In this post I’m going to explore how to stop wasting time. You may not intentionally waste time but essentially whenever you look to improve yourself, time plays an important role in the process and usually, it’s the first reason for not doing something “I don’t have any time.”
When you’re wasting time, it may not be that you are actively or even consciously wasting time. It could be that you have such a busy schedule that it looks like you don’t have any additional time available to you.
One of the first things I do with clients is to address their day-to-day. When a client is looking to up-level some aspect of their life, they will need to dedicate time to it. When you’re in a state of mind where you think that you are too busy, you will put off doing the things that make you happy.
I know this sounds counter-productive when you’re trying to improve your life but if you’ve been in a state of ‘doing’ it’s often very difficult to see where you might be wasting time and therefore improve it.
For those of you that want to create time, the first thing you need to do is be really honest with yourself. Have a look at your weekly schedule and review what is essential and what isn’t. Being honest with yourself is not an easy task because you’re so used to living a certain way that it can feel almost impossible to let things go from your schedule and give that time to yourself.
I don’t believe that anyone chooses to waste time. There are those of you that may procrastinate and if you’re stuck in a cycle of procrastination, then I urge you to break the cycle. You can do this by identifying what is making you unhappy about your life, when you last had time for yourself to do something just for you (and perhaps how often you give back to yourself) and then make the adjustments so that you can feel happier. Some procrastination is ok, it’s often a sign to tell you to slow down and take a break, other times it signifies unhappiness and therefore is wasting time.
When you are able to refine your schedule and create time for yourself, you will feel a lot lighter and possibly less stressed.
Let’s look at an example of a parent: You have a packed schedule that focuses on the kids. You have to get up, get yourself ready, get them up, dressed and fed. Then, you have to leave the house to get to school on time. You then go and do your work day. Perhaps you have to arrange childcare, or have to pick the kids up yourself. After this, you might have clubs that the kids are enrolled into. Your evenings are rushed as you get them home, wash, homework, read and bed. At this point, you might have been up since 6am and it’s probably nearing 9pm. Then you still need to clear up the house and eat yourself. What do you do with this time?
I’m going to bet if this is your life, you probably zone out, scroll the ‘gram and are just exhausted. You probably don’t let up on the weekend because there are other clubs to go to. Birthday parties to attend and prepping for the week ahead. What kind of life are you creating? I’m pretty sure, this won’t make you feel happy and fulfilled.
In this example, I would challenge the client to drop one of the clubs. Your child is not going to lose out. You are the parent, you need to set boundaries so perhaps allowing the child to have 3 club choices per term and that’s that. You might have to manage any upset from the child. I recommend using the time that you’ve created to both have at least an hour for yourself and to engage with your child.
You therefore create time for yourself to rest and re-group and do something fun that gives back to you. And you build a stronger relationship with your child and or partner.
If you don’t have kids, theory would state that you have more time. However, I know that this isn’t always true. I’ve had clients who ‘should’ have more time for themselves but actually, they spend 90 hours of their time working. Sometimes, it’s because they spend all of their free time with other people.
So if you’re in this scenario, I’d recommend the same honest look at where you spend your time and challenge yourself to cut one of those out. I find the simplest way of creating an hour for a client who hasn’t got kids, is a Saturday morning.
We’re in this strange culture of ‘treating’ ourselves to a lie in. Now when you’re tired, a lie in will be good for you to recuperate rest however, if you’re ‘treating’ yourself to a lie in because it’s the weekend – I’m afraid that’s not a good enough reason because you’re saying to me, that you don’t have enough time for yourself in the week.
If you have a simple routine of getting up with at least an hour of time just for you, you have easily created that time and I’m pretty sure that you’ll be happier for it.
This then promotes opportunity. It changes your perspective from “I don’t have enough time” to “what can I do with this time?” instead.
Ultimately in both cases, there are opportunities to create time so that you are not wasting time. It will take an honest look at your life so that you can align what you really want with your reality.
I’m Puja McClymont – certified coach, wisdom teacher, speaker and host of the SELF Care 101 podcast.
I help professionals who are seeking direction and contentment in their lives by taking their work, health and relationships to a new level of success, so that life becomes more impactful, meaningful and fulfilling.
Through wisdom traditions and modern personal-development techniques, I teach you how to understand your Self better to achieve your goals.
Discover tips and insights through my podcast, blog and email edit.