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If You Don’t Stop Doing These, You’ll Waste the Rest of Your Life

If You Don’t Stop Doing These, You’ll Waste the Rest of Your Life

The modern world is fast paced and time often seems to slip by with us barely noticing. It’s for that reason that it’s important that we don’t spend time or attention on things that are frivolous, negative or just plan stupid. Check out our comprehensive guide to things you shouldn’t be wasting your time on, and see if there’s anything on this guide that you can cut out of your life.

1. Putting Makeup on for the gym and sports

    It looks weird and it’s only going to melt off, which negates the purpose of putting it on in the first place.

    2. Hitting ‘snooze’

      Get your lazy butt out of bed. You set your alarm for a legitimate reason.

      3. Constantly refreshing Facebook

        Try living life rather than waiting for an acquaintance to update you on how their lunch is going.

        4. Doing things you hate

          Life is far too short to waste your time on doing something you hate. By that, I mean doing unnecessary things. You should probably still wash up and whatnot.

          5. Checking your phone constantly

            Did you hear your message tone? Did it ring? If you answered ‘no’ to either of those questions, put the phone down and back away slowly. No, you don’t need it when you go to the bathroom.

            6. Dwelling on problems

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              In the immortal words of Vanilla Ice, “If there was a problem. Yo, I’ll solve it.” Instead of wasting time by dwelling on a problem, work out what you can do to fix it.

              7. Worrying

                It’s similar to above. Stop worrying and start working towards a solution.

                8. Caring what others think

                  Unless you’re getting good advice from people you love, disregard it. It doesn’t matter what other people think of you, you need to stay true to yourself. Don’t waste your time, thoughts, and energy on what others think. Be proud to be yourself.

                  9. Staying online late into the night

                    It’s not only a waste of time now, but will probably result in you sleeping half the day away tomorrow, or being unproductive at work or school. There’s nothing so important that you need to stay online for it until 3 am. No, not even Tumblr.

                    10. Celebrity culture

                      Stop giving a flying spaghetti monster about the Krapdashians, or how you look compared to the entirety of Hollywood. They’re all Photoshopped. Thighs are supposed to touch.

                      11. Procrastinating

                        Just do it.

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                        12. Playing romantic games

                          You can waste years not telling someone how you feel out of fear. Grow a pair of ovaries and tell them. If they’re not digging it, at least you’ll have the chance to move on. If they feel the same the only regret you’ll have is the days, weeks, and months you could have already had together.

                          13. Feeding the Trolls

                            It’s what they want. Stop before you go into a rage blackout.

                            14. Photographing everything

                              Instead of trying to document your life, live it. The internet will actually survive without the bathroom selfie of you and a ham sandwich, or whatever it is that you’re into.

                              15. Holding Grudges

                                Life’s too short! Forgive and be positive.

                                16. Complaining

                                  Complaining really won’t get you anywhere, and the only person who it’s hurting is you. Start thinking positively. Figure out how to make your life more complaint-free.

                                  17. Eating Out of Boredom

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                                    This kind of eating is a bad idea all-around. If you’re bored, it means you’re wasting time. Find something productive to do. Put some work in towards a goal or a dream. These would be much better uses of your time than visiting the fridge for the seventh time this hour.

                                    18. Waiting for something to happen

                                      The world isn’t going to wait for you. Go after what you want.

                                      19. Constantly updating your status

                                        This is not living. No one cares that your left flip flop broke on the way to the bin.

                                        20. Indecision

                                          Indecision often stems from fear. Deep down, you’re likely to know what decision you want to make.

                                          21. Hanging around negative people

                                            The people in your life shouldn’t be a constant stream of negativity. Give them the figurative (or even literal) bird, and find some positive people to spend time with. You’ll feel a whole lot happier and enjoy life more.

                                            22. Watching TV

                                              A little TV is okay, but it shouldn’t be the center of your universe. Instead of watching other people have adventures, have some of your own.

                                              23. Watching Reality TV

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                                                If you’re watching TV, make it something halfway decent. Don’t waste your time with frivolous half-scripted crap that networks pump out so they don’t have to pay real writers. Avoid the bottom shelf stuff. There’s too many great shows out there.

                                                24. Pinning things

                                                  Stop day-dreaming of amazing things on Pinterest, and start doing them.

                                                  25. Brands

                                                    All that expensive crap you covet really isn’t that special, despite the heinous price tag. They’re likely to be exploiting just as many third-world children as the cheap labels. Get over brand name obsession and spend your time and money on something worthier.

                                                    26. Gossip

                                                      I know it can be juicy and kind of fun, but it really gets you nowhere.

                                                      27. Unrequited love

                                                        This can be one of the hardest things to let go of, but you simply must. Unrequited means that you probably know that they’re not interested. Why waste your time on that when you can be working on being happy? When you find the right person for you, you’ll lament all the wasted time spent on someone who didn’t care.

                                                        28. Popping pimples

                                                          Do you really want to end up like the crater-faced guy from Grease? I didn’t think so.

                                                          29. Being glued to your phone

                                                            Not only does this make you miss the world going on around you, it’s also just plain rude in a social situation.

                                                            30. Reading This

                                                              Just kidding, I write amazing things worthy of your time.

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                                                              Tegan Jones

                                                              Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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                                                              Last Updated on April 11, 2019

                                                              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                                              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                                              Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

                                                              I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

                                                              I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

                                                              Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                                                              How Communication Skills Help Your Success

                                                              Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

                                                              Create a Positive Experience

                                                              Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

                                                              When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

                                                              What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

                                                              Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

                                                              As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

                                                              Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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                                                              Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

                                                              Help Leadership Skills

                                                              It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

                                                              Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

                                                              As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

                                                              Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

                                                              If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

                                                              Build Better Teams

                                                              Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

                                                              In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

                                                              If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

                                                              When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

                                                              Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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                                                              How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

                                                              There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

                                                              Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

                                                              1. Listen

                                                              Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

                                                              Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

                                                              People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

                                                              Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

                                                              Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

                                                              2. Know Your Audience

                                                              Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

                                                              Here is a good way to think about it:

                                                              Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

                                                              You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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                                                              3. Minimize

                                                              I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

                                                              He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

                                                              Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

                                                              State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

                                                              The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

                                                              4. Over Communicate

                                                              So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

                                                              What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

                                                              Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

                                                              Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

                                                              Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

                                                              There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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                                                              5. Body Language

                                                              The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

                                                              When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

                                                              In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

                                                              When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

                                                              Conclusion

                                                              Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

                                                              Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

                                                              There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

                                                              Now go communicate your way to success.

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                                                              Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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