“Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin
You’ve probably heard this question a million times: “what’s more important to you: time or money?”. It might sound like a cliché, but as an entrepreneur, it’s undoubtedly a question that keeps popping in your head pretty often. Unlike money, time cannot be recovered once lost. I believe it’s the most scarce resource we have, therefore we should be more careful how we spend it.
In the millennium of speed, everything seems to move at a faster pace – including time. The good news is that you are in control of your time. Even better, you can probably free up precious hours on a daily basis, first by paying attention to your actions and then fix the habits that are wasting your time.
Let’s see the 5 ways you are probably wasting time without even knowing it.
1. Answering all your calls
Nowadays, you’re a button away from another person across the globe. That’s really great, but the increasing amount of time we’re spending at the phone it’s starting to drain more and more of our precious time. Every time you pick up the phone, the person calling you gets ownership of your time. Don’t pick up every time. You’re not your phone’s slave. Try screening your calls, calling back if something is urgent, and for the rest, following up when the time is right for you.
2. Spending time with the wrong people (negative people or someone you don’t want to hang out with)
Learning to say “no” to people that don’t make a positive impact on your life is one of the lessons you should know. Just because someone invites you out to something doesn’t mean you’re obligated to go. Avoid negative people who constantly complain about everything and the people that they’re not inspiring you by bringing happiness into your life or helping you grow. It will save an immense amount of time and energy. Pick who you spend your time with. Time is finite. Time is valuable. Spend your time with those you love.
3. Not staying present in the moment
Do you know how often are you getting caught in the past? How often in the future? If you’re like most people, you are spending a good part of your day thinking about past and future – leaving little to no time to enjoy the present. Why go on a holiday if your mind is worried about what things you need to get done for the company? Be present in the moment. You’ll feel more connected, more alive and way happier. If you find it hard to stay present in the moment start learning about meditation and mindfulness.
4. Getting stuck in the virtual world
At one point, you’ve probably realized that you’re wasting too much time online, but still – you can’t stop checking your phone, email or social media every other minute. Recent studies show that social media usage can actually trigger the same areas of the brain that some known drugs are triggering. That’s why we feel kind of itchy if we don’t check our profile for some time. I’m not saying you should deactivate all your account and go stealth mode. My suggestion is to track the time you’re spending online and if the numbers scare you (like they did to me), start cutting back some time.
It’s one of those things that won’t bring any benefit to you or your close ones. No matter what, moping around and expressing your negative thoughts won’t improve the situation. Not only you’re putting yourself (and others) in a bad mood, you’re also wasting time while thinking or vocalizing the same negative thoughts over and over. It’s fine to talk through a tough situation with someone to understand how to move forward or to vent once or twice. But to do so repeatedly? It’s just a waste of time. Stop complaining and focus on creating a brighter future.
Bonus: there’s a special category of activities that might look like time wasters but in reality they’re “time-boosters”:
- reading for pleasure
- Offering gratitude
In conclusion, start to value your time more. It’s one of the most precious resources you have and you might not even realize it. Take full control of every moment and start living a fuller life.
Let me know your methods of taking control over your time and if you’ve enjoyed this article make sure you share it with your friends.