Wasting time means spending time on things that are either unproductive or that take time away from productive things. For example, spending time surfing the internet or social network sites, playing video games, watching TV, and doing similar things with no goal in mind is a waste of time and creative brainpower.
Occasionally, these things can be a pleasant and relaxing diversion. Still, when they frequently interfere with more productive things like learning, becoming better at your job, spending time with family or friends, or devoting time to a hobby that has long-term benefits, they become a problem. They can even damage motivation and the establishment of family and financial priorities.
Ways to Be More Efficient and Effective
- Identify and eliminate time-wasters (see below)
- Designate specific periods as time-wasting free periods
- Make a short daily to-do-list
- Schedule the most important things first
- Set goals related to productive activities
- Keep a log of how much time you spend doing activities
- Do high priority things when you have the most energy
While my wife and I were raising our children, there were times when we would get rid of cable television. We would go without cable for six months or so. During that time, we would do more things together as a family, and we spent more time doing other productive things. It paid off in drawing our family closer together. Our children were more happy and content when we were not paying attention to them because of the quantity time we spent with them.
Things that Waste Time
- Arguing with others (pick your battles)
- Chasing money instead of improvement
- Driving in rush-hour
- Impulsive decisions
- Multitasking (focus on a single task at a time)
- Not having an agenda at meetings
- Not having a business plan
- Not having an email SPAM filter
- Not knowing when to say "no."
- Playing video games
- Surfing the Internet
- Texting back-and-forth (pick up a phone)
- Vegging in front of a television
Wasting time is the enemy of creative brainpower and financial stability. Too many great ideas died on a crumpled napkin because someone had their initiative or motivation sapped by things that waste time.