I don’t know about you, but I feel like I never have enough time in the day. There is just so much to do. With being a new first time mom and managing two businesses, trying to get a workout in, make healthy meals everyday, I just feel like I need 50 hours to get my daily to-dos done.
But that’s just not possible now, is it?
And the thing is, even if I had 50 hours in a day, I’d still feel like I need more time. Because we(humans, living in s world full of distractions) are notorious for wasting our time on things on the daily.
And if we could just stop wasting our time everyday, we won’t really need 50 hours.
BUT, in order to not waste time, it is important to realise where your time actually goes. You THINK you were on your phone for a few minutes, but the reality is something else. And once you get an idea of where your time actually goes, you can manage it better.
In this post, I am sharing 15 things you are probably wasting your time on, every single day.
#1: Deciding what to wear every morning:
Raise your hand if you stand in front of your closet every morning, thinking about what to wear to work?
And you are not alone.
Putting together an outfit that looks half decent can be a lot of work, especially if your wardrobe is full of clothes that don’t go with each other. Imagine how much time you’ll end up saving every morning, if you had all your outfits laid out in advance.
I mean, it still takes time to do it on the weekends, but when doing all the outfits in one go, you can plan better.
And even better if you have a capsule wardrobe where you can easily mix and match the pieces without giving much thought. And they automatically go together perfectly.
I cannot recommend a capsule wardrobe more.
It is also a great idea to make uniforms for work, going out and so on. So one weekend take out all the clothes out of your wardrobe, declutter and think of uniforms.
Not like the ones you had in school, but just put together outfits that make you feel good.
And have these uniforms for different occasions like going out for drinks, brunches, work meetings etc. I even take photos in my phone and save in a folder in the gallery. Photos just make it so much easier to remember and refer back to.
This will save you so much time on the daily. You can simply take these items and put them on without worrying whether it looks good or not.
#2: Deciding what to make for the meals:
Do you waste too much time on deciding what to make for each meal? And when you have finally decided, you find that you don’t have one/more of the ingredients for the recipe.
Nope? Just me, then?
I love eating home cooked healthy meals but deciding everyday can be quite the hassle. And if you too are wasting a lot of time on the same, you need to get started with meal planning. Planning out your meals will save you a lot of time on the daily.
And meal planning along with meal prepping on the weekends will save you time when its time to eat. It makes it so convenient to eat healthy home cooked meals everyday. It will definitely be a life saver if you are a new mom. Because I know how much work it can be to cook separate meals for the baby and then for yourself (when they’re weaning).
#3: Social Media:
Do I even need to mention this? Social media has become such a huge part of our lives and we end up wasting too much time scrolling mindlessly don’t we?
And it’s not like we’re always actively wasting our time. Sometimes we’re looking for some information online. But then there is no dearth of information, is there?
I know I have been guilty of spending way too much time on doing the research. Sometimes leaving myself little time to actually get the task done.
And social media can be such a rabbit hole. You don’t even realise how much time you actually waste unless you’re actively monitoring that.
#4: Grocery shopping:
Grocery shopping can be so time consuming, especially if you’re doing so every other day or multiple times a week. The stores are designed in such a way that you end up spending a lot of time going up and down the aisles before you can get to the billing counter. So no matter if you’ve gone to buy just a few things, you end up wasting time.
And need I mention that more trips to the store means you buying things you don’t really need. so you end up wasting a lot of money as well. And buying junk food too.
In order to save your time and money, I highly recommend that you limit the number of times you visit the grocery store in a month. I never go more than once a week. Mostly I go once in two weeks.
And planning your grocery list and sticking to it is the way to go. I never ever shop without a list. It s so much more efficient than trying to remember what you needed by going up and down the aisles.
Yes, you are in fact wasting your time if you are trying to multi-task. Whenever we do that we only give half of our attention to a task. And that way, it just takes longer to get it done. And even when you manage to finish the task, it shows that you were not fully dedicated.
I mean, for some tasks it can work. Like when you’re driving to work, you can use your commute time to listen to a podcast or an audio book. That way you can multi-task.
But when it comes to tasks that require your full attention, it just doesn’t work.
#6: Notifications on your phone:
I switched off push notifications from every app a long time back. And it was life changing, I kid you not.
Having those notifications pop up every now and then gets you in the habit if reaching for your phone whenever something comes up.
And we all know what happens when you pick up your phone to quickly check something. You get lost in social media apps, scrolling for hours.
So turn off all those notifications, so that you check your phone only when you are taking a break from work. And that way you do not break your focus every time a notification pops up.
#7: Having no routine:
Having no routine means you will be wasting your time deciding what to do next. Trust me, having a proper routine will save you so much time and help prevent decision fatigue as well. It will help you be more productive and get things done. Especially in the mornings.
Mornings are the time when you have the time to yourself and can focus on your goals. And having a proper routine will help you get these tasks done on an auto pilot mode.
You can even get workouts done in the morning and not wait for motivation to strike. Because once you are comfortable with a routine, it starts coming naturally to you. And when it comes to building these good habits and being consistent, routines are the key.
#8: Saying yes to every plan:
If you are saying yes to every plan, you are definitely wasting your time. I know how hard it can be to say no to someone. And that’s why it is even more important to learn to say no to plans that you don’t want to go to.
We have limited time in a day and if you are saying yes to every one and every plan, then you will find it hard to find the time to do the things you love doing.
So learn how to say no and be clear with your communication and boundaries. Because I know some people will ask you again and again and you want to be able to say no without being impolite.
But think of it as putting yourself first. Even if all you have planned for the evening is a self care pampering session at home, it is still okay to say no to drinks with friends. And if they are truly your friends, they’ll understand.
#9:Binge watching Netflix shows:
Netflix shows can be addictive. I remember how we used to binge watch Netflix shows every night after coming from office.
We’d then get food delivered because we didn’t have time to cook. I didn’t even have enough time to get proper sleep. So if you feel like you don’t have time as well, think about your Netflix/content consumption in general.
Make a rule for yourself to only watch a show when you have completed all the tasks for the day. And to turn it off at least a hour or two before your set bed time.
#10: Cleaning your house:
Before you go “But cleaning the house does not count as time wasted”, let me tell you that it does.
Yes. Even cleaning your house can be a wastage of time if you are procrastinating important work and cleaning instead.
I do understand the urge to clean and declutter your entire home right before starting a big project. Having a clutter free home helps clear out mental space and allows you to think more clearly and be more focussed.
But do whatever you can to resist this urge to clean right when you have to work. I have procrastinated my work so many times for the same.And in the moment, it feels like you’re still doing something productive and not really wasting your time.
But it’s about priorities. Cleaning shouldn’t take a front seat when you have other important work to do, that needs your attention.
Instead, focus on building daily declutter routine that keeps your home in order and takes less than 15 minutes on the daily. And when you get into the habit of cleaning everyday, the house is never in a state of complete chaos.
Here are 14 Decluttering tasks that you can do when you only have 10 minutes.
#11: Not having a to-do list/ Indecisiveness:
Having a to-do list is the number one tip that people often give, if you want to be more productive.And being productive and time management goes together, right?
And if you are not making a daily/weekly to-do list, you are probably wasting your time. It literally takes 10 minutes to write down the tasks and it makes you so much more productive through out the day.
Writing your to-dos will also help you structure your day better. Because it allows you to see what your day looks like and what tasks should be a priority. That way your can focus on those tasks first and schedule the rest for later in the day.
Having a to-do list is also great because it saves you the decision fatigue and also you don’t end up wasting your time deciding what to do next.
#12: Not prioritising:
Right with to-do lists comes prioritising tasks. It is probably my most important advice as well. Prioritising is the key to writing effective to-do lists.
You can have a hundred items on your to-do list, because sometimes thats just how busy we are. And we don’t always have the time to get everything done. And that’s why, knowing what is number 1 priority task, what is number 2 and so on, is so important.
And if you are not prioritising, you will probably tackle the easier tasks first. because that’s just human nature. And again, you will be diverging from the important ones and hence wasting your time.
#13: No sleep schedule:
I don’t want to sound crazy, but having a night routine and a proper sleep schedule is the best thing you can do for yourself. Everyone wants to be a morning person and wants to wake up at 5 AM, but the routines starts the night before.
You need to get proper sleep( quality and quantity, both) in order to feel your best energetic self in the mornings. And getting proper sleeps will help you be more productive the next day.
And that’s why you need to focus on improving your sleep quality as well. Some things that help are:
- Sleeping at the same time every night and waking up around the same time as well.
- Not watching any screens at least 2 hours prior to bed time. And if you absolutely need to, use blue light glasses and turn on Night mode on your iphone.
- Not have caffeine in the evenings and have a relaxing lavender tea instead.
Here is a detailed post with 12 tips that will help you improve the quality of your sleep.
#14:Looking for your keys etc:
How much time do you waste to look for your car keys or house keys before you have to head out. Or maybe looking for other things around the house.
Looking for paper work and some bill or receipts is such a hassle. And it is definitely something that people waste a lot of time on.
What you can do instead is have a place for everything in the house. Having a designated place for things and giving them a home is important and will save you a lot of time.
#15: Ineffective communication:
We often are a part of communications that keep going back and forth with no end result in sight. Sometimes at work, sometimes in relationships as well. And that wastes a lot of our time on the daily.
You need to be a good listener for a two way communications and you also need to be good at communicating exactly how you feel. I know it can be overwhelming at times when you can express yourself clearly.
And that’s why I find journalling so helpful. Sometimes writing things down helps you figure out your thoughts and emotions in a better way. And that way you can better express yourself during a conversation as well.
One of things I have learned is, that sometimes we shy away from speaking our entire truth, because we think it make for an uncomfortable conversation. But it’s always better to be clear about how you feel. Whether it is in relationships or in work meetings.
And there you have it. 15 things that you waste your time on, every single day. I hope this post gives you an idea/ insight on where you are wasting your time. And that knowledge will help you manage your time in a better way.
If you are keen on taking a time management challenge, I have it linked here. It is a 2 week long time management challenge that will help you get better at time management.
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