Time equals life. We only have so much of it. It’s one thing to relax and enjoy life, but it’s another to let little interruptions pillage our productivity and steal precious minutes of our life. We need to guard our time by dealing with these five common time thieves.
There isn’t anything inherently “bad” about social media, email, and texts/messages. But do they serve you, or do you serve them? Are they helpful, or are they a distraction?
You know how it goes; you can be in the middle of something important when your phone interrupts you, leading to checking a message, then hopping over to Instagram or Facebook, then visiting a couple of websites, etc. Before you know it, you’ve lost forty-five minutes, and for what?
And here’s the thing, it’s not just how much time the interruption steals from you; it’s also about how time you lose afterward, too. According to a University of California Irvine study, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task!
So taking thirty seconds to check a FB post steals about twenty-five minutes of your life!
Think about that statistic for a second. If it’s accurate, each time you get interrupted, it takes over twenty minutes to refocus; how much time are you losing every day to multiple interruptions? It could be hours.
Life is too precious to be interrupted by the constant dings, chirps, and rings of our smart devices. Minutes add up.
Life doesn’t stop for rings, chirps, tweets, and dings. And neither should we.
Take Your Life Back: One tactic that works well for many people who’ve gotten serious about guarding their time and life is to set a time each day for checking their email and social media, etc. They don’t allow themselves to be interrupted randomly throughout the day. They turn off notifications and mute their phone.
Over-Planning & Preparing
It’s one thing to plan your day, but it’s another thing to procrastinate by over-planning and over-preparing.
We can be busy planning, or we can get busy living. Sure, planning and preparing are essential to living and creating our dream life. But over-planning and preparing are forms of procrastination, perfectionism, or unclear thinking.
Take Your Life Back: Find some kind of a planner or scheduler that you can live with.
A great one is the Panda Planner.
Then on Saturday or Sunday, take an hour (yes, an hour, not two or three) to plan the upcoming week. Schedule important activities and appointments. Make time for what matters most to you.
Will your plan be perfect? No. Will life go exactly as planned? Again, no. But you’ll have a plan that keeps you focused on what matters most to you, and you’ll be living your life instead of planning to live your life.
Multitasking wastes time and results in average outcomes at best. Dividing your energy and attention among several tasks is inefficient. Some researchers say that it decreases productivity by as much as 40%.
Multitasking is a thief that steals productivity and life.
Take Your Life Back: This is an easy one to deal with because all you have to do focus on one thing at a time until you’re done. Life will be less stressful, too.
Catching the News
Do we really need news 24/7? Just because something is being reported doesn’t make it news.
Take Your Life Back: Set a time to scan headlines. If you want to take back massive amounts of your time, energy, and life, turn off or block the “news.” Sports, politics, entertainment, and local news will still be there when you choose to check them out on YOUR schedule.
Chores and Errands
Everyone has chores and errands. It’s not that we do them; it’s when. If possible, save time by doing errands when traffic is light or when fewer people are out.
Do chores during off time, too, not during work hours or when you’ve scheduled something important to you.
Take Your Life Back: Do your errands when there’s less traffic and when the stores won’t be crowded. Regarding chores, look at your week and schedule a block of time on a day or two for cleaning and decluttering.
Time = life. Every person on the planet gets 86,2400 seconds of time each day. That’s 1,440 minutes or 24 hours. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
Protect yourself against time thieves that have been stealing precious hours of life from you every day.
Live YOUR life!
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash