So, there I was, tinkering with my Pinterest account, when a pin about the countless ways we waste our time jumped out at me.
I thought to myself:
“Holy smokes, that’s a ridiculous number of ways to squander our precious lives!”
“Wasting that much time should be a criminal offence!”
Naturally, my curiosity was piqued, and I wondered how many of these time-wasting activities I was guilty of indulging in.
After combing through the list, I pinpointed eight time-wasting culprits that resonated with me.
Now, the list includes all sorts of things we could potentially do, but not necessarily everything we do every single day.
I mean, that would be an absolute disaster, right?
Sure, there might be one or two “maybes,” but I chose the ones that made me think:
“Oh yeah, that was a colossal waste of time. Thank goodness I put an end to that.”
Going through a list like this can be incredibly eye-opening.
It forces you to reflect on the impact of certain habits and serves as a wake-up call to evaluate our daily choices, ultimately helping us become the best version of ourselves.
? UPDATE: For all you lovely readers out there, I’ve put together The Ultimate List: 70 Ways You’re Wasting Your Time.
Head on over to the ultimate list, take a moment to ponder your daily habits, and start tackling those time-wasting offenders in your life.
And now, without further ado, here are the 8 time-wasting activities I’ve successfully kicked to the curb.
8 Time-Draining Habits I Finally Quit
The true purpose of life is to live, not just exist. I won’t waste my days trying to stretch them out; instead, I’ll make the most of every moment.
1. Binge-Watching TV for Hours
I remember someone once asking me:
“How on earth do you live without a TV? I’d be lost without mine every evening.”
Well, I can confidently say that ditching the TV has freed up a ton of time, allowing me to do what I genuinely love.
Binge-watching was a mindless habit I picked up during my 9-to-5 days.
But as soon as I started working for myself, the TV went off.
Whenever I’m faced with a decision, I ask myself:
Will this activity bring me closer to my goals?
The answer helps me make smarter choices with my time, and ditching the TV was one of them.
Finding ways to make the most out of your leisure time can be a game-changer.
Check out these Top 100 Inspiring 30-Day Challenges for Self-Improvement for ideas on how to replace binge-watching with productive activities.
2. Burning the Midnight Oil
As a self-proclaimed night owl, adjusting my sleep schedule was a monumental challenge.
I used to stay up until the wee hours of the morning, especially if I was engrossed in a new book.
For far too long, I justified my late nights by insisting they didn’t impact my work.
But the harsh reality?
I was simply undisciplined.
I neglected my responsibilities and gave in to short-term pleasures, all while battling sleep deprivation.
My body clock was a mess, and I spent my days shuffling around like a zombie.
Sure, there’s plenty of debate about morning people versus night owls, but for me, the benefits of a solid eight hours of sleep are undeniable.
I wake up feeling refreshed, healthier, and more energetic.
My focus and productivity have skyrocketed, and I’m finally making the most of my time.
3. Procrastination and Goal-Setting Neglect
Once upon a time, I wore the crown as the queen of procrastination!
Putting things off until the last possible moment felt like a thrilling game of outdoing my own records.
I’d tell myself things like, “Oh, I was 10 minutes late last time, but I’m only 5 minutes late today.”
See how ridiculous that is? I know it now, but back then, it was my reality.
The odd thing is, it all began with small actions.
Gradually, procrastination became a deep-rooted part of my approach to everything.
I later realised that my procrastination problem stemmed from a lack of clear goals.
Once I set short, medium, and long-term goals—complete with deadlines—my entire perspective shifted.
4. Overcoming Indecision and Stubbornness
Most of us have a general idea of what we need to do and how to do it to achieve our dreams.
There’s no shortage of resources or guidance.
We know where to find them, and we know what to do with them.
But fear keeps us paralysed in indecision.
I knew my online retail business was struggling. I should have pulled the plug much earlier.
But the prospect of starting over was terrifying. So I clung to it… until I had no choice but to let go.
I was both stubborn and indecisive, but eventually I learned to overcome those traits.
Indecision can be a major obstacle when trying to transform your life.
Learn more about Why Can’t I Make Up My Mind? 4 Reasons Behind Indecision and How to Overcome It to tackle this issue effectively.
5. The Rabbit Hole of Endless Web Browsing
I had my justifications for all that web browsing.
I’m not a social butterfly, so it wasn’t like I was chasing attention on social media.
Being a private person, I never felt the urge to broadcast my life for all to see.
Instead, I spent tons of time surfing the web, soaking up knowledge.
But the truth is, I was spending 95% of my time “learning” and only 5% actually putting that knowledge to use.
Finally, I reached a breaking point:
Enough is enough.
So, I embarked on a 100-Day Challenge to turn those ratios on their heads.
To spend 95% of my time doing and just 5% learning.
I’m not quite there yet, but I’m loving this journey.
The challenge keeps me on track and, more importantly, pushes me to face my insecurities head-on.
“Just get on with it.”
That’s become my go-to mantra since starting the challenge.
If you find yourself stuck in the research phase of any creative or professional endeavour, or anything you’ve always dreamt of doing, I highly recommend watching Seth Godin’s YouTube clip in this post.
? UPDATE: I’ve completed my 100 Day Challenge! You can find more details below, covering before and after the challenge:
6. Letting Go of Regret and Dwelling on the Past
Talk about a colossal waste of time, right?
It’s a shame we don’t realise just how much time we squander on regret and dwelling on the past until we break free from the self-sabotage and self-blame.
I wish I hadn’t spent so much time holding a grudge against myself.
Focusing on the past only piles up more days to regret later.
If we don’t change our ways today, we’ll look back and feel even more remorse down the road.
If you’re struggling with this, take a moment to step back and ask yourself what you’re gaining from it.
Remember, you always have the power to choose where to direct your attention.
It’s entirely up to you whether you keep dwelling on the past or decide you’ve given it enough energy and shift your focus to the good things happening in your life right now.
7. Overindulging in Food
Ever since I started working for myself, my relationship with food has been a rollercoaster.
No matter how much I eat, I don’t gain weight. That led me to eat with reckless abandon.
Unlike many people I know, I never developed a sweet tooth.
Growing up poor has its perks, I guess.
My parents couldn’t afford snacks, candies, or soft drinks, so I never acquired a taste for them.
But I started indulging in larger portions. Not snacks but home-cooked meals.
I soon realised I was developing emotional eating habits as a response to stress.
The single best thing I did to combat this?
Drinking lots of water.
8. Overcoming Low Self-Esteem
After closing down my online retail business, I spent a lot of time reflecting on what went wrong.
Sure, I knew the answer all along and could’ve written an essay about it.
But the crux of it all was this: The prices I set reflected my low self-esteem.
Talk about a lightbulb moment!
If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, have you ever wondered why we sometimes race to the bottom?
It’s because we convince ourselves that the only thing we have to offer is a low price.
“Hey, I’m the cheapest around. Pick me!”
The problem is, there will always be someone cheaper.
So, if all we bring to the table is a low price, we’re destined to hit rock bottom because someone less expensive can weather the storm until we’re forced out of the market.
In the end, all we have to show for it is a mountain of debt.
That’s precisely what happened with my failed business, and it all stemmed from my negative self-image.
? If low self-esteem is holding you back, it’s time to change the stories you tell yourself.
“What to Say When You Talk to Your Self” can help you transform the way you communicate with yourself.
It was a game-changer for me!
(Disclosure: If you purchase through the link, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog, my dear reader!)
Final Thoughts: Embracing Change to Stop Wasting Time
The internet is flooded with “how-to” and “100+ ways…” articles, so much so that we often become immune to them.
I’m glad I took a moment to read and reflect on this particular list.
I printed it out, circled the items that resonated with me, and discussed them.
It was a cathartic exercise in self-awareness and an essential step towards making the most of my time.
I highly recommend giving it a try for yourself and embracing the change needed to stop wasting time and transform your life.
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