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7 Things I Do That Have Been Wasting My Time

7 Things I Do That Have Been Wasting My Time

If you add up the amount of time you have wasted not doing the things you wanted to in life, or how much time you have wasted because you haven’t managed your time as effectively as you could, I’m positive the results would be shocking!

Have you ever considered though, that you could be wasting precious time in important other ways? Here are some ways I’ve wasted my time in the past.

1. I don’t always challenge my negative thoughts.

This one definitely takes the cake and makes the top of the list! We are just now learning how our thoughts directly influence our lives and that our thoughts aren’t fact. Although, we certainly act as if they are!

We have, on average, 60,000 thoughts a day and unfortunately for most people, more than half are negative. It’s not your fault though; you didn’t choose to have them. Your thoughts come from your beliefs and experiences in life. You have developed beliefs that aren’t real; however, the biggest waste of time is not challenging your thoughts.

You need to question all your negative thoughts. Ask yourself, “Is this really true? Is it a fact?” If not, “Why do I believe this? What experiences have I had that gave me this opinion?” The best thing you can do is challenge your thoughts and refuse to let them hijack you. Your thoughts lead to your feelings and you take action on how you feel. Imagine the difference in your life between having a negative thought and acting on it, and having a negative thought and taking a minute to challenge it and change it for one that supports you instead. HUGE!

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2. I often believe people who have insulted me.

Can you remember the last time somebody insulted you? Of course you didn’t feel good about it and unfortunately, what most people tend to do is replay the insult over and over, feeling worse and worse and eventually believing it. Does this sound familiar?

There are a million types of people out there who feel they have the right to throw insults as they please; I have certainly had my fair share. The ironic part is that even though the insult may be directed at you and you might even believe it, it is really coming from the others person’s insecurities, misconception, perspective or lack of education.

Don’t waste your time letting others make you feel worse; someone can only make you feel bad with your permission. Instead of wasting time believing them, respond in a better way by ignoring them.

3. I have tried convincing someone to love me.

Do you ever find yourself obsessing over someone? “What can I do to make them like me? How can I convince them that they need to be with me?” Have you ever experienced this almost obsessive craving that drives your emotions and behavior to convince someone to love you?

The hard truth is, if somebody doesn’t want to be with you, there is nothing you can do to change that, and why would you really want to anyway? Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t see you for who you are and love you as such?

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If you have been wasting time and energy convincing someone to love you, go and speak with somebody who has tried to do the same. They will tell you that it is a complete waste of time—I guarantee it! There are hundreds of other people who will love you without needing to convince them to. Remember, while you are wasting your time trying to convince someone to love you, you are missing out on an opportunity to meet the one who does!

4. I have beaten myself up about the past.

Why did I do that? Why did I say that? If only I did it differently. Every single person on the planet has regrets about the past. Why? Because we are human and perfection doesn’t exist.

The past will always be in the past, so why bring it into the future? The only thing way that the past serves us is by allowing us to learn from it to make better and different decisions in the future. This is the natural learning process in life. Your past does not need to dictate your future. We all have the right to start again and do things differently. Let go of the blame and bad experiences. You can only be wiser and more experienced from them, and that is nothing to beat yourself up about.

5. I have judged people on the decisions they’ve made.

How can he do that? I can’t believe she said that! We do it without even realizing it, but what a waste of time! Are you that person? Is it really your right to judge? When you judge some else, firstly, you cut off the possibility of understanding that person, which is actually what is needed.

Secondly, who the hell do you think you are to judge? Are you better than that person? Have you lived their life and been through everything to understand how one comes to a decision? Let go and let others live. Accept that you can’t control other people or make them act like you, even when you love them. Respect others enough to allow them to decide and learn. Stop wasting time on something you should never judge to begin with.

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6. I make up excuses for selfish behavior.

“It is okay. You can do that, even though it really puts me out!” Have you ever found yourself making excuses for other peoples selfish behavior?

You might do this because you love them and their happiness is more important than your own. While this might seem really sweet, it actually shows a low self esteem by putting other peoples’ happiness before your own. It is never, ever going to be healthy.

And consider this, why should you constantly excuse others because you care so much? How is the other person showing you that they also care like you do? By being selfish? I don’t think so. Learn to be more assertive and let other people take responsibility for their actions. At the end of the day, that is what really needs to happen.

7. I always put others before myself

We waste so much time, trying to please others but to our own detriment. Hello, what about you? Are you always going to let other people walk over you? Because that is what this is basically.

How much time do you spend going out of your way for others when you really didn’t want to? How many times have you said yes when you really want to say no? You are putting their needs before your own. If this is you, you will find that one day you will have the realization of “oh my gosh, this is my life and I’ve wasted time not doing the things I really wanted, but what others actually wanted.” Let’s hope you’re not too old when that happens, because it will happen, and let’s hope that you haven’t already wasted too much time putting yourself second!

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You may find that you do one or more of the above; now is your chance to change that. You only have one life. Time is precious and it cannot be bought. While you are wasting your time on the above, you are missing out on experiencing other more positive things in this world.

You deserve to have the best in life. If you don’t believe it, you need to challenge that negative belief now!

To your success!

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Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks to Make 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated) How To Break the Procrastination Cycle Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That) How To Control Your Emotions Effectively

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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