I'm being truthfully and painfully honest here. Despite efforts, and even some headway into the waters, some things continue to be suckers of time in my life. They suck up time like the old gas hog we had when I was a kid. In fact I bet "Old Besty" ate less gas!
In the days before Internet and smart phones we did less multitasking, and in many ways I think a lot of times wasters come from doing too much and not focusing on one thing. The projects we worked on got more of our attention before we had more technology; we had less time to waste, but we got more done. We were happier, healthier, and finished what we started, as a general rule.
Today, as I promised, I am sharing what some of my biggest time wasters are and a little bit about why.
Some of my time wasters are:
- Facebook: While I don't play games, I see facebook as a big time waster in my day. If I neglect checking it in the morning, my day goes much better. Why is that? Me thinks I need to refrain from checking Facebook in the morning. After the first check, I end up needing to check often. What did so and so say to that comment, what thread did so and so post.... Yep, its a downward spiral. I am told that there are good aspects to facebook, and I do agree it can be good, but it sure can whittle away at the time.
- Traffic or driving to places: To get anywhere I feel like I am in the car 15 to 20 minutes. I'm not sure why but I do know it just seems to take forever to get to the store, to the bank, to the doctor....
- Saying yes to often: To many activities. To much to do, which really wears down my resolve to not get on facebook to try to unwind. Multi-tasking, contrary to the now popular notion, is not good for us, our bodies, nor those who love us. Forbes magazine, and several other sources have written articles on how it actually isn't good for us or our productivity, some major companies have even asked employees to focus on one task at a time in meetings, etc. On one web site, LateralAction, an author even goes so far to say that "multitasking can reduce your performance level to that of a drunk?" Wow. Sobering thoughts as we multi-task ourselves into an early grave. How many of us, have projects littering our desktops, to do lists, and education goals. Now these aren't really bad things, when done with the right mind set and in moderation, but I am convinced that doing, doing, doing is hurting our families.
- Not finishing up a task before starting another/procrastination: This kind of goes with multitasking. Its hard to really complete one task when you have 6 other pots on the stove. When we have many things to do our mind can't focus, in fact studies have shown that most of us can only focus on 5-10 items at a time. We really can't even do that much if we are doing something that asks for significant levels of brain power. Just the other day I started cleaning about 3 things at once. I started off picking up my coffee table, went into the kitchen to to get a rag and some lemon oil and ended up doing something else I seen and was on my short list for the day as well..... am I alone?
- Not having everything I need in one place (i.e., where I can find it): Looking for things take a lot of time and when you are in a hurry or not wanting to do something you end up frustrated and buying it again. Not effective at all!
- Not communicating effectively: Sadly, yes. Arguing, pouting, etc. waste my time. It generally comes from not effectively communicating. I get so stressed from trying to multitask effectively (trying to keep up with everyone else) and keep my focus on XYZ that I get tired and worn out, and then I lash out. Poking at the specks in others eyes takes a lot of time, especially while tripping over the beam in my own. Its a cycle, and I hate that treadmill.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Are we doing this? The better question is, AM I DOING THIS?
Next week (give or take) I will share my plan for combating these and the steps I have taken to address them. What are some of your time wasters?