I know so many people who simply just waste a lot of time. Time is too precious and once used, can never be returned. With so many distractions in our world today, it takes absolute focus and discipline to make the best of most of your time instead of being one of those time wasters. How do you avoid being a time waster? JUST SAY NO. To be specific, say no to these following things:

1) Eating out. This is a huge time consumer. The amount of time it takes to drive somewhere, sit down, order, wait for food, eat, wait for check, leave, & drive back is just simply too much wasted time. Does this mean you never go out? Of course not! Just make sure it isn’t every day, for every meal, when you have many more things you could do that are productive.

2) Driving. Let’s clarify. If you have a commute to work, not a problem. But if you are like some people I know who just simply do not plan their daily route, you’d be surprised at how much time is wasted driving back to the same area twice or thrice in a day. Plan your day, save the gas money, and more importantly….save the time.

3) TV. I am the type of person that goes and goes all day long. I do not stop..until about an hour or so before bed and that is when I like to watch TV. However, instead of just sitting on the couch being lazy, I usually take that time to do a little something else that helps me be productive. I will do pilates, iron, research on the computer, or play a game with my daughter or even just play with the dog. Using that ‘dead’ time to do a little something else makes it worthwhile and it helps you avoid just wasting that time.

4) Do things for small periods of time. If you only have 15-20 minutes of free time, instead of thinking that isn’t enough time to do anything…do something! Whether pull weeds for 5 minutes, exercise for 15, organize a kitchen drawer for 10 minutes, put away the 3 loads of laundry stacked on top of the dryer, clean a bathroom quickly, you get the idea. Sometimes we think if we don’t have an hour to finish an entire chore, we can’t even start. Not true. I am constantly taking 15 minutes and doing chores throughout the day. You will be surprised at how much gets done when you approach chores this way.

5) Write down priorities. This may seem like another time waster, but in fact it is the opposite. It will help you prioritize during the day as other things come up to invade your time. Simple check of the list for the day will tell you if you have time for anything additional. Write down and stick to whats written. Make a point to cross it off when completed as well. This gives a little motivation for the next item.

6) Put items away as used. It is amazing how many times I will look around and realize there are so many things to simply ‘put away!’ As you start doing it, it’s easy to see that putting things away as they are used truly saves time. Hang that dress up that you tried on and didn’t wear. Put away that dish you just washed instead of setting on counter for 4 hours. Just start doing things as needed and you’ll be in the habit of keeping order and avoid wasting time later.

7) Set time limits for ‘time wasters.’ If you want to have some time for social media, tv, books, or just relaxing, do it but get into the habit of setting a time limit for that activity. I will try and do this with naps. While I am almost never able to squeeze 15 minutes in for a nap, on the rare occasion that I can, I will set my phone timer for anywhere from 5-20 minutes and seriously lay down and rest. It helps tremendously and gives enough boost that I am energized. Facebook or twitter junkie? Set a time limit and stick to it. When the timer goes off, time to be productive again.

8) Talking on the phone. This is a big one. I am a huge hater of talking on the phone. It just is something I loathe to do. You basically have this thing attached to your ear and all you can do is talk. It is almost impossible to do anything else while talking on the phone. The endless chatter of some people and the repetitive nature of talking on the phone. We live in a society where people are glued to their phones and it’s truly all a time waster. Use it sparingly, set it down once in a while, walk away from it occasionally, it’ll be good for you.

9) Laying in the sun. I know for much of America this is not a big deal. I happen to live in Florida and the amount of people that load their entire cars up with stuff, drive to a beach, unload and carry their stuff to a spot in the sand, only to lay their for hours and then load everything back up, drive home, only to have to empty it all out again and clean the car! Ridiculous! No way. Unless you are on vacation it’s a pointless activity.

10) Shopping. As a woman, I have to say I have done my fair share of shopping in my life. Currently however, in my 40’s, I literally loathe the concept of walking aimlessly through a mall. It annoys me when stores constantly change their layout. I want to go in, get what I want, and leave. If everything is moved around, it takes twice as long. This is true of all shopping. Toiletries, groceries, shoes, etc. As the mother of a young girl, I am working hard at teaching her to not want to waste time in shopping malls. So far, so good, she hates to shop! I can remember taking my niece shopping a few years ago. She was just starting to enter that teenage phase where all they want to do is shop. It was torture. I will avoid it at all cost.

The bottom line to not wasting time is simple. Say No to the things that you need to. Say No to things that take up time where you are finding yourself twirling your fingers and bored. Don’t be afraid to adopt NO, it is a powerful word and tool to help you be successful in all areas of life!

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