If you’ve ever cleaned out your attic, you know how much junk you can accumulate over time. Some of us keep stuff because we have the room, while others just can’t be bothered to get rid of things. It got me thinking. If you won’t clean up your clutter, how much of what you do is unnecessary as well? And what does that cost you? Would you like to add more hours to your day?
We complain that we don’t have time, that we juggle too many balls and have too many demands placed on us. Yet, why do we do unnecessary things that waste time? The fact is, we not only stockpile physical stuff, but we accumulate mental clutter as well. That adds stress, diverts valuable resources, and kills time that could be invested where it’s needed most.
Think about the time and endless hours you spend following outdated rules and policies, searching for misplaced items, offering advice to those who don’t want it, trying to change people who won’t embrace it, struggling to control the uncontrollable, and of course, overthinking everything.
We can’t help ourselves. We do these things because we live on autopilot, give in to bad habits, refuse to change, or simply don’t have time to think. In any case, it’s high time to reexamine our ways.
If time is money, why don’t people think twice before spending it?
Do You Have Time to Kill?
Time is one of your most precious resources. When you give someone your time, you’re giving them a piece of you. Therefore, invest your time wisely. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Lost time is never found again.” Do you spend long hours doing things that are:
Useless. Pointless. Ineffective. Totally unproductive.
Example: Moving papers from one pile to another. Requesting advice with no intention of acting on it. Generating great ideas that collect dust on the shelf.
Insignificant. Trivial. Irrelevant. So minor that it’s unworthy of your time and energy.
Example: Making excuses. Holding grudges. Seeking revenge. Being envious. Feeling sorry for yourself. Worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
Unneeded. Not helpful. Not required. Completely unnecessary.
Example: Creating rules without insisting that they be followed. Holding regularly scheduled meetings — with nothing to say.
Redundant. Excessive. Overlapping. A complete duplication of effort.
Example: Reinventing the wheel. Repeating mistakes without learning from them. Working at cross-purposes. Doing things over rather than doing them right the first time.
Unwanted. Unsolicited. Unwelcomed. Totally undesired.
Example: Looking over people’s shoulders. Needing to be right — all the time.
Expendable. Wasteful. Optional. A total misuse of your limited resources.
Example: Spending an hour to save a dollar. Starting many things without finishing anything. Gathering facts and then ignoring them.
Extraneous. Irrelevant. Unconnected. Completely unrelated to the task.
Example: Playing politics. Complaining without offering a solution. Keeping busy for the sake of keeping busy. Talking behind someone’s back. Making people jump through hoops — to show them who’s boss.
Make Up for Lost Time
Some people are too busy to find ways to save time. They think the best way to buy time is to do things faster. They believe the more they rush…the more gets done. That’s like trying to fill a bucket that has holes. They think if you pour water fast enough, you’ll fill the bucket. But plugging the holes, first, is a lot smarter and certainly more productive. I’m sure you have a to-do list. Start by eliminating unnecessary activities that are hijacking your day. Subtracting from your list of priorities is as important as adding to it.
When was the last time you created a “don’t-do” list?
We all have 24 hours in a day. But each of us spends our time differently. When you say, “I don’t have the time,” what you’re really saying is “I won’t make the time.” Therefore, next time you say you don’t have enough time in the day, remember it’s not that you don’t have enough time. You choose to spend it doing something else.
Would You Like to Add More Hours to Your Day?
Please leave a comment and tell us what you think or share it with someone who can benefit from the information.
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Where Did the Time Go?
Are You Busy Beyond Belief?
Doing Nothing is Time Well Spent
50 Shades of Waste
Change Your Priorities: Change Your Life