Wasting time is normal

Every day we do things that we shouldn’t do. We sign in to facebook and share a story that we didn’t read. We keep track of ideas that we’ll never get to. We rewrite what we write because we don’t think it is good enough. We think we need to make complete lists, like this one I’m making right now.

It’s normal to do things that in retrospect didn’t accomplish much. It’s impossible not to waste some time each day.

But, is it possible to reduce how much of our time that we waste?

That requires understanding what compels us to act.

Largely what we do is an automatic response to something that grabs our attention. Something that bothers us enough to motivate us to act.

If you want to reduce the time you waste, you should look at what tends to derail your focus and leads you to waste time. Are there sources that routinely detract from valuable work?

For example, email, is it something you should check constantly. Should you really have notifications enabled on your phone? Should you leave your ringer on all day? Should you have an open door policy all day, every day?

Find these sources that routinely lead to wasteful work and try to remove them or reduce the frequency with which you come into contact with them, and that’s one way to avoid doing things that shouldn’t be done.