time wasters

There are things in life you just can’t avoid. Time-wasters, though, can be avoided. We all know a few things that take up our attention and energy without providing anything in return. Things that we get sucked into doing, and before we know it, hours have passed, and we’ve accomplished nothing.

Learning to avoid these time-wasters can help you feel better and give you more time and energy to put into important things.

Worrying

Man up late worrying over work.

We can’t control everything. As hard as it is to accept, it’s even harder to avoid wasting time worrying over things out of our control. Anxiety is at an all-time high, so it’s common for people to worry about things they can’t control. Whether it’s school, work, family, or relationship drama, many things can cause you to lose sleep worrying.

Unfortunately, just worrying on its own doesn’t do much, and it ends up being one of many time-wasters that makes you feel worse about an already bad situation.

If you can’t do anything to change it, do your best not to worry about it. Your time will be much better spent doing things you enjoy or getting things done that are in your control. I know that’s way easier said than done, but the more you try, the easier it will be to do.
If you’re having trouble letting go of your worry, take a deep breath and think about the things within your control. If you’re having a problem at work, take some time to consider how you can resolve the situation or, if all else fails, where you can find a new job. There are always going to be things you focus on that will be a lot more productive than spinning your wheels worrying.

Understanding what you can and can’t control will change your whole mindset and make you feel better.

Social Media

Man whiling hours away on social media.

I spend a lot of time on social media. It’s part of my job, but that doesn’t mean I’m not scrolling through Facebook feeds or my TikTok FYP way more than I should. It’s easy to get sucked into seeing stupid jokes or glamorous photoshoots of places you’ll never go to.

Even hate-watching idiotic videos (like 5-minute crafts) is certainly a waste of time. Being on social media for hours on end every day doesn’t accomplish anything. It doesn’t make you feel better; it doesn’t even keep you connected to your friends. 

Lots of people feel worse about themselves after using social media, and studies show it negatively impacts mental health. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have their uses, but in general, they’re big time-wasters. They want you to mindlessly scroll for hours and hours so they can push ads in front of you and earn money from those ads.  

So, if it feels like you don’t have enough hours in the day, I recommend cutting back on your social media use. You don’t have to get offline completely, but only giving yourself an hour a day will free you up a lot more than you’d expect.

Procrastination

Woman bored at work, ignoring project deadlines.

Anyone who says they work better under pressure is full of it. That’s just something people say to rationalize why they’re procrastinating and pretend they’re not wasting time. 

Many people don’t realize that when you procrastinate on one thing, you tend to procrastinate on a lot of things. It feels like you can’t do anything else because you should focus on one specific thing. Even if you do focus on other things, you’re going to be wasting energy thinking about whatever you need to be doing in the back of your mind. 

It’s just mentally exhausting to procrastinate. You never give yourself a break because as soon as you finish procrastinating one thing, you’re probably going to be procrastinating with something else. You never get the time to breathe and appreciate your productivity. 

I don’t mean to come off as too harsh on procrastinators; I procrastinate too. It’s a bad habit that I’m trying to get over because working under pressure sucks. No one wants to be racing the clock as a looming deadline creeps closer and closer. It’s much more efficient to get whatever work or task needs to be done over with. Then you get to enjoy the remaining time without the stress.

Chronic procrastination isn’t easy to overcome without changing your mindset. If you’re having trouble with that, check out our blog on how ambitious people get things done. It may give you some ideas on how to overcome your procrastination and other time-wasters without all the stress.

It’s not a waste if you enjoy it

Woman unwinding with some music.

There are a lot of things I could put on this list that other people would tell you are huge time-wasters. Maybe they do waste time, but I want to make it a point to say that the things you enjoy are not wastes of time. We all need activities that help us unwind when we’re stressed out. If you get enjoyment and relaxation out of something, then it isn’t a waste of time at all. 

Don’t let other people tell you the things you enjoy doing for enjoyment’s sake are wastes of time. As long as you’re responsible with your time, you should keep doing the things you enjoy. Even if you think you’re bad at them or they aren’t productive or whatever other reason, your parents or whoever is telling you that you shouldn’t be doing them.

Doing things because you enjoy them is worth it. 

What are your biggest time-wasters?

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