New Year’s is around the corner and at that time people all over the world make resolutions of what they’re going to do to improve their lives. Inevitably, many of these resolutions will fall flat. One of the most common reasons people give to explain why is lack of time. We’re all guilty of wasting time, of not making the most of the time we have in our lives. In continuing with last week’s blog “How to Live Life Efficiently and Effectively“, I’ve written about four time-wasters people frequently engage in. Think you can help “make time” by reducing your engagement in these?
1. Watching TV. The average person in Canada watches TV 16.9 hours a week. In the US, the average is approximately 21 hours. Personally, I don’t have cable or satellite TV. I’m not saying you should NEVER watch TV, but at the very least, it’s good to be selective. I have a few shows that I choose to watch, but I either watch them on DVD or through the Internet when I’ve made a conscious choice to watch them. I don’t really sit down and turn on the TV because I have nothing better to do. I turn on the TV because I’ve decided that I want to watch an episode of one of my shows to relax, usually with my husband. On average, I don’t watch more than 3 hours of TV in a week.
2. Surfing the Internet. The average person in Canada surfs the Internet more than 18 hours a week. In the US, the average is approximately 29 hours. Granted, the average is higher because a lot of people use it for work, research and communication, which is not necessarily time wasted. How do you spend your time on the Web? Are you using it to enrich your hobbies, relationships, work, etc? Or are you spending the time checking out Failblog, watching inane videos, reading/forwarding chain letter emails, etc? I try to use the Internet mostly to enrich my life, minimizing “clutter” surfing when I can avoid it. I’m not 100% consistent, but I am very aware when I am doing clutter surfing, so that I don’t get carried away doing it.
3. Playing Video Games. I used to be an avid video game player. Back when I was in high school and even university, I could play video games for hours at a time. I found them very addictive. Nowadays, I still have an Xbox in the house, but I limit my video game playing to social activities. I don’t really play games by myself anymore. I can’t afford to get caught up in them like I used to. I will, however, play Rock Band at parties or play co-op games with friends every so often.
4. Spending Time People Who Aren’t Worth Our Time. This one is a tricky one. We may not always know when our friends aren’t worth our time. Sometimes we spend time with people out of habit not realizing that those people aren’t good for us. Some people drum up pointless drama for themselves, creating problems that don’t exist, both for themselves and others. Other people are negative and nasty and point out the problems with people and things around them constantly. If you find that a person you hang out with causes you a lot of stress or brings you down, you may want to reconsider the amount of time you devote to that friendship. There may be some exceptions, like maybe your friend is going through a rough time and needs the support of people around them to pull themselves out of it, but if it’s not something like that, it’s worth considering.
It’s amazing how much time you can free up for the things you want to do most in life, whether those things are training in martial arts, writing a book, or spending special time with your loved ones.
What are your worst time-wasters and what steps can you take to reduce them?