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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

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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