10 Unusual Ways to Stop Wasting Time

10 Unusual Ways to Stop Wasting Time

Often it seems like we have a lot of time ahead of us, but human life is quite short. For example, if we are lucky enough to celebrate our 80th birthday, we will have lived only four thousand weeks. And it’s up to us to determine how interesting and productive they will be.

In such a situation, competent time management should seem to be on everyone’s agenda. However, modern approaches to time management are rather limited. They focus on creating the perfect morning ritual or completing as many tasks as possible in the hope of remote success and well-being.

In addition, time-management techniques often ignore the fact that the world around us is full of wonders. And those wonders are worth every minute spent. Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to sacrifice productivity to touch them.

If you want to manage everything, but still keep the joy of life, follow a few simple rules.

1. Set priorities

All of us sometimes have to make tough and categorical decisions. For example, determine which tasks we can accomplish and which we can postpone for later. This distinction allows you to focus on the really important projects instead of being constantly distracted by new requests from others.

Use the usual lists for this purpose. First, make a list of all the things you need to do. Then select from it and transfer to another list the 10 tasks you plan to work on right now. Proceed to new projects only after you free up one of those 10 lines by completing the previous task.

Try fixing certain time intervals for repetitive tasks. For example, on weekdays from 10:00 to 10:30 you will sort out your work mail. Each such period should be clearly “reserved” for one activity. Such tactics will “unload” the list of daily tasks.

2. Work on one big project at a time

Of course, working on many serious tasks in parallel in the hope of finishing them all at once may seem like a good idea. In fact, multitasking isn’t likely to get you much further.

Try a radically different way – finish major projects one by one, giving each one your maximum attention. You’ll quickly notice that you’re getting more done and feeling better.

3. Determine in advance what you won’t be able to do

No matter how much we might want to, there are some projects we will never get done. If only because our time and energy are not infinite.

In this case, the method of “strategic imbalance” comes in handy. Its essence is to determine in advance the areas of your life in which you do not expect outstanding results. So you will free up time for important tasks.

For example, if you are writing a book, agree in advance with yourself that for this time you are ready to sacrifice the perfect order in the kitchen. And if, say, you want to spend time with children, while they grow up, accept the fact that for this will have to “pay” an active career growth.

This approach will help to abandon the search for the proverbial balance between work and personal life and come to an intentional, but necessary imbalance.

4. Focus on what’s already done

When tasks are piling up and time is running out, we hate to look at our to-do lists. It seems like so many hours have been spent, but how many more have not been crossed off!

A to-do list can help you cope with that feeling. As soon as you have finished the next big project or small errand, write it down. This will be a kind of reminder that you haven’t spent the day in vain and have accomplished a lot.

5. Choose your subscriptions and hobbies wisely

Social media is a huge machine that slowly but surely shifts the focus of our attention to things that are not worth it. So the feed on TikTok, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram or any other social network should consist of things that make us feel better, lift our spirits and motivate us.

The same applies to hobbies and any activities to which you devote your free time. Charity, blogging, activism – choose specific projects that you are willing and ready to spend time on. This will help to avoid a state of burnout.

6. Change your phone and computer settings

Digital technology helps us briefly enter another world. A world where there are no limitations for humans. A world where we can aimlessly refresh the feed over and over again. A world where there is no boredom, but freedom. But in reality, when we’re swamped with work, all this is a luxury we can’t afford.

To such a tidbit as social networks and other digital entertainment, do not loom in front of your nose, make your phone or computer as boring as possible. At least for a while. Turn off notifications for all applications, and if you feel ready for more drastic measures – simply delete them.

Another option is to initially buy gadgets designed for one purpose only, like an e-book with no Internet access. This way it will be easier to focus on business and fight the urge to check messages or count likes.

7. Look for the unusual in the familiar

You must have been in such a situation: you live your usual life, you do the usual things, work, home, and suddenly you realize that a whole month has passed, but it has just recently begun!

And now imagine another one – you go to rest for a week, you gain impressions during these long seven days, you come back home and your friend says: “What, a week has passed already? I didn’t even notice”. It’s all about how we spend our time. The more new emotions we experience, the slower the minutes, hours, and days flow for us.

Try to make even the most trivial activity unusual. This can help, although it’s not always practical. For example, walk home from work a different way, or go for a walk in the middle of the day just anywhere you want to go. Paint a picture as soon as the urge arises, or watch the birds. Try to get the most out of each moment because it won’t happen again.

8. Become an explorer in relationships

The desire to control the small amount of time we have leads to stress and problems in relationships. These include fear of commitment, inability to listen, and boredom.

When you are faced with a difficult time, do not seek to take control of the situation, but be curious about the person next to you.

This could be a partner, a friend or a colleague. Observe his character and unpredictability (whether you like this behavior or not). It’s much better than expecting certain reactions from loved ones and then being disappointed because they behave in a completely different way.

9. Be generous

Every time an impulse of generosity is born in you, give in to it. You don’t have to think about whether someone deserves it, whether a kind attitude will come back to you, or whether you have time for it. Just be generous, and you’ll be rewarded immediately with good cheer.

10. Learn how to slack off

When it comes to making the best use of your four thousand weeks, it’s important to remember to get plenty of rest.

When we feel the discomfort of idleness and can’t cope with it, we make serious time-allocation mistakes. For example, rushing through things where we need to proceed slowly, or trying to spend every moment productively, even if the task is negligible.

To idle away is to let life be what it is. Try an unusual meditation. Set a timer for five to ten minutes and do nothing. If you catch yourself doing something, like thinking about something or listening to your breathing, stop and go back to doing nothing. This will help you become more autonomous, help you learn to calm down, and help you make good decisions.

More often than not, the desire to achieve perfect self-control is counterproductive and causes additional stress. You don’t have to look for the perfect time-management method, you just need to make friends with all of your limitations and shortcomings.

Part of this process is accepting that we are all mortal. When we begin to recognize the transience of life and accept that we won’t have time for everything, we free up not only ourselves, but our time as well. Instead of following the motto “Faster, Higher, Stronger!” love your imperfection. It will make you much happier.


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