Stop wasting your time

I saw this brilliant article over on the dumb little man blog about eliminating waste – that’s time wasting stuff by the way and had to share it.

Number 10 really strikes a chord:

Say NO!
The most lasting way to eliminate waste is to learn to say no. Say no to buying new stuff you don’t need, say no to tasks you don’t want to do, say no to your habits that kill your time! Practice saying no to things you are comfortable eliminating and work to expand that no to other areas. If you can say no to anything that complicates and adds waste in your life, you can keep time available on the things that matter to you and to keep eliminating waste you already have. You certainly don’t need to eliminate one area of waste and just replace it with a new one. You must be able to say NO when its wasteful to you.

David has some good tips on how to say no when you need to – and how saying yes can lead to stress.

“Over the years I have met many people who would automatically say “yes”, thinking that it would help them make friends and be liked. But, just saying “yes” means you get used and abused.”how true is that?

I’m not too sure about time wasting activities though – I like cooking for friends and family and I really enjoy mowing the lawn – it’s a good walk around the garden!

All these are waste – According to Mike:

  • Driving to/from work
  • Paying bills
  • Doing dishes and cleaning the house
  • Mowing the lawn and other yard work
  • Preparing meals and shopping / buying living essentials

Most people would agree with those areas that they don’t have any real lasting value. More debatable areas of waste are often in our pastimes:

  • Watching TV
  • Surfing the web
  • Sleeping more than we need
  • Line ups and delays for simple things like coffee and lunch
  • Work

I actually think that watching TV and web surfing when you’re at home can be really destructive time wasters and should be on the top list instead.

So what are my tips to stop wasting time?

  1. Action an email immediately – when you’ve responded to a mail, then delete the inbound mail – you’ll never have to process it again.
  2. Use Unified communications wherever you can.  Perhaps you can just IM the person instead of that email – or even phone them, cutting out a heck of a lot of too-ing and fro-ing.
  3. Cut arguments short.  Sometimes you’ll just have to agree to disagree (I’d never be a politician eh?)
  4. Vendettas and Grudges.  Cut them out of your life – they’re destructive and waste your time and energy.
  5. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel with every new project – others in the past may have had some really great ideas you could borrow and enhance saving you lots of time.
  6. Cross stitch.  Why does ANYONE spend so much time doing this hobby?  I really don’t get it!
  7. Stop trying to think of 10 tips for every series you write – I’m sure this has something to do with the 80:20 rule – but once again I’m stuck on 7 tips so won’t waste my time trying to think of any more.


So what’s your best tip to stop wasting time?