Aren’t there sometimes you feel that you have a million things to do but magically the time has flown away? Are you sure you take good advantage of the time you have available? Most of us hardly ever realize how many things we do that really waste our time.
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Table of Contents
- Things That Waste Our Time
- 1. Excessive Use of Social Media
- 2. Watching Television
- 3. Reading or Watching The News
- 4. Long Phonecalls
- 5. Lack of Planning
- 6. What Other People Think
- 7. Toxic Relationships
- 8. Too Much Shopping
- 9. Procrastination
- 10. Perfectionism
- 11. Multitasking
- 12. Being Interrupted
- 13. Lack of Organization
- 14. Lack of Motivation
- 15. Clutter
Things That Waste Our Time
1. Excessive Use of Social Media
I bet most of you are aware of this. You probably can recall moments when you just opened a social media application to look at one notification and you also started scrolling the updates feed for minutes or maybe hours. They structure social media in such a way that they can grab your attention and hold it for as much as possible. I would add social media scrolling as the most time-wasting activity.
However, social media is part of our modern way of living, and very few people can live without them. In order to use them in a less time-consuming way, I would suggest you keep track of the time you spend using them. Shut down all the notifications and just assign specific time frames during the day when you will check at them or just set on a timer each time you use one.
Read also: How to Recharge Yourself Emotionally – 8 Ideas to Help
2. Watching Television
Most people who waste their time watching TV do it almost without even thinking about it. Turning the TV on becomes more like a habit for lots of people. I have heard people saying that they feel lonely at home when the TV isn’t on. TV programs are also created with the philosophy of grabbing the audience’s attention.
I can understand it if you are a fan of TV shows, but keep your time accountable. Think of all those things you are missing while you are sitting in front of a TV. If you really feel you need to watch something, just choose one or two things and keep track of the time you spend doing so.
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3. Reading or Watching The News
Learning what new has happened can become addictive. Before you know it, you will check again and again to learn the latest news. You feel you want to be the first one to know. Although I can understand that it is important to be aware of major events that might happen in your country or in the world, how many of them truly affect your life?
I would also suggest that you assign a small amount of time, like 10 minutes each day, to go through some news, and that should be enough. Do not get carried away trying to learn everything. Even if you do so, you probably can not even use this knowledge.
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4. Long Phonecalls
Making phone calls and staying in touch with family, friends and loved ones is important. However, talking on the phone for hours without having something meaningful to share could just be a waste of time. You can use your phone to check on how someone is doing, but it is much more meaningful, if it is possible, to plan a meeting.
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5. Lack of Planning
When you do not have a clear vision or plan of what you want to do, you will most possibly lose lots of time thinking about what you could do next. Before you start working on something, spend some time thinking of all those things that are important and need to be done and in what order. Think of how much time each one of them might need and plan the time ahead.
Planning could be a life changer, can help you save lots of energy, and save you from wasting your time.
Read also: What to Do When Plans Change? Accept it and Adjust
6. What Other People Think
At some point in our lives, we are all guilty of wasting time and mental energy by carrying about what other people think about us. There are people who even get mentally ill trying to fulfill other people’s expectations of them. We are all unique. We have unique qualities and needs. Nobody else can define your value more than yourself.
Everyone else might think whatever they wish and so can you about them. But you know what? It is ok. You should not care about what other people think about you as well as they shouldn’t care about what you think about them. Everybody’s mind is free to think whatever it wishes to. Do not waste your precious time carrying about what other people think about you.
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7. Toxic Relationships
Life is already difficult. Relationships should exist to add value to our lives and make us feel good about ourselves. Being in relationships that underestimate you or make you feel bad about yourself are simply bad relationships. Relationships that do not worth neither you nor your time and efforts.
Let go of any toxic relationship that is a total waste of time. Let the best relationship grow to the fullest, the one you have with yourself.
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8. Too Much Shopping
Sometimes you do it because it offers some kind of temporary satisfaction. Some other times because you really need something but you keep on seeing things you also like and keep shopping. Too much shopping, apart from being a waste of time, is also a great waste of money.
Most of the time, for lots of the things you bought you realize you do not even need them. Before you shop something, do yourself a favor and ask him whether you really need this one. Is it something you can live without? If the answer is yes, then you had better do so.
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Procrastinating is to avoid doing something that you must do which is not that pleasant in favor of something else that you enjoy more. We procrastinate when we avoid working on a demanding task and prefer working on more easy ones. Even worst we procrastinate when we rather do something completely irrelevant than what we have to do.
Procrastination is nothing more than a bad habit and, as a habit, it needs effort and consistency in order to be beaten. When you procrastinate, you waste your precious time by doing something different from what you are supposed to be doing.
Read also: 11 Best Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating
Trying to do everything perfectly is such a waste of time. Lots of perfectionists never complete something because of their fear that their product will not be good enough for their standards. Perfect is impossible, and trying to achieve perfection can only lead to disappointment.
Progress is what everyone should work on and not perfection. To accomplish everything better than the last time. To be a better person than who you were yesterday. That is the only true and feasible target to aim for.
Read also: You Strive For Perfection? Successful Aren’t Perfectionists
There was a time when people who could perform several tasks at the same time were considered being more qualified and more clever than others. However, studies have proved that multitasking is not an efficient way to work. Multitasking demands a transition time period from one task to the other.
This amount of time wasted while jumping from one task to another is relatively big compared to the time that would be needed to perform a single task while being fully concentrated. Thus, although multitasking might sound like a good idea, it actually is a big waste of time.
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12. Being Interrupted
This one goes hand in hand with multitasking. When you perform a task and you are fully concentrated on it, everything moves on smoothly. When you get interrupted, you lose your focus. Getting back to the same level of concentration as you were before being interrupted will need several minutes or even hours, depending on the complexity of the task.
Thus, it is better when you need to perform a task that needs your foul attention to choose a time and a place where nobody could interrupt you.
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13. Lack of Organization
Sometimes all you need to be more productive and make a good use of your time is just to become better organized. Not knowing what you need to do and when can be such a waste of time. Put some things in order. Decide what you need to prioritize. Organize whatever it is you might need.
Make sure that you know where to find whatever it is you need each time. Bad organization can slow down everything.
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14. Lack of Motivation
Motive is what you need to start and complete everything. Without a proper motive, even if you start something, you will lack the consistency you need to return to it day after day until you finally complete it. Starting something just to quit a few days or months later can waste your time.
Get motivated by thinking of the overall result that your new attempt will bring into your life. Let those thoughts be the reason you wake up each morning and return to what you need to do.
Read also: How to Be Happy with Yourself and Feel Happy Alone
Maybe you do not understand it right away, but clutter can be the reason behind your feelings of frustration and lack of concentration. A cluttered space is so easy to create distractions and prevent you from focusing on that one task you really must do. The same stands for a cluttered computer, inbox emails, or even your own mind and thoughts.
Declutter to feel the difference. Although it might seem irrelevant at first, clutter could lead to a waste of time.
What about you? Is there anything else you can think of that wastes our time?
I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
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65 thoughts on “15 Things That Waste Our Time Without Realizing it”
This is such a great post. We definitely agree with excessive use of social media, clutter, and a lack of motivation. Thank you for sharing, and we hope you check out some of our other posts that you may not have seen.
Glas you liked it. Thank you for commenting 🙂
Thank you, and you’re welcome!
Love this post. I agree with all of these points. I would add overanalyzing and indecisiveness to the list as well. Sometimes you just have to make a decision and go with it.
Of course Michelle! Even a bad choice is much better than no choice. Thank you for reading and commenting!
I agree with all these items! I can get sucked into a vortex of information while researching something and hours will pass before I wonder where the day went! Thanks for sharing.
Glad you agree! Thank you for reading and commenting!
Lack of Planning
What Other People Think
Those have got to be my top four. Thank you for the post. I would hit the like button but it just keeps saying it’s loading.
Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
WeirdLifestyle, you brought up some very valid points that many of us may not realize waste so much of our time. #1 Social media usage is prevalent. The pandemic has weighed on our excessive phone use. Your blog motivates me to be more aware of the things that waste my time. Thank you for your contribution.
Glad to read so Kevin. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
I couldn’t stop scrolling after the first point you made. 😉 These lists can be quite confrontational, especially when you notice how many of the points apply to you. I would have to replace watching TV with streaming on my laptop. But you are right.
For me that lack of organisation and motivation are key factors. I need to combine those more. When I feel motivated to do something, the lack of organisation can make me frustrated and create a hurdle to start. Great points to think about!
Organisation and motivation go together when we need something accomplished. Thank you for reading and commenting Benny!
Great post, I think that you have identified the major time wasters for most people. That said, I think that a couple of these things are only a waste of time if they stop you from doing something else that you need to do (I’m thinking of social media and TV) – if you have spare time and enjoy these activities then I think that is OK.
Everything is ok as long as you do it intentionally Richie. Thank you for commenting 🙂
Too much shopping!? I hear you there! I spend forever scrolling online looking for things for the house and I really don’t need to!
Online shopping can be such a trap. I do know how it goes.
Yeah true.. these things waste our time. Especially overthinking. And wish I wasn’t a multitasker. Err…
Thank you Fadima ❤️
Goodness, it’s amazing how many of these I do and I really don’t always notice. I think I need to be more intentional with what I invest my time into!
We all have to Molly. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
I definitely agree with you on most of these! I automatically go to scroll on Instagram, sometimes even after I’ve just exited the app which is bad :/ I have now set time limits on the apps which I spend excess time on, though it is very easy to go above that. I don’t allow myself to go on apps after 10pm, apart from WhatsApp x
Social media can easily drag us into endless scrolling Caroline. Glad to read you found something that works for you. Thank you for commenting 🙂
I agree on these things. It does waste our time and we don’t know. Especially, the multitasking. This is something I’ve been struggling with for a while now.
Multitasking can definitely lead to a huge waste of time. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
Brilliant blog post. It has really made me think. I can’t wait to share this with family and friends, especially the social media, toxic relationships, failing to plan, multitasking… I can’t wait to share this.
Glad you liked it. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
Lack of planning is a thing I hate. I love planning and having a plan, I always get more done or I am more prepared for things. Thank you for sharing this list! It is so interesting to see how many things you think waste time.
Lack of planning can be great time water. Thank you for reading and commenting Lauren.
I’m guilty of quite a few of the things you mentioned on the list 😬 lack of motivation, perfectionism, procrastination, what other people think and excessive use of social media. I must work on these things! Great post, thanks for sharing.
It is a good thing you identified yourself in it so you can proceed with changing what you no longer need. Thank you for reading and commenting.
Guilty as charged in all points except 4, 6 and 8. I should probably print those tips out and put on the wall.
Haha….we are all guilty for most of them. Thank you!
Great post, I recognise a lot of them – bad organisation, procrastination and lack of motivation are a battle 😂 I’d love to be better at limiting social media
Thank you Sarah!
Time truly slips past too easily, so I appreciate this list that highlights deceptive activities that take that precious time from us! I am guilty of worrying about what other people think, striving for perfection at any cost, and agonizing over the news, so it is good to see where I am spending too much time. It is important to highlight the problem areas before looking for a solution. 🙂
There is no way to find a solution without having first identified the problem Jaya. I am glad it helped you identify your time wasters. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
Absolutely! These are soooo true. Especially phone calls and social media. I don’t talk on the phone until I’m done with everything it’s amazing how hard it is to get back to concentrating sometimes! Great list! 🙂
I find it hard to return to what I was doing after a long phone call too Andrea. I am glad you liked it. Thank you!
Multi-tasking I us to be able to do it so much better when I was younger but as I get older I realize that it’s not for me, all points are so so true
Multitasking is a tricky one. Thank you!
I think I’ve experienced at least all of these once in my life. Time is our most precious commodity and something we all want more of, yet we waste lots of time without realising that. This post is really a wake up call for some of the ways our time can be wasted. Thanks for sharing.
I am glad you saw it as a wake up call. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
I think self doubt is a big one for me.
We all self doubt from time to time…
Thank you for sharing these lifestyle tips. Duly noted and adjustments will be made. I came here from the Twitter space
Glad you liked it. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
This is a very complete list of time-wasters! I surely do recognize some of them. Making a balanced use of social media and being mindful of long calls are two aspects I’m trying to tackle this year! Thanks for sharing!
Glad to read you identify your time wasters and you know how to deal with them. Thank you for commenting!
I admit that my TV is usually on in the background as noise to keep me company.
Haha lots of people do so Jamie!
Agree on all accounts! Fantastic list! I’ve taken social media off my phone and started carrying a book around with me. My mind is less muddled and I’m happier. Thanks for sharing! ✌️
That is a wonderful advice. I can understand how helpful that can be. Thank you for sharing your view.
Procrastination really waste time. You made each point clear. Long phone calls are time wasters too. I agree on that. Multitasking is worse.
Thank you for reading and commenting Jeannie!
Great post. I spend too much time on social media scrolling. A better use of my ‘free time’ is watching something on Netflix where there is a defined end time (like a comedy show).
Crystal | http://www.amazingbaby.app
I’m guilty of so many of these, but I love that you included Perfectionism. It’s one that I think so many people overlook because it feels like you’re being productive.
Great post. Thank you for sharing.
I always find time gets away from me when I’m scrolling on social media! It’s mad how many things we do every day are ways that we waste our time on! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
I LOVE this! I’ve been trying to streamline my life lately so this is fan, thanks!
This is all so true! I definitely waste a lot of time procrastinating on social media, then I get so frustrated by all the clutter I still need to clean up! I’m off to be productive now…
I agree with lots of these and I think it’s so personal! For me, social media is almost purely business and long phone calls are perfect for me to keep in contact with people that live further away, like my parents. However, for some both might be more of a habit instead of conscious decisions and that’s when they should re-evaluate. Not to say I never procrastinate, I do that A LOT, mostly with games on my phone and lack of organisation, especially when I get stressed.
Great post. I saw some things that I do that are time wasters that I need to work on. I definitely need to work on planning my days.
This post is really inspiring! I agree with all of these. I don’t like phone calls or using my phone for too long. I’m not addicted to social media as well and because I enjoy spending time alone, I don’t have many close friends and that’s totally okay by me 🙂 For years, I learn how to feed my mind with positive things and you’re right about we should not care about what other people think about us because that makes us afraid to do things that we truly love. And now I try to avoid procrastinating and be more organized 🙂
I have been genuinely pulling back on using social media save for connecting with bloggers. Social media is only about blogging and business for me; nothing else.