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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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More by this author

Leyla Abdullayeva

Research Team Leader, T&I Consultancy

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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