The Six Biggest Time Wasters
“ A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of time” — Charles Darwin
Everyone has been told repeatedly since the beginning of time that “ Time is precious”.
You pay unwavering attention at the moment you hear the cliche “ Time never waits for anyone”, like some magician has cast a spell upon you to hypnotise.
You have the sudden burning desire within you like a bottle of kerosene spurted into a blazing fire to alter your life dramatically and make amazing plans to implement them with diligence.
At the end of the day, most of the times you are drowned into an ocean filled with feelings of guilt, remorse and dissatisfaction for not getting glued to your schedules.
Most people build castles in the air to be productive, throwing away a number of hours in the process of planning itself!
You yearn to utilize time fully to make remarkable progress in life and be in the limelight in the field you work or want to excel in.
However, you cast a blind eye upon the hindrances that kill your time and make you drown into quick sand.
So, don’t you feel that you should make judicious use of this vital resource?
You shouldn’t just focus on what to do, but you need to lay emphasis on what you shouldn’t do to make optimum use of time.
Okay! Now let’s delve deeper into the six biggest time wasters in everyone’s lives.
- Watching TV
Watching TV is an addiction that is prevalent in almost all the age groups. We see kids watching cartoons with their eyes popped out and adults slouching in their couch - watching movies and TV Series for countless hours.
Watching the “idiot box” makes you lethargic, kills your power of imagination and programs your mind to just eye the visuals and clogs you in an inactive state.
The average person will spend more than 78,000 hours in front of the television over their lifetime, a new study says.
Researchers determined that viewers watch an average of 3,639 movies and 31,507 episodes of television, amounting to staggering 78,705 hours according to findings released by One Poll.
Aren’t these figures astonishing?
Individuals can limit the amount of time they glue up to the screen and use that time for inculcating hobbies like gardening, writing, reading books and cooking.
These pastimes help an individual with the busy schedules to relax, refresh and rejuvenate.
I would like to cite example of a person.
Mr. William spent a lion`s share of his time in watching episodes of TV series all day long during the weekends, paying no heed to the certifications he could do that would help him get promotion.
He was always seen lazy and slouching, with no clear goal in his life.
His clock was ticking and dissipating valuable time in watching his favorite TV series instead of doing activities that could help him jump up the corporate ladder. He killed time in a way which served no benefit towards career growth in his life.
Ultimately, he was fired for not being keen in learning and doing his work.
“Remember, Action today can prevent a crisis tomorrow”
— Steve Shallenberger
Procrastination is delaying or postponing an action that is considered to be the most important and urgent, though you can do it now.
Procrastination usually happens when people are afraid or have anxiety about doing an important task.
To get rid of this negative feeling, people procrastinate — they do something which is not required or essential at that time which makes them feel better temporarily.
Once deadline approaches, procrastinators feel remorseful and guilty for delaying unnecessarily.
I admit it!
I was a perfect example for procrastination.
I had a deadliest fear of Mathematics as a school going child.
With the fear of experiencing the terror of not understanding those complex algebraic equations and baffling trigonometric functions, I used to postpone learning.
Instead, I would repeatedly read and revise my favorite subjects — English and Biology and craved for the feeling of satisfaction and cognizance in learning those subjects.
Every time I had to do Mathematics, I took a U turn and made an escape.
The Final exams approached and the day before the Mathematics exam pushed me into anxiety, had cold feet and a racing heart beat for not being able to assimilate the concepts which I postponed earlier to learn. Fortunately, I cleared my exam.
But, this experience taught me a life lesson “ Never Procrastinate” and changed me as a person from that moment.
- Saying Yes
You are a person who never says “NO” to a person as you don’t want them to feel hurt.
Being empathetic is definitely a supreme quality, but you need not always please people by saying “Yes” to things which you personally don`t like or you aren’t comfortable with.
Money, if lost can be regained in the future. But, Time can’t be!
If someone asks your time, be chary in saying yes. If you have to give up your commitments or personal priorities, you shouldn’t hesitate but say “No”, disregarding what the person might think about you.
For instance,on a Sunday morning, your friend asks you to accompany her to shopping which could be 6 hours long. But, you have an important graded assignment that must be submitted by Tuesday morning and you have a full day class on Monday. In such situations, you shouldn’t dawdle to say a NO, as you have something important scheduled for the day.
Remember! Personal priorities should be the first!
Perfectionism is considered to be a positive trait which pushes the person to strive for flawlessness and to deliver high performance. It is healthy and helps in a person to do better is a positive attribute.
However, extreme obsession for perfectionism leads to colossal wastage of hours that can be used for productive work.
I can recall the times when I was in 9th grade. As per the new rules of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), our subject notes were also graded along with the assessments. My English language teacher told that I need to write the letters “s” and “r” legibly and improve upon that from the next unit notes. I tore all those tens of pages I wrote and started writing all the units of English and other subjects as well in the summer vacation. The long 2-month break exhausted in just reproducing museum pieces of written work. My friends on the other hand, learnt new skills and used their time productively.
So, striving to achieve miraculous masterpieces without having a negligible flaw is just killing time.
Multitasking is the ability to do more than one task at a time. It is often prized as a great capability.
However, Human Multitasking can result in committing more errors as the brain loses focus on one thing and needs to refocus again resulting in huge waste of time.
Unlike, computers which can synchronize multiple tasks with ease, most humans aren’t wired to do multitasking like a cakewalk.
According to a study, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the original task. Human brain needs more time to focus and involve in doing the work with concentration. Trying to focus on more than one task at a time reduces your productivity by a whopping 40%!
For instance, if you read a concept on plant tissues in Biology and switch to mixtures in Chemistry, your brain needs time to tune to the new concept. This switching leads to misuse of time and reduces the overall productivity of learning.
Another example in my life is about a friend of mine who is a book worm. He is always into books the complete day and also reads while having his meals. I once wondered and asked him, how was the taste of the food he was eating. Surprisingly, he couldn’t even tell what he was eating for a couple of seconds!
Worrying is having a series of negative thoughts and emotions , anticipating what might happen and what could be the repercussions of an event that could happen.
Individuals tend to overthink, become anxious and eventually, deteriorate their physical health and mental health.
You might worry about many things each day. However, you need to bear in mind that not everything you worry about actually becomes true. There might be very less chance for things to happen adversely that you worry about.
So, instead of squandering hours on thinking something that might not happen definitely, you can instead utilize that time on something productive.
For instance, if a person keeps worrying 3 hours a day for week, the number of hours spent in anxiety would be 21 hours, which is close to a day!
If the problem you are worrying about does not happen, didn’t you waste 21 hours of time draining your mental energy and valuable time that could be used to do some productive work like reading books on self improvement, or doing a course in Coursera, Udemy or Edx.
So,Stop Worrying — Start Living .
Time is an invaluable resource that can never be retrieved once lost.
So, use it wisely by
- Not spending hours of watching TV
- Not procrastinating every important task
- Not nodding your head -saying yes for every proposal or plan
- Not running behind unhealthy perfectionism
- Not trying to tangle those wires in your brain by multitasking
- Not becoming panic stricken for every petty issue to impactful quandaries