5 Ways to Break Compulsive Time Wasting
If there is one thing we are good at, it’s wasting time. People let opportunities pass them by every day just to do some meaningless thing. Instead of pursuing our dreams we would prefer to watch our favorite tv show. Behind on work? no problem! We can catch up….right after we finish browsing Facebook for the 600th time today. We are so against doing things labeled “work” that we will find other little chores to do to keep from having to do the thing we should be doing! We will find work to replace work!
We have got to realize that our time is limited. We only have so much time here to make a difference. Whatever your call, whatever your purpose, we have got to start doing what we were made to do. (If you do not know your purpose, check out this blog by Crystal Gornto.) Time wasters may seem fun but I promise, they are not nearly as fun as doing what you where made to do.
Here are my 5 things to help you quit wasting your life away.
1. Keep focused on where you are going. – the number one thing that causes people to start a compulsive time wasting ritual is when they lose/don’t have a clear focus. When you lose sight of your potential, it is easy to want to fill that void. This sets up a habit. In order to feel fulfilled in some way we live vicariously through meaningless actions like media. The key to stopping the loss of vision is to keep that vision in front of you all the time. Take your primary focus and save it as your phone/tablet/computer background. (Here is a link to mine. You can use it if you want!) Write it out in detail and look at it at least every week. When you keep your vision in front of you than you will always want to pursue it.
2. Make every moment count. – We only have 24 hours in a day so we have to make every hour worth its weight. Plan out and give yourself tasks to do throughout the day. If you find your mind wanting to go back to time wasting than move to a different task. The goal here is variety. Some days we wake up and are ready to go conquer the world. Some days, its all we can do to get out of bed so have a wide variety of tasks ready to go, from desk work to the heavy lifting so you can always be productive despite your current mood.
3. Hold yourself accountable. – Since you are now writing out tasks why not put a little check box by them? That way you can keep tabs on what you have accomplished. You can even write down the time and date you accomplished them so you can track your most productive times throughout the day. Find what works for you. There is nothing like having someone you trust keeping you accountable. Find a close friend and give them a copy of your vision so they can hold you to it. Don’t have anyone you feel you could trust? Post a copy to your fridge or on the bathroom mirror. If you have to frame one and place it by the tv then that’s what you have to do.
4. Create a reward system. – Few things motivate like a hard earned reward. Have you been wanting to buy that new gadget? Maybe you have wanted to treat yourself to a nice massage? Set those as rewards you can earn by keeping productive for a full month. Buy a piggy bank and place a dollar in it for every day you are productive. Then, when the month is over you can spend what is in the bank or save for something bigger. You will be amazed at what a reward system can do. When we look at our productivity as a game, we naturally will be more involved.
5. Make your downtime worth it. – Productivity is great, but we have to have downtime. We need to start making our down time worth it. Too often we confuse our down time with our work time. The best things we can do is to put the phone on silent, close the laptop, sit back, and focus on living in the moment. We have to know how to turn off everything else around us and unwind. Just as our work time should be distraction free, so should our downtime.
I know this is not an easy topic. This is a lot easier said than done, but with some dedication you can make it happen. You have to ask yourself what you want more; to be the person you have always dreamed of, or to stay where you are and try to forget about your potential.