Table of Contents
Do you waste time?
It's OK to admit it. We all waste time.
One moment you're feeling productive. The next moment you've spent an hour an hour surfing YouTube or mindlessly flipping through channels.
It would be OK if that's what you meant to do with your time.
But let's be honest. You and I both know that there are better, more enriching things to do with our lives.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to gain your time back and use it in productive, fulfilling ways.
Where Did All My Time Go?
There's a horrible feeling that I get when I know I've been wasting my time.
It's a sinking feeling. My stomach drops as if being pulled down by an unseen weight. Then, the anxiety starts. I squirm nervously and wonder what else I should be doing--anything to stop wasting time.
Time is an elusive thing. We have so much of it during the day, but it disappears so quickly--and often when we least want it to.
That's because time--and the effective use of it--comes down to perception. When you don't want it to go away, it goes away like that. But when you want to move through time as quickly as possible, it seems to drag on and on.
And so it is for me---and, if I'm guessing correctly--for you as well.
Do any of these situations sound familiar?
- You have a major project to complete but not enough time.
- You have to schedule doctors' appointments but can't ever find the time to do it.
- You need to take your pets to the vet, but it's just too difficult to fit it into your schedule.
- You've been meaning to call your friend back, but it's never the right time to do it.
All of these common scenarios should be easy enough to accomplish. But then time gets wasted, anxiety creeps in, and the simple task becomes a looming monster that grows bigger and bigger the longer it's left undone.
This ends now.
Because there is actually a simple mind hack that can put you on the right track and help you get your time back.
Do This to Stop Wasting Time
To know how to stop wasting time, you first need to know a little bit about anxiety.
Anxiety thrives in a world of uncertainty. It loves when you don't take action. Lack of action gives anxiety space to grow. Because action--and it doesn't even really matter what kind of action--pummels anxiety and sends it back to the dark hole in which it belongs.
But how do you take action? Isn't that the stupid time-wasting issue in the first place?
With one clear decision.
It sounds too simple to work, but simple does not mean ineffective. One clear decision is all it takes to get out of a mental rut and start getting your time back.
The problem is that when you don't feel like you have time in the first place, it can be extremely difficult to carve out five to ten minutes to make one clear decision.
Think about this.
Any major goal that you accomplished started with a decision. You don't randomly stumble into a bachelor's or master's degree. You don't fall upon a great job opportunity and just happen to get.
For anything worth doing, you must first make a clear decision to do it.
Apply this wisdom to your life today. Think about all the things that you have been putting off. Think about all the activities that have been taking your time away from what you truly want to do.
Don't know what you want to do? Start there. Take five minutes today to simply sit still and think. When was the last time you carved out time to think? This is not a waste of time because clearing your head to think will most likely refine your thinking and help you act more strategically in the future.
Once you've carved out the time, the rest should come naturally. Deep down in your being, you know what you want to do. Your body knows what you love. Give it space to conjure up the answers that you already have. Answers deep from your being have a way of sticking around.
Because it's what it takes--clear thinking leading to clear answers.
Because once you have the answers, you have a path forward.
Lewis Carroll said, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."
It's so true.
Take the time to figure out what you want, and the rest will fall into place. It's not easy. It's not automatic. But it's a start.
And more often than you realize, a start is all that you need.