How To Free Up Time Without Doing Less: 3 Time Wasters

May 10, 2017

How To Free Up Time Without Doing Less: 3 Time Wasters

Would you like to save up to 4 hours a day? Yes, please! Time is so scarce, and in this busy world, the more you can free up - the better. It's of course impossible to create more time, but you can absolutely stop wasting your time on things that don't serve you.

I've put together my top three time wasters, and a little challenge for each. Give them a go, and let me know how much time they helped you free up!

 

Time Waster 1: Stuck in the Social Media Scroll

How many times to you check Instagram per day? Each time you open up Facebook, how many minutes to you spend aimlessly scrolling? Only to read or watch completely useless, and yes sometimes quite amusing, content.

Yes, the social media scroll. I'm absolutely guilty of this - and haven't yet really gotten myself out of it. But the first stage towards improvement is Acceptance. And I've accepted that this is a flaw of mine.

You get stuck scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and before you know it: 47 minutes have gone by. Holy!

In the world we live in, surrounded by information, messages, content - it's easy to get sucked in. And most of what's shared on social media doesn't add a huge amount of value. 

Here's your challenge: Decide on the time you're willing to spend on social media, and how many times a day. Schedule this and try to stick to it - don't reach for your phone constantly. Keep it out of sight if needed.

Time Waster 2: Refreshing Emails Like a Nervous Tick

Similarly to social media, email can be a huge time waster. You're likely bombarded by emails every few minutes. From work-related and notes from friends, to newsletter updates and spam. I know I'm struggling to keep up with emails, usually having to spend at least a couple of hours each day clearing out my inbox. 

It's gotten so bad that I refresh my email every few minutes. Opening up my email app if I've got just one new email. Do you do this as well?

I'm not sure whether this kind of behaviour is because of FOMO or whether it's a mitigation strategy to avoid hundreds of emails to sort through later.

Either way, it sucks precious time out of your day like nothing else. And most of the time, the world doesn't end if you read that email a couple of hours later. And, most emails might even be spam or useless information that you never have to read.

Here's your challenge: Go through your trash folder and unsubscribe from all newsletters you don't open up (hopefully not ours!). This will eliminate the volume of emails you receive. Then, decide on a time during the day when you'll sit down and go through your emails. Do this every day and don't check your emails before or after.

Time Waster 3: Decision Making Paralysis

You make around 35,000 decisions every day. Every. Day. Granted, you probably don't notice all of them. But just imagine the amount of energy and brain power dedicated to all those decisions.

It's so easy to get into decision making paralysis, if you're anything like me (perfectionist, obsessive, overthinker...). Even those smaller decisions that should take us a few minutes - tops - take ages. Like what to wear. What to eat. Whether to do something now or later. 

Think about the last time you spent more than one minute making a decision that doesn't have a huge impact on your life. Tally up the time spent, in your head, during an average day. That time can be better spent elsewhere! 

Sometimes, you just gotta make a call and go with it. 9 out of 10, you won't even think about the decision you made afterwards. It all works out. 

You can also try to limit the number of day-to-day decisions you need to make. Mark Zuckerberg, for example, wears the same clothes every day. He doesn't want to waste time and energy on meaningless decisions. 

Think through whether this logic applies to some areas of your life. Can you prepare outfits for the week in one go?

Here's your challenge: Limit the number of decisions you need to make by preparing ahead and simplifying your life. Then, allow yourself 5 minutes to make small decisions (time it if you need to). When the time is up, just make a call and see how much time you saved.

 

Hope these tips can help you save some of your precious time on a daily basis. If you found this valuable - leave a comment below!




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