Wasting Time with Micro Timewasters
I’m one of those people who usually has 20+ browser windows open along with a few different programs running on my computer. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I almost always have close to 100 browser windows open on my phone. On my phone I don’t notice much of a problem but when I’m on my computer, days of doing this end up in a very slow processing computer that usually ends up frozen and needs to be rebooted. If what I’m working on is important/time sensitive, I’m better at managing this so I can get it done quickly but when it isn’t so important, I tend to let it slide until it’s an issue.
While the tasks I’m doing as it becomes a larger issue may not be time sensitive, it greatly impacts my productivity in ways I don’t even really notice. Every few seconds of extra time for a window to open or a page to be saved adds up. Before you know it, the day is gone and I’m trying to figure out why I feel like I didn’t get anything done.
When we waste time on a large scale, we tend to notice. We notice that we spent an hour on social media or that we watched TV for three hours. However, these aren’t the only ways we waste time. We waste time in dozens of ways each day.
Many of this time wasters aren’t always obvious, but the time can really add up over the course of a day, a week, or a decade.
Don’t let your time just be frittered away! Imagine how much you could accomplish in that time! What could you do that really matters to you?
Guard your time from the micro timewasters with these strategies:
Have a phone charger with you
How many times in a week do you need a phone charger and have to go into the other room to fetch it? Have multiple chargers and keep them handy in the locations you spend the most time.
- It’s not just the time it takes to get the charger. It’s the disruption to your thoughts and workflow. Plus, once you leave the room to locate your charger, who knows what else will grab your attention along the way.
How much time do you spend waiting for a web page to load? Or a movie to stream? You might not think you’re waiting for very long, but it all adds up. If your internet is noticeably slow, your time is being wasted.
It just takes 10 seconds to check email, right? Hardly. That quick look alters your concentration, and there’s no telling how far down the rabbit hole you’re going to go.
- You might open three emails, respond to one one them, and then remember that you have another email to answer
- What if the email is a link to a video of a cat chasing a dog?
- There’s no telling when you’ll get back on track.
How many times do you get up from your desk to get a drink? However, many times it is, it’s too many. Keep a beverage handy when you’re working. Take a sip and get back to work.
Keep something healthy available. If you have to go to the vending machine for a snack, you can’t be sure who you’ll run into or how long you’ll be gone.
Get gas for your car on the weekend
You don’t want to be rushed on Tuesday morning and realize that your car needs gas on the way to work. Plan ahead.
We spend a lot of time thinking about meals, planning meals, buying food, cleaning dishes. If you have to stop on the way to work for breakfast, go out for lunch, and then pick up something at the store for dinner, you’re wasting a lot of time.
- Go to the store once a week, at most.
- Have food that can be prepared quickly and easily and doesn’t require multiple pots and pans to prepare it.
Looking for “lost” things
This could be your keys, purse, wallet, a pen, your shoes, jacket, umbrella, or anything else you’ve temporarily misplaced. Keep the essentials in a particular place.
- For example, don’t ever put your car keys anywhere but in the decorative bowl by the front door. Your pen should be on your desk. Your shoes should be where your shoes belong if they’re not on your feet.
After you’ve eliminated the big wasters of time in your life, start looking at the tiny wasters of time. You’ll quickly realize that the impact on your life isn’t so tiny.
Every disruption has a greater impact than just the amount of time the disruption robs from you. Consider the loss of focus and momentum. It takes time to get back on track mentally after you’ve scoured the house or your workplace for a pencil.
Guard your time with your life – the life you really desire!
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