Advertising
Advertising

These 5 Time Killers Are Your Biggest Enemies

These 5 Time Killers Are Your Biggest Enemies

Your internet research will not give you much information on time killers. In the first place, let’s settle the definition of time killers. Time killers are the things that waste your time, energy and creativity. But usually it isn’t an arcade game or Japanese comics. Many say that what kills their time are tasks at home, school or job, but they’re not time killers. Time killers are the activities and things that are meaningless and have no values. Each person has his or her own time killers. But we all have a few things in common. So I’m presenting to you the 5 most common time killers that are widespread among people.

Internet 

I may sound like a commonplace, but it is one of the most prevailing time killers around. The internet can be an addiction since it is the kind of medium that possesses us although we are not aware of it. Sure, it helps us communicate easily, reach information we need and order things that we can’t obtain in a regular market. But we exaggerate all its advantages and by this we became addicted to internet so that we become unaware of the world around us. Once we sign up for social networking, we can’t sign out and return to real world. While surfing the internet or watching videos online we become ignorant of the time that we have already spent online. That is how we find ourselves spending an hour online when we meant to just spend 15 minutes.

Advertising

Cell phones

Recent cell phones have many features; phoning, texting, internet usage, social networking, emailing, taking photos, listening to music, watching videos, playing games. That is why they are called smartphones. However, people don’t know that sometimes those features are over-helping us. We talk on the phone for hours or text every 5-10 minutes and don’t take into account the time we spend. We don’t want to accept the fact that it is not right to talk to a person a lot on the phone or text a lot when we can meet him or her and talk face to face.

TV and media

Watching TV may be entertaining and there is nothing bad about that. The same can be said about media, since it can be very informative. However, many studies have shown that TV has the ability to makes us dumber and media can easily manipulate our mind by filling our mind with subjective and wrong information. Information about those studies can be found in Psychology Today and other psychology journals. Television companies try their best to produce shows that will attract us. However, we don’t understand that the more time we spend watching TV, the more profit television companies make. The same is true for media. While we are watching TV we forget about the things we should do or take care of, it makes us lazy and ignorant. Sure, I don’t want to say that you shouldn’t watch TV or look at media, but track the time while you are doing it, because both of them are common time killers.

Advertising

Negative thoughts

I always advise people to think for themselves, whether they’re right or wrong. It is important to come up with your own ideas. However, people spend a lot of time on negative and frustrating thoughts, mostly on their past negative experiences and failures. It may sound meaningless, but while you are doing a task it is important to focus on it, not on negative thoughts. Think about all the time that you spend thinking about bad things before you start to do something new. Fixating on negative thoughts may stress or depress you.

People

Time killers are not only activities or things. People can also be time killers. Communicating with people is a great activity since it involves relief, communication, and exchange of information. However, we have a lot of people in our lives who are negative or annoying. There are people that we do not like for some reason and who we’d like to avoid talking to, but whom we talk and communicate with because of the courtesy. Those people are killing our time, energy, and mood. This is about people that we meet in our daily life, not in workplace, since in our daily life only we chose people that are involved.

Advertising

These are some common time killers that you can consider to maybe help with your time management. However, you can also find and point out time killers that are involved in your life.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

Advertising

More by this author

Leyla Abdullayeva

Research Team Leader, T&I Consultancy

7 Reasons Why Quitting Facebook Now Is Good for Your Future These 5 Time Killers Are Your Biggest Enemies

Trending in Productivity

1 Your Night Routine Guide to Sleeping Better & Waking Up Productive 2 74 Healthy Habits That Will Drastically Improve Every Aspect of Your Life 3 How to Increase Willpower and Be Mentally Tough 4 9 Daily Habits That Will Change Your Life 5 How to Influence People and Make Them Feel Good

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

Advertising

1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

Advertising

There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

Advertising

So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

Advertising

And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next