How to Stop Wasting Time and Improve Your Personal Effectiveness?

I think this is one of the topics all of us google at least once in our lifetime. Time just flies away when we start wasting time by scrolling hours away on social media and in doing many unnecessary activities. We can make best use of our time in life:
Stop Forecasting: We procrastinate so much, waiting for the right time. Sometimes we feel like it is not doing it right now. We are in the middle of a really interesting show, and all these are excuses. Recognize it, we are procrastinating and wasting away our time, the same time that could have been utilized in doing something productive and constructive. Then, our workload will pile up, and it will look to us as if we have a ton of work to do and so little time. Actually, we had a lot of time and work that could evenly be distributed and completed but we chose not to do it. Draw up a schedule and allot different sections for the whole day. Plan ahead. We have a lot of time that way, but very little time when we procrastinate.
Do One Thing At A Time: Stop multitasking because you are scrunched up for the time. That is not how it works and you are going to screw up more than one task that is in your hand if you try juggling things and trying to do them at the same time. Doing one thing at a time not only completes your work and you give your whole focus on the task but also you complete your work faster, and you can proceed to the next task.
Do Not Sail In Your Social Media If You Feel That You Want To Take a Break: Social media will just distract you even more, and you won’t even know where the time went. It just eats into your time and mind, and at times, social media just makes you mentally tired and not to forget to mention the fact that it even strains your eyes. The fact that on social media no one really shows their troubles, they show and try their best to portray that they live the best life, will also bring you down. The grass always seems greener on the other side. This brings you down mentally and you don’t even feel like going back to work anymore.
Turn Off The Notification For A While: You have apps that monitor your screen time as well. You are going to be distracted and curious every time your phone pings over some notification, which again, will distract you. Customize your notifications, from the most important ones to the least, or better yet, just put your phone on do not disturb or on the silent mode.
Be Proactive: Start the day with a goal, and aim to complete it. It does not even have to be a minute by minute schedule that you have to follow. A couple of tasks that need to be done and are important could be done first, and the ones which are not that important can be done later in the day at a much slower pace. But the most important thing is that you wake up with a purpose to move ahead with your day, to do something productive and something that would make you feel satisfied and not discontent that you wasted the day away. It’s not the thought that matters, that you got up with a purpose and you decided that you would do a number of things and did not follow through at all. Actions speak louder than words. This analogy applies here as well, though in a slightly different context.
Do Not Put Things Off For Tomorrow: I know how it goes. Oh, I can always do that tomorrow, I can always complete that tomorrow or even I will get up early tomorrow and do this. Do you even see what is going on here? First of all, the above lines you read are plain old excuses you tell yourself in order to assuage the guilt and to reduce your guilt and self-pity that you just wasted a perfectly good day in just doing nothing and when you actually did start working, the day was almost over and you realized that you could always complete or do the whole thing tomorrow. Second of all, you are most likely to sleep late considering the fact that you are late in doing and completing your work and you plan to get up early and complete it. That is wrong on so many levels simply because you would not get a good night of sleep with all the worry and stress of completing your work and then when you get up in the morning with not enough of sleep, which again, is really bad for your body but then who cares, you definitely don’t. The other thing is that when you do get up from your apparent beauty sleep where you were tossing and turning the whole night because of the guilt and worry of if you will be able to complete your work when you do start working you are under immense pressure already and you won’t even give whatever you are doing a hundred percent. But honestly, these are the baby steps to start with and if you follow these, you would see the difference. The lethargic feeling you always have? It will go. The guilt that you have felt is gone. Get up every morning feeling better and positive. You will start feeling much better when you see yourself completing your work before deadlines and still have time to indulge yourself in watching your favourite TV shows or your hobbies or whatever you do. The secret behind getting your work done and still have time is, stop that damn procrastination and stop getting distracted by everything around you. Keep your phone away and keep your focus on things that matter to you.
1. Where Did Your Time Go? Effective work results in growth: Be that personal, emotional or financial, and to be effective we first must know what time we have, and what we use it for. For those of you who just ‘can’t stop procrastinating!’, and do not know why you do it or how to stop, time logging is your solution. Keeping an hour by hour log of what you do throughout your day keeps you physically and mentally accountable for how you use your time. When you first start out, you may find yourself writing an hourly log of “nothing” for the first few days, even weeks. Yes, this will feel humiliating or shameful at first, but it’s crucial to confront ourselves and see the error of our ways, rather than go about our day the way we always have done which is ultimately making us feel so unfulfilled and unhappy. Much like a food diary, there’s no benefit in lying to yourself about how and where you spend your time. If you’re in denial about all the snacks you have between meals and don’t document them, you won’t help yourself lose weight. If you’re in denial about all those little apps you sneak onto during working hours, you won’t get any better at effectivity. Not logging the number of times you visited Facebook, Reddit, Twitter or the Guardian etc. is only cheating yourself from the truth and impeding your betterment. Challenging and confronting how we spend our time is the only way we can improve upon it, so keep your log in a notebook by your side throughout the day and track where your time goes. Over the next few months, you’ll find yourself conditioned to spend less time wastefully.
2. Identify Unproductive and Meaningful Work : Once you’ve set up your time log, take some time at the end of your day to identify what you do that’s unproductive, and what meaningful work you accomplish. To certify the purposefulness of each task you engage with during the day, examine each task individually and ask yourself: “What would happen if I stopped doing this?” If the answer is “I wouldn’t get any work done/I’d lose value to my productivity”, it’s meaningful work. Anything else can be considered as unnecessary and unconducive to your life and can be phased out entirely or limited and restricted within certain hours of the day.
3. Is it Critical or Trivial? Now you have established the tasks that are meaningful in your life; it’s important to further distinguish and categorize them as either urgent or trivial. These trivial tasks tend to be the time wasting ones that we choose in favour of the critical tasks out of fear or anxiety. Whilst washing your dishes and vacuuming your home may be necessary, they’re usually incredibly useful procrastination methods that help you avoid facing that deadline, working on that project or organizing your accounts and finances to file your tax return. Of course, I don’t expect anyone (including myself) to daily time-log 365 days of the year! However, I’d suggest time-logging for two weeks at a time, every other month. That way you can keep track of your productivity progress and stay on top of time-wasting habits creeping back into your daily routine and sabotaging your effectiveness. It’s always good to check in now and then and focus on how you use and spend your time; it helps you manage and take control of your pursuits and goals in life, whilst also keeping you grounded and mentally aware. Many of us fall victim to feeling depressed and angry at ourselves for “wasting our day” or even our lives! Time logging is effectively a stationery lover’s form of meditation: so, crack out your highlights, coloured pens and bullet journals, it’s time to get creative with our time!
(The author a teacher by profession is presently working at Government High School Brakpora Anantnag.Views are his own)

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