Time Wasters I Avoid

I made a lot of goals this year.  Some are passive, like not shopping.  But some require my time and energy, like my various health goals that require me to cook and research and exercise.  Part of the reason I like setting these goals and having the list to work off of is that it makes me very aware of how I'm spending my time each day - and how not to waste it.  Since the new year is the time when everyone else makes goals too, I figure this is a good time to share how I avoid wasting my time so I can be more productive.

Social Media.  Set a timer before you start scrolling Instagram or Pinterest.  You will be absolutely shocked how much time you spend doing this.  It seems mindless, but it takes focus to actually absorb what you're seeing and reading, so you don't realize what's going on outside that screen, including how much time has passed.  Facebook is the absolute worst for this, which is a big reason why I don't have it.  I'm counting all the silly games here as well, those Facebook linked ones where you grow farms and blow up candy.  I'm sure you already know how much time you're wasting there.

Television.  I think it's a personal pet peeve when someone says to me 'you get so much done, I can't be that productive, I'm too busy with other stuff' and then when I ask them to actually account for their time, there's hours logged each week in front of the damn TV!  People think they're oh so busy working or cooking or cleaning their homes but in reality, they spend at least 7 hours a week just sitting on the couch (one one hour show per day.  Which is grossly underestimated, it's more like 20 hours.)  I think there can be a time for TV, but it's not as often as people like to think it is.  When I watch something, I make sure it's something I care about - I quit shows if they start being crappy - and I always do something else while I watch, like fold laundry or clean the bathroom.  There are other ways that I relax, and TV isn't one of them.  It's too easy to get caught up and have way more time than you realize pass.

Scrolling for Shows or Movies.  This is related to television and Netflix watching in that I don't scroll to find stuff to watch.  If I need to do that, I clearly don't have anything I really want to be watching, so why waste time on something second rate?  John and I don't schedule at home, movie watching date nights unless we already have a movie in mind because we could easily spend 30 minutes just searching through all the options and making a final decision.  Which is crazy.

Shopping.  Whether you're doing it in person or online, shopping takes more time than you think.  Besides just the time spent browsing, you also compare items and prices, decide between colors, wait in line, enter payment information, etc. etc.  Not shopping saves so much time!  If I really need something, I add it to a list on my phone.  If I still need it in a week, I'll go get just that one item.  While I'm on a shopping ban, it's really just items that replace something that ran out.  Since I have favorite brands and stores for those things, I don't waste time searching around.  I don't like window shopping as a hobby, a way too unwind, or a way to spend time with friends.  There's just too many pitfalls there in terms of time and money wasted.

Cooking Daily.  Cooking an entire meal from scratch every single night is such a waste of time to me.  Of course, I'm fine with eating the same thing every day.  Take burrito bowls for example.  I can batch cook quinoa, beans, onions and peppers, salsa,  whatever on Sundays and then just reheat it all week.  I save myself in dishes, kitchen cleanup, and of course, actual cooking.  But I understand that some people (John is one of them) don't like eating this way.  You can still prep on the weekends and save yourself a ton of time.  Two recipes might call for similar ingredients (chicken tacos and chicken stir fry would both call for chicken and rice, for example), which you can cook just once and then re-use in the next recipe.  You can also cook in advance for foods that require similar prep: roasted veggies and a casserole both need to be heated in an oven for half an hour at 350 degrees?  Cook them at the same time, even if they aren't for the same meal, and spend 30 minutes instead of an hour and only heat the oven once.

Mail and Paperwork.  John still wastes time on mail sorting and filing paperwork and I have no idea why since none of this is necessary.  I get nothing in the mail, literally.  I mean, I got some Christmas cards, but other than that, everything is digital for me and nothing comes in the physical mailbox.  Time saved right there, not having to open and recycle letters all the time.  I also don't bother with any paperwork besides mail either.  I don't print things, I don't keep any paper copies of things I do receive like warranties, there's just nothing that's necessary to keep.  I save myself tons of time by not needing to keep some sort of elaborate filing system going.  There's only one file for all of my paper, and it's called the recycling bin.

Sleeping In.  This was a bad habit I had to break myself, but I've definitely gotten more time back in my day since I have.  I'll still sleep in on the weekends but it's still only 8 hours of sleep, I just go to bed later.  What the real waste of time is is hitting the snooze button.  Because once the first alarm goes off (or your body naturally wakes up), you're not getting any more restful sleep.  It's time to just get up.  An hour of snooze alarms is just messing with your sleep cycles and you're going to feel tired all day, not like you actually got an extra hour of sleep.

Maybe these aren't your particular time wasters.  If you still can't figure out why you aren't accomplishing as much as you'd like to be, really track your time for a week and see what's happening.  Track it as closely as possible, in 15 minute increments.  You might be surprised that you actually spend 2 hours getting ready to leave the house, instead of the half hour you think you do, or that it takes much longer to commute to work than your map says it should because of daily traffic.

What time wasters do you avoid when you know you need to get stuff done?

Thanks so much for stopping by.  You can also join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  In addition to minimalism and organizing, I love all things 'real life' so use the hashtag #notentirelyperfect on social media so I can see your beautifully unstaged life.  On the top of the side bar to your right, you can follow me on Bloglovin or subscribe via e-mail to be alerted to each new post.

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