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Identify these sneaky time wasting habits you need to stop right now…
In a world of technology and everything is easily accessible, it is easy to develop toxic time wasting habits. These sneaky time suckers can prevent you from getting things done… from working on your goals and dreams!
As a work at home mom I can’t have these sneaky time wasting habits around me. I wouldn’t get anything done – I wouldn’t be productive! It is so easy to sit on the couch and stay on the couch while watching TV Shows, scrolling aimlessly through Social Media. But stop that right now.
You need to stop these sneaky time wasting habits right now. Let me share with you what I found myself doing, and how it wasted so much time of my day.
Before waking up I hit the snooze button probably a handful of times before I physically get out of bed.
As soon as I got up to get the boys ready for school I was on my phone. Scrolling and scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, checking my Google Analytics from the day before, etc.
Start the coffee and get breakfast ready while the TV is on, once again I am distracted (and the boys too). I stress out because we’ve wasted time watching a show I am trying to catch up on or Frozen.
I figured out my triggers, not only did the time wasting habits hinder my productivity… they cause me to not be a relaxed mom. But anyway, after I took a moment and figured out what my time wasting habits were (there were a lot) I started to eliminate them.
You know what happened? I became more productive throughout my day, I wasn’t stressed out about what had to be done. I also began time blocking my day to allow me to focus on ONE task and not try to juggle more than one task.
During those blocked out days I stayed away from my Netflix and Social Media and worked on client work and my blog.
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Identify the Sneaky Time Wasting Habits
Now, let’s sit down and take a look at your life. What could be hindering your productivity? Preventing you from being your best self and reaching your goals.
You’ll want to allot a couple days to really see how you’re spending your days and jot them down. While you take a moment to figure out what YOUR time wasters are, I’ll share with you the biggest sneaky time wasting habits there are.
Sit down, take a moment and identify your own sneaky time wasting habits (as you go down the list) and stop them right NOW.
1 // Netflix, or Just TV in General
This is number one for me because it is where I spent majority of my day, on the couch. Years ago it was easy for me to put on 12 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (I was trying to catch up before they started season 13) and just binge and binge. It was truly bad.
It is still one of my largest time wasters BUT I make time for it throughout the day. I put on cartoons for my little one while I’m working to prevent distractions.
As we speak he is content watching The Little Mermaid as I finish typing out this post. It’s totally doable, you just have to set aside time for important tasks! Once they are finished you can cuddle up on the couch and watch your favorite shows.
2 // Endless Social Media Scrolling
Everyone does it. It’s just so easy to do! The first thing you want to do when you wake up is check your phone, DON’T. Don’t get sucked in on what your friends are doing or not doing. You have time to catch up with them later on in the day.
Get up out of that bed and start your day!
Facebook and Pinterest are the two largest time suckers for me. I can scroll aimlessly on Pinterest and Facebook, it’s definitely a toxic habit to have.
It took awhile but when I started time blocking out time to work on my client’s work and my blog, it helped alleviate my time on social media. Once I’m finished with the more important tasks, I checked my notifications on social media.
3 // Not Time Blocking / Allocating Time
Say it with me, SCHEDULE EVERYTHING. ALLOCATE TIME FOR EVERYTHING. Trust me, mama. Not setting a schedule or allocating time can leave you feeling frazzled. Trust me.
Prior to time blocking I couldn’t get anything done. Seriously. I had time throughout my day but without setting aside time for important tasks… I wasted it away with social media or Netflix. Don’t let distractions get in the way of working on you and your goals.
Once I began setting aside time to work out I was able to start doing it again. There was no more excuse of “no time.”
4 // Checking Emails
Checking emails can definitely waste precious time. I often find myself checking emails that come in that have an enticing title, and guess what? That’s precious time I’ve wasted unlocking my phone, opening up the email app, and reading through the email.
I could’ve been spending those few minutes working on a proposal, creating graphics for a blog post, completing Virtual Assistant tasks, you name it. What you can do is time block a specific time throughout the day to check your emails (or social media). You don’t have to completely eliminate checking emails, just be smart about it mama.
5 // Not Meal Planning / Weekly Shopping
I totally understand that life happens! However, since using my Instant Pot and planning out my meals… I have found more time (and lunch) to get things done throughout the day. I’m not scrambling to figure what to cook the family!
Prepping meals throughout the week prevented me from having to frequently go to the store to buy what I need in order to make a meal… because I forgot to make a list. That’s why lists are very important even in the meal prepping department.
It also shaved off wasted time commuting, and instead I was working on the computer for my clients.
Sonila from Mediterranean Latin Love Affair shares WHY she plans things out ahead of time:
You tend to do things 3-4 times a week instead of once, or you end up driving a lot more than you need to get what you’ve forgotten.Sonila
6 // Staying Up Late
I’m a big night owl! After the kids have fallen asleep and all of my work and blogging tasks are done, I’ll stay up and watch some of favorite Investigation Discovery shows. Believe it or not staying up late can definitely hinder your productivity the next day. Why’s that exactly?
If you don’t get enough sleep you will find yourself a zombie, too tired to focus on tasks, and might find yourself laying on the couch watching Netflix or scrolling through the internet.
Can’t for the life of you go to bed early? There are natural ways to help you get the adequate shut eye you need to be productive the next day.
7 // Not Prioritizing the Right Thing
This is very important for those who work from home or for themselves. You need to prioritize the important goals, or tasks, in your schedule. If you put TV or scrolling through Social Media above your goals, do you think you’re going to be a successful work at home mom or blogger? No honey, you won’t.
I had to tell this to myself as well, I’m a solopreneur now, a Virtual Assistant, I WILL put my goals and clients above scrolling through Social Media, TV Shows, and other time wasting habits. I WILL be successful.
8 // Shopping Online
It is so easy to get distracted with the ease of shopping online. Everywhere you turn there’s an ad for the latest and greatest shampoo or pairs of shoes. I get it, they distract me too.
However, shopping for the amazing pair of shoes can turn into more… it could turn into “oh hey they’re having a sale on yoga pants too!” and cause you to continue to waste time. Now, I’m not being a negative Nancy about shopping – there is just a time and a place for it!
Definitely no time for it while you’re trying to work! Just set aside time later on during the day (typically after you’ve finished your more pressing tasks) and shop to your heart’s content!
9 // Game Apps on your Device
This is a huge time waster as well. I use to have all of the Angry Birds or Candy Crush apps on my phone but ended up deleting them awhile ago, because they were distracting!
There’s nothing wrong with having game apps on your phone, we usually have it for our kids to keep them busy while we’re out shopping or at a restaurant. My friend Lana from Finding Inspiration in the Chaos found that game apps were a huge time waster for her as well.
Just make sure that you save them for later in the day once everything important is completed.
How to Fix These Time Wasting Habits
Once you’ve figured out what sneaky time wasting habits are preventing you to be the best you could be, it’s time to take action. Don’t start your day without planning it out. Plan, plan, PLAN it girlfriend!
Figure out what is most important and work your way down. These important tasks can be:
- Completing client tasks in your Virtual Assistant business
- Exercising (time blocking has helped me tremendously with getting workouts in)
- Spending time with your family, be intentional
- Grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend
Take the tasks you need and block out times for each one. When you start a task set your phone on silent and away from you to eliminate distractions. Keep your work and phone away while you’re spending time with your family, and be intentional.
All of these can be done, you just need to take a moment and figure out what is important to you… what your goals are. Only YOU can change your habits.
Time Blocking Programs
My favorite program hands down is Plan. You can sync all of your appointments using your Google calendar. Once all of your appointments and other obligations are synced into Plan, you can start time blocking important tasks.
The wonderful thing about Plan is that you can use it on your mobile devices as well. Take your schedule on the go wherever you go!
I’m frequently on the go between all of my youngest son’s therapy appointments and oldest. Between the two of them there are five therapy appointments! That doesn’t even include the doctor appointments, sports, or making sure I’m home to take JJ to the bus or pick him up at the bus stop.
Use a Planner or Journal
Others love using bullet journals or even a planner to block out important tasks. Nothing is more satisfying then writing (or drawing) things into your planner or bullet journal.
Don’t want to buy all the fancy pens / markers for a bullet journal? Just grab yourself a simple journal (or notebook) to get the deed done. As long as you’re focused on your priorities – who cares what your notebook looks like.
There’s no right way to plan, pick what works for you. Whether it’s writing in a journal, planner, or using a time blocking program.
My Final Thoughts
I’m the queen of getting distracted and wasting time, I understand what you’re going through. BUT, you can beat these sneaky time wasting habits and eliminate distractions just like I did.
You CAN stop these sneaky time wasting habits right NOW. The only way it will stop is if YOU figure out what is wasting your time and what is important to YOU. Only YOU can do this.
Are you ready to tackle your goals?
What time wasting habits did you identify for yourself? How are you going to eliminate these sneaky time wasting habits? Let’s get productive and reach our goals together!