Time management apps, productivity apps, motivational apps – you can download all you want, but if you don’t recognize the little, negligible time-wasting habits in life – you will never feel that 24 hours are enough.
Of course, we all know how to divide our tasks for the day – finish the urgent and important ones first, then tackle the urgent but not important ones, followed by important but not urgent ones, and finish your day off by handling the neither urgent nor important tasks.
But in all of this, we often forget that there are silly little habits that actually eat up quite a bit of our time. We don’t even notice these habits within ourselves, and before we know it, these time-wasting habits in life have already made us into sneaky procrastinators!
That’s why we have compiled a list of some silly, strange, weird, and common time-wasting habits in life for you, so you don’t… waste more time.
Making the bed in the morning
So many studies show that making your bed every morning actually makes you productive, helps you declutter your space, and even makes you confident to tackle the day ahead.
But here’s why you are better off not making your bed! Suppose you spend 5 minutes a day making your bed, you are wasting 35 minutes a week, 140 minutes a month, and 1820 minutes a year. This means, by making your bed every morning, you are potentially wasting more than a day in a year just making beds!
Now, imagine if you had around 30 hours extra in a year – what all could you not achieve! It’s a pity those 30 hours are going away arranging a bed that’s ultimately going to be a mess within 12 hours…
So, stop making your bed. And if you must make it every morning, try to spend as little time as possible on it. Maybe 2 minutes are enough, aren’t they?
Enabling push notifications
That ‘ping’ from your phone is so much more draining than you’d ever realize. One minute you are ‘in your zone’, getting important work done, and the next, this ‘ping’ echoes from your phone – and before you know it, you are going down the rabbit hole of digital surfing/browsing.
The worst part is, you aren’t even going to buy anything after clicking on that lucrative offer/deal mentioned in the notification!
Save yourself from going off-track by unsubscribing from your current push notifications and avoiding the temptation of enabling new ones. If this isn’t possible, train yourself to keep only 30 minutes of the day to check your notifications. If you struggle with that as well, why not put your phone on ‘flight’ mode while you are busy?
Find a way to get rid of push notifications or avoid them for as long as possible (at least until your task at hand is finished).
It’s not just push notifications…
You know those days when the task is urgent, important and boring, so you just try to slack off as much as you can on Reddit, Quora, or Amazon?
Well, visiting websites is one of the most silly time-wasting habits in life – not only will this stop you from getting your work done on time, but also decrease your productivity – so that every day, you will waste anywhere between 15-90 minutes taking Buzzfeed quizzes or what not!
To get rid of this habit, use the Pomodoro Technique – take a 10 minute break after a 20-minute work schedule. When you start work at 10 in the morning and you already know you are getting a break from 10:20 – 10:30, you are more likely to use the time between 10:00 to 10:20 more judiciously and productively.
If this doesn’t work for you, use amazing website blocking tools that allow you to focus on work during work hours. Honestly, it works like magic!
Dozing off as you like
Being a night owl isn’t cool. Especially when you’ve been awake the whole day and have to wake up super early the next morning.
And if you are staying awake at night to play games on your phone or scroll through your Instagram feed instead of sleeping/doing something productive – you are on the wrong path.
No one is telling you to sacrifice your sleep. But if you are wasting a couple of hours everyday by dozing off as you like, it’s ultimately ruining your productivity.
Download a good sleep pattern tracking app on your phone, so that you can understand how you sleep, when you enter deep sleep, and more.
Have a good night’s sleep, so that you don’t feel drowsy in the middle of the day and stay focused at work.
Being the ‘yes’ man
One of the worst time-wasting habits in life is always saying ‘yes’. You might please others by always complying with their needs and demands, but if you walk away at the end of the day with a burn-out and moaning over the lack of time, you should probably cultivate the habit of saying ‘no’ sometimes.
Always saying ‘yes’ comes at a cost. It eats up your time, consumes your energy, and leaves you with a feeling that there’s not enough time to finish the endless list of tasks.
Save your time and energy by saying yes only when you can really do it in a relaxed manner. If you have to scram the task in the wee hours of the morning, just say no in the first place.
Planning every minute activity of the day
If you are a perfectionist, a stickler to details, and love to be punctual, you probably have a diary, a to-do list pinned to your desk and fridge, as well as a list of digital reminders on your phone about every task you have to accomplish on a normal day.
It’s not just picking up groceries or calling up a loved one, but also things like scheduling minor breaks, heading to the bank, or what to order for the day that turn into one of the silliest time-wasting habits in life.
Think hard – do you really need to obsess over every small activity in your day-to-day life? You never know when planning the day ahead just to save and manage time can turn into an activity that actually sucks up your time!
Plan your day wisely. But be careful of the thin line between planning and extra-planning. Don’t let the process consume you.
Constantly checking your emails
Unless you work remotely, you really don’t need to check your emails constantly. Studies show that almost 32% of working people in the US respond to an email within a staggering 15-minute window!
But, how productive is this habit?
Unfortunately, not as productive as you’d like. Checking your emails is good professionalism. However, if you find yourself spending more time going through your emails than actually getting work done, stop.
You don’t realize how this sneaky time-wasting habit in life is consuming all that potential time you could actually put into doing something productive or something you really enjoy.
Free up your time by checking emails less frequently -maybe twice a day. Not only will you have more time on your hands, but you will also feel less anxious. Really, try it once!
Multitasking your way through the tasks
Multitasking is actually one of the worst time-wasting habits in life. You might think that multitasking is helping you get multiple things done at the same time. But, in reality, it is simply distracting you from finishing even one task on time (and compromise on the quality of the ones that get done).
So, instead of trying to finish your blog post while replying to important mails at the same time, focus on the more urgent and important task at moment and finish it. Once you are done, proceed to the next one in the queue.
Avoid performing multiple tasks that require you to use more than one of your five senses. Don’t cook while watching a movie or listening to a song. Unless you are a chef, you’ll end up burning your food and will have to start from scratch.
Such a waste of time!
Picking unnecessary battles to fight
If you are someone who loves to have the last word in every argument, you are cultivating one of the most sneaky time-wasting habits in life!
By entering into unnecessary arguments with others, you are wasting the time you could’ve utilized doing something you really love. Moreover, you are probably going to waste more time cribbing and gossiping about the same argument with your loved ones again and again.
Learn to pick your battles. Not every fight is worth fighting for. Not every minute is worth wasting. Remember that.
There are so many time-wasting habits in life that snatch away the moments from us – moments which could be invested in self-care, moments which could be invested in pursuing a hobby, moments which could spent with loved ones.
Recognize these habits and eliminate them at the earliest – time and tide really waits for no one!