can?), start by cutting down. Cut one hour of TV every day, and you've got a lot of time on your hands!

Set a timer. Set a timer for 15 minutes and accomplish as much as you can within that time frame. I learned this trick from FlyLady, and I was shocked to find out just how much can get done in that amount of time.

Reward yourself. Decide that you want to work at something for x amount of minutes. At the end of that time, you can reward yourself with your time-waster of choice -- but set a limit on it!

Throw in a 'lazy' day every now and again. I don't know about you, but every once in a while, I like to lounge in my pajamas all day and watch cheesy movies. It's a somewhat rare occurrence, but it allows me to rest my brain from my goals, plans, and to-do list, which in turn assures that my goals stay fresh.

Time-wasters will always be lurking around. But with a little planning and some practice, we can say goodbye to wasted time. What techniques do you use for managing your time?


Gina said...

I'm glad that reading your blog does NOT count as wasting time! :)

Holli Jo said...

Gina - Ha! Good thing! Thanks for reading. :)

the baglady said...

haha that's exactly what I was thinking: does reading blogs count as wasting time?

Holli Jo said...

Baglady - Well, reading MY blog doesn't count as wasting time! ;) But seriously...I have a blog addiction and have to limit my blog reading time or I get nothing done!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment.