Identifying Time Wasters & Warding Them Off

So, I am a pretty efficient person, I get a ton of stuff done and keep those around me on track and accountable for what they say they are going to or want to do. In my time blogging, I have written several posts about how I do it and this has caused to me think a lot about the real reasons behind the “how”. I have developed a good system for myself of goals, tasks, reminders, accountability check ins, etc. and it has not always been easy, my system has had years of failures to develop.

The one thing over the years that was really tough, and honestly still is, is identifying time wasters. Now, you may ask, what is a time waster, well, the Cambridge Dictionary actually defines it for us.

“Time Wasters”

An activity that takes a lot of time and does not achieve anything important.

– Cambridge Dictionary

Seems simple enough, right? Wrong, really wrong. Sometimes, it is necessary to spend time on something that does not need a lot of brain power physical exertion, time to do nothing. With that said, your life cannot be consumed by such and at times, it is just fun to do things that distract you from it all, then it is time to get back on track. I found this study , ** YOPA study of 2000 people – 50 top time wasters, some of it made me chuckle some hit home.

I am a list maker, a process that works very well for me. When I feel really overwhelmed I take to making a list, sometimes lists. I not only take the time to map out what I need to accomplish but I also take the time to reflect on what has taken place of recent. This is my way of identifying things that have consumed a good amount of my time that were not productive and likely partially caused me to get backed up. I am guilty of checking social media way too often, more than I want to admit to you. I also hate the feeling and effects of a night with too much alcohol, this is a huge waste of time.

Do you suffer from getting wrapped up in things that waste your time? How do you identify them and overcome them? Drop a line in the comments, would love your thoughts.

**According to the YOPA study:

TOP 50 TIME WASTERS
1. Cold callers
2. Adverts before you can watch any video / TV online
3. Trying to get through to call centres
4. Having to enter a series of numbers on a telephone key pad before being able to talk to a human
5. Sitting in traffic jams
6. Automated telephone systems
7. Queuing for ages
8. People asking questions because they’re too lazy to look up the answer themselves
9. Meetings which could just have easily taken place over the telephone
10. Unnecessary packaging for the smallest of items
11. Waiting for a call back
12. Trying to remember your passwords and log in details
13. TV adverts
14. Self-service checkouts where you always need assistance
15. Trying to book a doctor’s appointment
16. Waiting for a parcel to arrive
17. Home insurance phone calls
18. Waiting for delayed trains
19. Waiting for pages to load on the computer
20. Scrolling through Facebook five minutes after you last checked it
21. Watching soap operas
22. Worrying about what might happen
23. Having to return items to a shop that don’t fit
24. Spending a day being hungover and not doing anything
25. Waiting for public transport
26. Waiting in line at the post office
27. Clothes which are hand-wash only
28. Playing mind numbing games like Candy Crush
29. Dusting only for the dust to settle again
30. Watching pointless videos on social media
31. Commuting to work
32. Tweeting about nothing in particular
33. Cleaning the house, only to watch the family trash it five minutes later
34. Instant messaging at work when you could just speak to each other
35. Packing a shopping trolley, unpacking onto a conveyor belt, packing into shopping bags and unpacking again
36. Waiting for YouTube videos to buffer
37. Looking at pictures of people you don’t even know on social media
38. Caffeine free tea and coffee
39. Weak tea bags
40. Untangling ear phones for them to get tangled again
41. Waiting for food to defrost
42. Watching television repeats
43. Waiting for the washing machine cycle to finish
44. Taking hundreds of photos to try and get the perfect selfie
45. Going out to buy coffee when you could simply have one at home or work
46. Browsing holidays online that you can’t afford
47. Clients/customers that won’t listen to you
48. Browsing properties online that you never plan to buy
49. The inevitable arguments with the children before the homework is finally done
50. Trying on things you can’t afford

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