Avoiding Time Wasting – Why This Trick Is Crucial For Your Success
One of the most pressing issues that affects our productivity when we are working is procrastination and engaging in time wasting activities when we should really be working on something more important and pressing. We are all susceptible to it, and we are all guilty of having fallen foul of sitting there, distracting ourselves with something of no importance. It is no surprise that the most successful individuals avoid procrastination as much as they can in their daily lives, utilising their time for being as productive and fulfilling as possible, optimising them only for further success.
Time wasting not only makes you a massively less productive person, most of the time it gives you the impression that you have been working for a period of time, when in fact you haven’t, making you feel like you have accomplished more than you have. When you realise you haven’t, this seeming lack of achievement to show for your time leaves you guilty, meaning you can’t properly relax and unwind in your down-time, which in turn makes the down-time less helpful as a means of getting away from the stresses of work, to the detriment of your mental health.
There are already a great many articles that we have produced here on Careeba highlighting different ways of avoiding procrastination. I urge you to read as many as you can to try and find some ways of avoiding time wasting that work for you personally. Having a proper daily routine – something we will explore further in another article – will help you master your time better, but having a routine and sticking to one are very different things, and you need the discipline to keep to your own schedule. Here, however, are some ideas of shaping your day and your work environment for getting rid of time wasting and becoming more like those successful individuals.
First, we usually procrastinate as a means of not doing something we do not want to do. Whilst this may be a part of a great passion problem with your work, it is understandable that most people have to do tasks from time to time that they, for whatever reason, really don’t want to do, even if it is part of a job that they really enjoy. It could be because it is a big task, a boring one or one that will take a long time, or simply that you are tired or feeling ill and don’t want to deal with the work in front of you. Going into a day with a good, productive mind-set, whilst seeming too easy to work, can drastically improve your work ethic and your mood towards your tasks, allowing you to complete them more quickly. Before you go to sleep the night before, check what you have planned for tomorrow so you are aware of it and are not surprised by it the next morning, and tell yourself that you are going to have a productive day. When you wake up, tell yourself that today is going to be a good day, you are going to get a reasonable amount of work done, and you are going to enjoy doing that work. And, just before you start working, tell yourself again that this is good work, you are happy to do it and are not dreading any of it. Then, all that’s left to do is to get stuck into it.
Secondly, set reasonable goals for the day. Part of that positive mind-set is not seeing everything you have to do that day as one big unsurmountable workload, and dreading anything you have to do from there on in. Try and figure out what is a reasonable amount of work for you to do in a day so that you don’t get swamped, but you don’t fall behind, and then make sure you stick to that. To go with this, another thing that is useful to stop you falling into time-wasting activities is to take short, but frequent, breaks from work, so that you aren’t forcing your mind to concentrate for too long to the point that it can’t anymore, leaving it to wander into distraction. But, when you take those short breaks, be careful of what you do – some activities such as trawling social media or watching TV can let time get away from you, or stop your brain from being able to concentrate on your work as well. Making a cup of tea or going for a quick walk around the office are better ways of stepping away from your work for a moment. If you can’t resist the pull of your phone, I have already written an article on apps you should look at instead of social media to get you through that break and back to productivity.
Thirdly, deal with the big stuff first. All too often we look at our to-do list for the day, and the item that fills us with the most dread we put off till last. By the time we get round to it, we are tired and mentally exhausted, so any work we do on it will not be as good as it can be, or we will simply put it off even further. Even though you might be working beforehand, this is still a form of procrastination, as work that needs to be done properly simply doesn’t; get the tough stuff out of the way first thing, and look forward to the rest of the day.
Finally, set up your work environment to minimise distractions. Many people favour solitude when working, so find somewhere away from others that might distract you. You can even make sure where your working has partitions, or doesn’t have a TV nearby for you to look at. If you know you need to do some deep-work, switch off and lock away your phone, or turn off the Wi-Fi if you don’t need it. Stop time wasting and take another step to success!
Make sure you check out the rest of the articles in our series on success:
- Why A Healthy Body Is Crucial For A Successful Career
- Daily Routine
- Being Persistent
- 5 Steps To Success