Dealing With the Biggest Time Wasters

A big part of being successful actually stems from learning how to control time. You don’t need a time machine for this, but you do need to learn how you can identify some of the biggest time wasters in your life and how you can avoid those wastes of time. When you are able to do this, you will find that the day simply seems full of more time to get all of the important things out of the way. The tips in this article will help you with your work and business life, as well as your personal life. First, let’s examine some of the biggest time wasters you might be facing right now.

The Internet

One of the biggest time wasters is actually the Internet. As wonderful as the web is thanks to all of the knowledge and tools it can place at your fingertips, it really is a double-edged sword. Many people have a very hard time distinguishing work and time wasted on the web. Those who spend hours on social media or watching videos will find that they waste a substantial amount of hours in a day. Even checking email incessantly can reduce your effectiveness.

It is highly important to have a plan for your Internet time, particularly if you are using it for business. Check your email several times through the day, but not all the time. Only visit social media sites once or twice a day for business purposes and about the same for social purposes in your off hours.


While television should not be a distraction while you are at work, it is certainly a time waster when you are at home. Many people spend several hours a day sitting in front of their television. They finish dinner, plop down on the couch and the hours fly past as they watch TV. Before they know it, bedtime arrives. It is a good idea to limit the amount of television that you watch and find other, more productive outlets for your free time. You do not have to give up television entirely, but cutting down will give you more time to enjoy hobbies, learn a new language, and pursue other things that you enjoy in life.

Limiting the amount of television might be difficult, at least for some people. Some people have favorite shows that they simply can’t miss. Try to limit the number of shows you watch, and consider watching them via streaming services or after recording them on a DVR. This way, you will not have to deal with commercials, which can take about twenty minutes for every hour-long show.

Think about it this way, if you were to watch four hours of television every night, it would be 80 minutes or so of commercials each day. This is around seven hours a week of watching commercials. What could you do with an additional seven hours a week?

Unexpected Visitors

This can be a bit trickier to handle. If you have a number of visitors, whether they are coming to your cubicle during work or popping into your home unexpectedly, it can take up a lot of time each day. These impromptu visits cost more than just the conversation time. Once they are gone, you still have to get “back into the groove” of working, and that can take time. Politely let people know that you are busy, but that you can make time for them later, unless it is an emergency. You don’t have to be rude, but you do have to let people know how important it is to respect your time.

How Do You Spend Your Day?

How much time are you wasting each day? Often, it can be difficult for people to understand just how much time they are wasting because they don’t recognize the problems. A good way to get a better idea of your wasted time is to start tracking everything you do during the day from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. Record what you do for a week or two and then look at the results. Know how you are using each day, and then look for ways that you can improve. It is very important that you are honest when you are recording though.

Making Time Work for You

Now that we’ve covered some of the biggest time wasters that affect so many people today, it is time to look at some ways to correct these problems through better planning. One of the first things you should do is set priorities. Your priorities are things you need to accomplish each day at work and at home alike. Prioritize the tasks from most to least important and then plan your time for each of those tasks.

Once you do this, continue to record your time and then look at the overall results. Now that you have implemented a plan, you should find that you are using your time more efficiently. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can push you back on certain tasks. If this happens, don’t assume it is a failure with your plan.

You Still Need Time to Relax and Do What You Want

It is important to note that you still need to have time to relax, unwind, and do some things that you want to do. You do need to have time where you can surf the web, talk with friends, and watch television or play a game. If you don’t have this time for yourself, you will eventually burn out. Time management is not about stripping you of your time. Rather, it is about making you understand the best ways to use your time so you actually have more of it to enjoy.

With better planning, commitment to making changes, and some good time tracking tools, it is possible to get a firm grasp of how you are spending your time so you can improve. Doing so will lead to more success in your business life and more happiness in your personal life.


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