Where does the whole day go? Almost every night, I seem to ask myself this question even after being up for almost 15-16 hours and doing something or the other nonstop all day long. Most of the time, I feel that 24 hours in a day are just not enough to pack in all the activities that demand our attention. At the end of the day, I may feel tired physically but mentally I am still stressed out about things that have not been done and are smirking at me from my daily To-Do list.
But after some soul searching and introspection, I realized that there are quite a few habits that waste our time and though we are busy doing something or the other all the time, we are really not getting important things done. Hence the list of daily chores does not seem to diminish and we feel unsatisfied with what we have accomplished during the past 24 hours.
If you feel you are in the same boat, read on to know the reasons and how to fix them.
1) Social media addiction: This is the biggest culprit when it comes to time guzzling. With friends and family members spread all over the world, most of us spend a lot of time on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram checking messages, reading emails, watching videos, laughing at memes and then spending a lot of time answering them. Just the amount of time we spend on social media is bad enough, but what compounds the problem is that every beep and ping makes us check our smart phones, breaking the momentum of the work we are involved in and making it harder to re-start or concentrate. If you need to work on a project that demands your full attention, create a specified, uninterrupted time frame where you focus solely on the project at hand. Turn off phones and resist the urge to peek at your Whatsapp after every five minutes. You will be surprised how much more efficiently you can work.
2) Know what needs to be done today: Every day I start my day with a to-do- list. This has helped me a lot to focus on things that are necessary and cut the time wasting activities from my life. Right after breakfast; I make a to-do list that comprises of chores, tasks or assignments that need to be tackled. Doctor’s appointment, visit to the bank, parent-teacher meeting, cleaning the fridge or completing an article, making a list helps me to prioritize the activities that need immediate attention. The upside is that a lot more gets done as compared to starting your day in a haphazard way.
3) Unclutter your mind: Modern day life is very hectic and there are usually lots of things on our mind. Whether it’s an illness of a near and dear one or children’s grades in school, financial problems or a family feud, it is very hard to focus on work when our brain is occupied with unpleasant or negative thoughts. Though these things are harder to relegate to the back of the mind, you have to train yourself not to let them affect your office work or other areas of your life that demand your full concentration.
4) Be more organized when it comes to shopping: Once again making lists can make your life much easier when it comes to shopping, whether you are buying household groceries or clothes, shoes, medicines etc. I even write the names of shops I need to visit for my shopping so that I can plan my route and not waste time going from Point A to Point Z and later remember that I needed to go to Point S in between.
5) Don’t procrastinate: Most of us procrastinate when it comes to tackling a long, tedious chore or facing an unpleasant situation. But the more we delay, the bigger a hassle it becomes. Have a disorganized cupboard at home or over cluttered drawers or if your fridge needs a thorough cleaning, tax documents needs to be filled or files are to be organized, allot a day and time for your tasks. Have a firm deadline for getting it done. Remember “Someday” is not a day in any calendar. Also keep in mind the advantages of getting the chore done.
It is a sad reality that many of us do not value time. We waste it doing things that have no positive effect on our life. Instead of watching endless hours of TV entertainment or chatting on social media, this time can be spent on being productive or enhancing our personality by learning new skills. Read a good book, start a fitness goal, enroll yourself in an online class or start a freelance business. Cut out the unnecessary from your daily routines and get things done!