Time is something we all feel we don’t have enough of, so being aware of how you’re using it is super helpful. That doesn’t mean that all your time needs to be used productively – far from it, but if you’re unintentionally wasting time you are likely eating in to the time you have for the things you love. Here are some of the most common ways we do it – thankfully there are solutions for them too! I’d love to hear your ideas as well.
Not Meal Planning
I know I harp on about meal planning a lot, but I promise it’s for good reason! If you’re not planning ahead for your food you’re almost certainly wasting time. More trips to the shops, more time (and stress!) thinking about what to cook, preparing the food, you name it. I find meal prepping even more useful for streamlining things, but planning is an excellent place to start.
Not Being Organised
Getting yourself more organised is another great way to stop unintentionally wasting time. It will stop you doing everything at the last minute, which is almost never the most efficient option, because you’ll have the opportunity to plan in advance for activities, events, you name it. It also means you won’t waste timing looking for things like important documents because everything will be organised and exactly where you need it.
Trying To Do Too Much
This is a bit of a different one, because when we are doing a lot we may feel like we’re not wasting any time at all. However, trying to cram too much in, or multitasking too often, usually means we do every task slower than we could, which ends up wasting time. If we try and add too much to our day we also find that we end up frazzled and rushed, which usually means something gets missed or not done properly. We then have to slot that activity back into our schedule which just takes up even more time. The moral of the story is less-is-often-more and single tasking is your friend!
Not Having A To-Do List
If we don’t have a to-do list we’re unlikely to be able to do things in the most efficient way, because we can’t plan ahead. We’re also likely to completely forget about tasks we needed to do, or prioritise things correctly, leading to last minute panic and stress. All of this results in us unintentionally wasting time, as well as taking up brain space that we could use for other things!
Not Batching Activities
This ties neatly to having a to-do list – if we know what tasks we need to achieve we can batch them in a sensible way. Batching really just means doing similar tasks together which will always result in a more efficient use of your time. This applies just as well for work-related tasks (eg dealing with emails all at once) as it does your personal life (such as going out once to run errands) and in both instances it will stop you wasting time. Meal prepping works on a similar theory – it’s much more efficient to do a whole lot of cooking at once than to do each meal separately during the week.
Last but not least is the biggest unintentional time waster we all do – procrastinating! Sometimes we feel like we’re actually being productive because we do other tasks while we are avoiding the thing we were meant to be doing, but in the long run the more we procrastinate the more time we are wasting. Mindless scrolling on our phones is obviously one of the biggest culprits, and whilst I’m not suggesting you need to cut out all social media from your life it’s about being intentional in its use.