How many times have you used the lifelong excuse: “If only I had more time.” Maybe you want to try something new, learn a new instrument, start cooking healthy food, start a blog, go to the Gym more often, but you just don’t have the time, right? (I have to admit, I also use this excuse)
It’s amazing how we can make this excuse when most of us waste 2-3 hours a day doing things that don’t bring us any value. We are so used to our daily routines that we do not realize how much time we waste on activities that don’t bring us much value.
One way to make better use of our time is to prioritize. Check out our article on the subject: Prioritizing To Make Better Use Of Your Time. But, another simple way to create more time during the day is to identify and eliminate the top time-wasters from your day. Here are the top 5 time wasters that you should identify and eliminate to be more productive.
Top 5 Time Wasters to Avoid
Checking your emails
The classic mistake with emails is to check and manage them multiple times a day. Each time, it might take only 5-10 minutes, but when you add it together, it can accumulate to 1-2 hours of emailing per day. My advice is to check your emails at only 2 predetermined times during the day.
Surfing the Web
We want to keep current with the news, watch a small video or check information on Wikipedia. Pages link together, and we end up reading about Rihanna’s breakup. How did we get there? 80% of internet users surf the web for more than 2 hours a day. To avoid endlessly surfing the web, I recommend you limit your time with a browser extension like Web Timer (Chrome) or Mind the Timer (Firefox)
Watching TV Shows
TV shows have a way to always keep us clicking for the next episode. The average Netflix subscriber spends more than 2 hours a day streaming movies and TV shows. That’s 14 hours a week. Imagine if this time was spent on your dream project instead. You could spend this time learning a new language or playing a new instrument. Tiii.me is a tool that calculates how long you’ve spent watching TV shows. Try it and see for yourself.
Commuting to/from Work
If you add up the time you spend going to and coming from work every day, it can quickly add up to 2 hours a day. Look for alternatives to minimize the number of times you need to commute. For example, you could ask your boss to agree to let you work one day a week from home, or you could do more hours per day, but work only 4 days instead of 5. Sometimes it’s more productive to take public transportation even if it takes a little longer to get there because you can take that time to read a book or work on something useful. If you absolutely need to drive to work, you could listen to an audiobook while you’re stuck in traffic. The best service for this is Audible. It is free to use for 30 days and if you already use Kindle it syncs across all your devices so that you can start a book in audio and finish reading it from where you left off on your Kindle.
Browsing on Social Networks
In some ways, social networks are another form of web surfing, but they can be even more addictive. Facebook has thousands of employees whose only job is to make sure you spend more time on the platform. They develop these algorithms to make sure you see the most addictive content. On top of that, they can now follow you everywhere when you install the apps on your phone. I know you need to stay in-touch with friends and family, but you probably don’t need to spend more than an hour on the network. Most people spend more than 2 hours on the platform. My advice is to turn the app notifications off and just like your emails, you reserve a time during the day to check your accounts.
Identifying and limiting these time wasters will free up time that can be better spent. It is your choice what you do with that time, but at least, your time will be spent towards things that truly make you happy.