Avoiding time-wasting activities can make all the difference.
What frivolous and silly ways do you waste time during your day?
Here are 29 Ways You’re Wasting Time Today:
- Complaining. No one gets what they want by whining. Instead, try asking.
- Commuting during rush hour. Time-shift your drive for less traffic.
- Gossiping. It never gets the work done.
- Doing other people’s work. Do your work first.
- Watching TV. No one ever accomplished their goals by sitting on the couch.
- Hanging out with negative people. Be careful, attitude is contagious.
- Procrastinating. Action now always beats inaction.
- Indecision.Make decisions or life will make them for you.
- Reading the news. Go on a media diet.
- Antagonizing others. If you don’t have something nice to say…
- Playing video games. Angry Birds doesn’t get work done. Neither does Words with Friends.
- Eating junk food. Do something active and get your body in motion.
- Making empty promises.Stop saying what you’re not going to do.
- Waiting for something to happen. Go out and make it happen.
- Attending unnecessary meetings. Practice the “Right to Decline” unneeded meetings.
- Reading Email. Only check it 3 times a day. Morning, noon, end of day.
- Answering the phone. Remember, your phone is there for your convenience.
- Playing Email Ping-Pong. Avoid the back-and-forth, go talk to someone.
- Not putting things away. You’ll have to look for them later.
- Surfing the web endlessly. One thing leads to another…
- Constantly updating your social media status. No one needs to know what you are eating for lunch.
- Not capturing ideas. Where did you write down that million dollar idea?
- Fighting with others. Agree to disagree, but skip the fight.
- Reading the tabloids. Do you need to know which celeb got arrested this week?
- Looking for things you misplaced. Make sure you have a place for your stuff.
- Letting email notifications interrupt your day. Turn off those pop-ups!
- Piling instead of filing.Piles are not organization.
- Not looking at your todo list. You wrote that task down, but you didn’t look at your list.
- Solving the same problems, again. Make sure you document solutions so you have them down the road.
What Shouldn’t You Do Today?
Sometimes it’s not what you do, but what you stop doing.
Protect your day from these time-wasters.
You just might have a little more time in your day.
Question: Where do you catch yourself wasting time?
Everyone does it. Few own up to it. We all waste time at work in some form or another. Human beings are not meant to be cooped up in office cubicles all day, pinning away at paperwork, and TPS reports.
Yet, day after day, we get up, get dressed, drink mediocre coffee, drive to our jobs and count the minutes until we can be free from that hell hole for another few hours. We spend so much time at work that it is only inevitable that we would waste some of it. I mean, have you ever tried to clean your house for 8 hours straight? Or drive your car for 8 hours straight? Or eat for 8 hours straight? No. Because that would be insane. So why do we think we need to work for 8 hours straight. Society still has a long way to go with this one.
But nonetheless, here are five surefire ways you can waste some time at work tomorrow; because let’s face it, you are going to waste some time at work tomorrow. You might as well be entertained!
1. Well, you are reading this article, so that is a good place to start. Just take a minute to think about how much you hate your job that you are looking for articles about how to waste time at work, while you are at work. Maybe it’s time for a career change, people? But in the meantime, keep reading.
2. Memes. Have you seen these? Of course, you have. Memes have taken over the internet. If you aren’t careful, you can end up a meme yourself. Have you seen car memes? You’ll want to check some of those out if you are into cars at all. And if you aren’t, you can make fun of the people who are through these memes.
3. Eating. We all love eating. Bring some donuts to work tomorrow and watch people gather and waste your time for you! You get the street cred of being the person who brought donuts, and you don’t look like the person wasting time – you are just the nice person who brought donuts.
4. Clean out your inbox. One of the best ways to waste time at work while looking busy is to clean out your email. You’ve probably got 15,000 emails anyway and you probably legitimately need to make time to do this, so why not use it to waste some time on someone else’s dime. I’ll often clean out my own personal email as well. Incognito web browsers allow you to surf the web without it showing up in your browsing history. Who is the genius that thought of that one!?
5. Get up and go talk to someone instead of sending them an email. It’s exercise, or whatever, but really, you just want to utilize the time it takes to walk across the office and waste it. This is a good tactic for looking busier than you are too.
Whatever your job, no matter how much you love it, you probably find yourself distracted from time to time and want to welcome some kind of preoccupation. This is just a short list of ways you can waste your time at work. Watch what your coworkers are doing with their time. I bet they have lots of ways to waste time at work too. They’ll never tell though; it’s like a code. No one wants you to know they are just goofing off. It’s not acceptable, apparently.
The internet is a vast, wonderful trove of information. There’s so much to learn from a seemingly endless supply of resources. From video lectures about particle physics to step-by-step tutorials about starting urban farms — there are so many ways to learn more about, well, everything.
If you’re like a majority of people, the internet is also a deep rabbit hole of ways to waste time. If you’re looking for options to spend hours looking at baby animals or read about the world’s wildest conspiracy theories, look no further.
Here are 10 sites to waste time on when you’re bored with the rest of the world.
1. Forget the horrors of the internet with Eyebleach.me
Have you ever seen something on the internet that’s just plain horrifying? Or a particularly rough news story that you really wish you didn’t have to read? You probably need some eyebleach — something to cleanse your mind. Head over to eyebleach.me, which randomly displays wholesome photos of baby animals and not-so-wholesome photos of attractive people.
2. Waste time with Pointer Pointer
Sometimes you look at something and think, “Why would someone create this?” That’s probably how you’ll feel about Pointer Pointer. Just move your pointer, and the site will find a photo of someone pointing at your pointer. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s a lot of fun.
3. Get sucked into the internet’s deepest rabbit holes with
Wikipedia’s list of conspiracy theories
Get your tinfoil hats ready — Wikipedia’s list of conspiracy theories will have you looking for UFOs and denying history.
Is the Denver International Airport the headquarters for the New World Order? Were Jesus and Mary Magdalene secretly a couple? Did Coca Cola change its formula for cheaper production at the cost of a worse flavor?
The online encyclopedia is already a great way to waste time, but its extensive explanations of conspiracy theories will keep you on your toes.
4. Watch some wholesome reality TV with a live kitten cam
Sometimes you need to take a break from the world with a little reality TV. But the drama of Jersey Shore and Keeping Up With the Kardashians can be exhausting, even if you’re just watching it to zone out.
Need something that’ll fill your heart with absolute joy? Check out Explore’s kitten live stream, which always features a family of young cats cuddling, playing, and being all-around adorable. We’re not crying, you’re crying.
5. Inch away from boredom with this rave worm
Want some mindless fun? Check out Staggering Beauty, a website for making this little black worm dance. When you move your mouse, the worm will follow. If you move quickly enough, it’ll burst into an electric rainbow rave. Warning: This page does include flashing images, so be careful!
6. Read terrifying stories with r/nosleep
Reddit brands itself as the “front page of the internet.” As a destination for keeping up to date with memes and finding niche hobby communities, it’s attracted 1.69 billion visits over the years.
Over 12 million people are subscribed to r/nosleep, a community of horror lovers. The subreddit features original horror stories that are sure to keep you awake at night, from a forest ranger’s most disturbing tales to a chilling plea for help from a guy being haunted by his dead girlfriend. Just don’t read these in the dark.
7. Get some pug love with Sanger
If you’re having a rough day, then Sanger is here for you. This pug will lick your screen all day, every day. That’s literally all it does. It’s beautiful.
8. Deal with some pent up aggression with Eel Slap
Ever dealt with someone you just can’t stand? Are things just not going your way? Not to advocate violence, but slapping someone with a virtual eel could help.
9. Bring out your creative side with Flame Painter
From adult coloring books to wine paint bars, de-stressing with art is something that everyone should experience. With Escape Motions’ Flame Painter, you can create vibrant doodles with a dynamic fiery brush.
If you have some time to kill, or if you’re putting off a project, check out this mesmerizing website.
10. Find the most useless websites online with The Useless Web
If you’ve got time to kill and a good wifi connection, this may be the perfect place for you. This website will take you to the most useless pages online, like a constantly looping gif of Oprah releasing bees or a page called Endless Horse. The internet is definitely a strange place.
Of course, if you’ve ever wanted to read more about weird memes or cool technology, you can always waste some time on Mashable.
Related Video: 10 of the best TV shows that made it to 10 seasons
Everyone knows how to waste time. It’s human nature to be unproductive sometimes.
The trick, as with all time management issues, is to waste time well. Increase awareness about how much you waste, then impose some control over it.
This doesn’t have to be as hard as you think.
But before we get to that…
How do you know you’ve wasted time well?
Well, there are a couple of pointers.
- It doesn’t stop you from doing all the things you have committed yourself to getting done today.
- You don’t necessarily feel better for having done it, but you do feel better because you limited it compared to the amount of time you wasted previously.
At best, wasting time contributes nothing to your goals or your health. At worst, it moves you further from them both, making you feel bad that you wasted your most precious resource.
So, as it’s going to happen anyway, here are 7 tips to help you to waste time well:
1. Be human
Everybody does it to a degree, so give yourself permission to waste time. It’s okay — don’t beat yourself up about it; accept that you’ll probably waste some time every single day.
This can be an on the spot decision you make, or a realization that you’ve just wasted your time.
2. Define limits
This is the one that most people struggle with when it comes to wasting time. Accept you’ll waste some time, then impose a limit on how much you do it.
3. Consider the consequences whilst you’re wasting time
Who, or what, is not getting your attention when you do something irrelevant, inappropriate or unimportant? Your health? Family? Friends? Long term goals where the rewards are big but come later?
Make sure you know the price before you pay it.
4. Tool up
Whether it’s a pen and paper, book or phone, make sure you’ve got something to do during dead time. Particularly important for appointments and travel connections.
5. Do it when you can afford to lose it
The best way to do this? For any given block of time estimate how much of it you’ll need to give to the move on with the roles, goals, projects and tasks you’re currently working on. What’s left over is yours to use how you choose.
6. Time log your day
Keep a time management log for a day to see how, when and why you waste time.
7. Don’t look back in anger when you get it wrong
Instead, learn from it. What triggered the journey down the path of pointlessness? What happens if, in the moment of choice, you decide to do something more worthwhile?
It’s important to accept that you, like everyone, will waste time. It’s just as crucial to remember that you choose to do it as much or as little as you like.
Apply these tips to make sure you accept it and manage it, and you’ll know how to waste time well.
Want to use your time at work more effectively and efficiently?
There are a lot of ways to waste the one completely finite, non-renewable resource that is your time. Some things that feel like work are not work at all. Other things that you pretend will improve your work are really just distractions.
Looking for Shortcuts
The time you spend looking for shortcuts is time you could have spent doing the actual task itself. You can easily spend more time working on trying to get out of the work you need to do than the time it takes to actually do that work.
It’s nice to have clean lines, to have processes, and to be efficient. But if it takes more time to manage those systems than it does to do the work, those systems are not really shortcuts.
Cleaning Your Desk
Cleaning your desk is usually a way to procrastinate and avoid something you really should be doing.
The problem with cleaning your desk is that it gives you a sense of accomplishment, but it does nothing to move your closer to your goals. You would be better off getting your most important tasks completed with a messy desk than you would be getting nothing important done with a pristine workspace.
Filing Your Email
There is no reason to create nested folders inside nested folders. In fact, there is no reason to file your email in nested folders at all.
Outlook has a great search engine. So does Gmail. So does Mail.app. In fact, all modern email software offerings have amazing search capabilities. Scrolling through your search results is faster than spending hours building a meticulous folder structure. And it’s faster.
If working smarter means spending countless hours setting up your systems, deciding to try something new, and then setting up new systems to see if you can gain a few minutes of efficiency, then don’t work smarter (I am a case study here, so I know what it is I speak of).
One of the smartest ways you can work is to simply do the most important thing you need to do first each day. Working hard on what’s important is better than working smarter if that means you aren’t doing what needs to be done.
Most of the time you spend on the Internet and Social Media is a serious waste of your time. So is most of the time you spend watching television.
If you value your time, don’t waste it. You have as much as you have and no more.
Do you feel like your students never get anything done? Here’s how you can help them stop wasting time.
Have you ever wondered how a student can work for 3 weeks on a project and have nothing at all to show for it? Or even 3 hours. Heck, what about 3 minutes? Shouldn’t there be SOMETHING?
Some students seem to have a knack for wasting time. And this can be very frustrating when we have so little time to teach them so much. Another frustration is the activities students pursue when wasting time (like talking to their neighbors or re-purposing paperclips) can be disruptive to those in the class who ARE trying to work.
Students who waste time because of poor time management skills may underestimate how much time an assignment will take and decide they have time to go to the bathroom and talk to seven friends before getting started.
Why Students Waste Time
Students waste time for many reasons, including inability to do the work, lack of motivation, or poor time management skills. As teachers we are familiar with strategies for differentiating instruction (shorten the assignment, work with partners, accept shorter answers) and motivating students (give rewards, offer choices.) But many of us assume our students know how to manage time – and many of them don’t.
Students who waste time because of poor time management skills may underestimate how much time an assignment will take and decide they have time to go to the bathroom and talk to seven friends before getting started.
Or they might take way too much time drawing a chart, choosing the perfect font, or coloring an illustration. It’s not that they don’t want to do the work – they just don’t know how to use their time effectively.
Practical Ways to Teach Time Management
If your students struggle with wasting time, here are a few practical ways to teach them time management.
- Use a timer for short daily activities, such as warm-up assignments, and allow the same amount of time (such as 3 minutes) every day. Afterward, talk about how much they were able to finish. This practice will help students learn how long 3 minutes is, and how much they can expect to finish in that time. (Bonus: Timers are also motivating for many students, because beating the clock becomes a game.)
- Before starting on independent or group work, have the students estimate how much time each part of the assignment will take. For example, if the exit ticket is 10 math problems and we have 20 minutes to do it, you have about 2 minutes to spend on each problem. Use your timer again to let the students know when 2 minutes have passed. Let them know it’s okay if they haven’t finished, but it’s time to move on and try the next one.
- When students are working independently, have them mark how much they got done in 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on. This will help them become aware of their own ability so they can make a better estimate.
- Help them figure out the most important part of the assignment. Talk about it before giving them the assignment, and encourage them to complete that part first.
- If your class (or a few students) really struggle with time, you can break down the assignment into parts for them and move from part to part at the same time, done or not. Then provide a “catch-up period” at the end for them to finish up anything they didn’t complete.
Kids (and many adults) waste time because of poor time management skills. Making the effort to teach our students effective time management skills will serve them well their whole lives.
Now go create a great day for yourself and your students!
PS – Would you like more practical classroom management strategies that work? Check out the Monday Morning Sanity Boost archives. If you like what you see, you may want to gain access to even more strategies that I only share with Awesome Teacher Nation members. You can join here. It’s free!
Additional Awesome Teacher Nation Resources
- Create a Great Day for Yourself and Your Students
- 5-Minute Classroom Management Hints
- The Take-Charge Teacher
- All The Ways I Screwed Up My First Year of Teaching
- The Classroom Teacher’s Coloring Book
- The Classroom Teacher’s Coloring Book, Volume 2
Awesome Teacher Nation TV videos, including:
- Why Threats and Punishments Don’t Work
- Saving Time on Paperwork and Grading
- 7 Strategies to Deal With the Pencil Sharpener
- What’s the BEST Classroom Management Strategy?
- Taming the Chaos: How to Create and Effective Classroom Routine
- Making Money as an In-Demand Substitute Teacher
- A Day in the Life of a Substitute Teacher
- The Substitute Teacher’s Troubleshooting Guide
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As a mentor, people often come to me when they are overwhelmed, stressed and feeling like they’re not accomplishing their goals, the things they most want to do in life. They feel stuck. They are at a point which they don’t know what to do.
So one of the first things I do first is identify their time-wasters, the things that are getting in the way of them being successful, keeping them from moving forward, toward what they want to accomplish.
I think we all, from time to time, get ourselves involved in activities that do not contribute to our greatest success or happiness. I definitely did at one time, but I made the necessary changes once I became an entrepreneur and learned how valuable each second of the day was—that there really wasn’t any time to waste on activities that didn’t grow me or my business.
We’re all looking to be successful in life, but sometimes we are wasting our time doing things that are holding us back from reaching our full potential. And, often, we don’t recognize those things until someone points them out.
It’s important to analyze how we spend our days, hour by hour, and regularly look for ways to work smarter, ways to eliminate time-wasters. So, to get started, here are eight things that productive, successful people never waste their time doing (and you shouldn’t either):
1. Productive, successful people don’t get sucked into social media.
Being on social media—checking notifications Facebook, scrolling through pictures on Instagram, reading quick updates on Twitter, whatever—it’s part of everyday life. But if you don’t control how much time you spend on it, the hours will fly by and you won’t have accomplished anything on your to-do list.
So either put a time limit on it—set an alarm for when you need to minimize it, close the app, do something else—or only get on after completing necessary work projects. Use social media as a reward.
2. Productive, successful people don’t go through the day without a plan.
Successful people have a purpose, a laser-focused plan of things they want to achieve on a particular day. I believe in writing things down—but only the top two or three priorities I need to accomplish that day, not a long list of things.
Write down your top priorities and break down those large tasks into more reasonable steps and you’ll see yourself wanting to get them done and crossed off the list.
3. Productive, successful people don’t do emotionally draining activities.
If you want to step into a truly successful life, you have to focus on things that positively fuel your life. Productive people don’t waste their time on things that emotionally drain them.
Before committing to activities on your schedule, be sure the activity will positively add to your life. If you believe it won’t, then think about saying no to it. Also, don’t feel obligated to give an answer right at the time you’re being asked to do something. Think before you say yes and know that it’s OK to say no to requests for your time.
4. Productive, successful people don’t worry about things they can’t control.
Successful people realize that worrying gets you absolutely nowhere in life, especially if you can’t do anything about a situation.
So turn your thoughts to action-based activities. Focus on things you can get done.
5. Productive, successful people don’t hang out with negative people.
It’s said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you want to be your best, you have to surround yourself with the best people.
Be sure to eliminate negative, toxic energy around you. If you want to soar in life, you need to unload what is weighing you down.
6. Productive, successful people don’t dwell on past mistakes.
Successful people make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. The key to being successful in life is not making the same mistake twice, learning and growing from mistakes, and becoming a better person because of them.
So when you make a mistake, get into a mindset that the mistake is done with and you can’t go back to the past. Focus on what you learned and design a strategy to positively move forward from it.
7. Productive, successful people don’t focus on what other people are doing.
It’s great to be inspired by what other successful people are doing, but when you’re constantly comparing yourself to the next person and it’s bringing you down, it’s time to shift your mindset.
Be inspired by others, but focus your mindset to only compete with the most important person: yourself.
8. Productive, successful people don’t put themselves last in priority.
We all go through times that we don’t get enough sleep or exercise because we need to work on a big project. But for long-term success and happiness, you must put yourself first on the priority list.
Some great ways to do this is to kick start your day by doing something you love to do—maybe it’s completing a great workout, meditating, journaling or reading your favorite book. Do what works for you. Because when you start off your day doing something you love and that is good for you, you’ll feel happy, focused and strong the rest of the day.
Are there things on this list that have been time-wasters for you? Eliminate them so you can step into your best life.
If you want to get things done, if you are driven and motivated with big dreams and plans, if you are not looking to just cruise through life but instead, chart your course, move with intention and go places, then you have to watch where your time goes. Wasting time is not an option for you.
A little confession : I can only write this post because I have wasted countless hours that I will never get back. But if I didn’t, I couldn’t write this post. The silver lining in all things.
You get 86,400 seconds every day. And guess what? You are ultimately in charge of what you do with those seconds. Whether you use them well or waste them, there are consequences. Nobody knows the battle that you are fighting, or the road that you are taking, but it is your life and nobody controls your mind, your heart and therefore your actions, other than you. You are not living in prison and no matter what your circumstances, you can change them, as long as you believe so.
Positive believing has to happen first to let you out of your own cage, the cage of fear. If you feel like a victim, you will act and behave as one.
And those 86,400 seconds, they go fast. The older you get, the faster time goes, which is very unfair if you ask me (I realize nobody is asking me but just sayin’) because it’s in our maturity and wisdom that we have important things to do, not in our childhoods where time seemed to go by oh so slowly. Either way, the time passes and you age, whether you like it or not.
“It’s called middle age, little brother, and it comes for us all.” Mycroft, Sherlock’s older brother on Sherlock Holmes, the British TV series.
So before you let your hours and days drift away into a myriad of little things, wake up to the real purpose of your life. You do not get a second chance. This Is It!
Check in with yourself to make absolutely positively 100% certain that those days, hours and minutes are put to your true needs and core desires. Even if you handed the control keys over to someone or something else (fear perhaps?) to tell you what to do and when to do it, you can take back control.
The worst cage of all is the one you put yourself in, and from first hand experience, I say don’t do it. Get back in charge! Don’t make a fuss, just get back in charge of your life. It’s yours and you can decide what goes and what stays.
35 Small Things You Do that Waste a Huge Chunk of Time
Getting back in charge is not a leap. It happens in tiny steps. Here are 35 small things that sneak up on you and steal away your energy and waste a huge chunk of your time before you realize it:
- Saying a “quick” hi to someone during a run or a walk.
- Answering a “quick” question at work for a random co-worker.
- Procrastinating by making excuses. It makes you dread the task you delay and makes you feel guilty.
- Watching a ‘little’ TV to decompress, and turning it off reluctantly 2 hours later.
- Going out to a crowded restaurant to eat instead of cooking at home.
- Consuming alcohol which then debilitates your ability to think clearly. Hence a giant waste of time. about all the stuff that can go wrong.
- Telling someone else about all your worries.
- Complaining about something you can neither change nor control.
- Reading magazines. 99% of the magazines anyway.
- Watching commercials, infomercials, advertisements.
- Popping by YouTube and getting sucked into something totally irrelevant.
- Watching random videos that scroll across your feed about someone’s child or cat or
- Checking Facebook or Twitter ‘real quick’.
- Chasing small money when you are running a small business with a big vision.
- Asking everyone’s opinion about something you have already decided you are going to do.
- Watching bad movies on an airplane just to pass the time.
- Going out to run errands in the middle of rush-hour.
- Hanging out with people you don’t enjoy just to pretend you have friends.
- Finishing a book that you hate just because you started it. Let it go. There’s a million books that could touch your soul.
- Trying to change someone’s mind. Their opinion is none of your business. (Unless it’s your child of 18 years or younger.)
- Saying yes to everything at work because you don’t know any better.
- Listening to spam comments, stupid reviewers and crazy people trying to bring you down.
- Watching depressing movies when you know they give you nightmares and bring down your spirits.
- Reading trashy books and thus wasting your brain power.
- Staying in a relationship when it is obviously bad for you. Stop hurting yourself.
- Chasing potential clients that obviously do not want to work with you.
- Explaining your unconventional lifestyle to people who don’t care or want to argue with you.
- Over-indulging in a big meal which zaps all your energy and renders the rest of afternoon or evening useless.
- Attending parties, social events, and especially baby showers out of obligation, not desire or love.
- Shopping and going to the mall only to pass the time when you don’t need anything special.
- Going out on a Friday night just to be cool among friends when you’d rather work on your business or read that book.
- Being selfless and wondering why you feel so rotten when you put your own desires last.
- Engaging with anyone who likes to gossip and judge and resent the whole world for their own reasons.
- Doing favors or spending time with anyone who is not grateful for and respectful to you.
Is it REALLY a Waste of Time?
A little clarification about the list: You may consider any activity above as joyful and exciting. It may be important to you. It may have meaning in your life and with your family and traditions and culture. You may be doing it with purpose and intention and a clear mind rather than the force of an old habit you can’t shake. If that’s how you feel, it is NOT a waste of your time.
A waste of time comes with a loud indicator: Just see how you feel after an activity. Are you energized or drained by it? Are you happy or resentful for it? You know the feeling when you’ve wasted your time. I find all of these a giant waste of my time, but if you don’t, well that’s why we have the comment section, so tell me what you think.
But before you do that, sign up to grab your FREE 21 step confidence building course: