Easy Ways To Stop Wasting Time

Stop Wasting Time And Become The Master Of Your Life

(Last Updated On: November 12, 2018)

Do you like to know easy steps to stop wasting time on unnecessary matters? Are you always staring out the window for countless minutes, even though you have work to do? Do you research useless information or play games on the Internet when you know you have more important, pressing tasks? It might be time to admit that you have a tendency to procrastinate.

How To Stop Wasting Time?

The key to managing your time more effectively is to minimize distractions, focus on the most important tasks you need to complete, and to find a reliable way of gauging your productivity.

Method 1 – Avoiding Time-Wasting Habits

1. Stay off the Internet. With the Internet rarely more than a click or tap away, it’s no wonder that we constantly battle the urge to check our various bookmarked sites. When you know you need to stop wasting time and work on something, avoiding the Internet is an easy way to avoid procrastinating.

  • If your willpower alone can’t keep you off the Internet—or worse if the work you need to get done involves using the Internet anyway—you can install site-blocking tools for various browsers. Simply turn on the application when you need to keep focused and let the program be your willpower for you.


2. Keep your email inbox closed. A survey of Microsoft employees showed that they spend an average of ten minutes responding to an email, and then a subsequent fifteen minutes refocusing on the tasks at hand. If you really need to focus on a specific task, set an auto-reply on your email and refrain from checking it until you’ve finished the work.

  • The same basic principle works for text messages, instant messages, push notifications, mobile alerts, etc. These distractions help us procrastinate because they often feel more productive than other time wasters, but they rarely are. Turn off your phone completely when you can if the separation anxiety from the connection won’t serve as its own distraction.


3. Do all of your work on one device. Switching between a laptop to work on a spreadsheet, your phone to check an email, and a tablet to pull up a presentation is a recipe for disaster. Each time you move between devices, you likely succumb to a distraction or two and then have to refocus yourself. As often as possible, try to collect everything you’ll need on one device during a prep period before you get started, so you can work from one device as you go.


4. Write out a schedule. Most people hate the idea of keeping a complete calendar, but not all scheduling has to be this complete. When you set out to complete a specific task, take five minutes to make a list, outline, or applicable timetable for the task. By giving yourself a manageable timeframe, you’re also more likely to hold yourself to the work at hand.

  • Using “timeboxing,” or fixed time segments for specific tasks also breaks them down into more manageable pieces, making the wide open workday feel easier to engage with. This practice can work with everything from homework assignments to office jobs to home repairs.


5. Go slower. Sounds utterly counterproductive to time management, but trying to work too quickly or multitask on anything more than menial tasks can end up wasting time. Studies have shown that only 2% of people can multitask in truly effective, time-saving ways.

  • Going slower also gives you the opportunity to ensure that you complete each task fully and clearly, making it less likely that you have to go back and clarify or fix mistakes, which can end up taking more time.


6. Stick to the task at hand. It’s no secret that many college students have sparkling apartments in the week before finals. We often procrastinate by taking on other important (albeit non-time sensitive) tasks instead of the most important task we need to complete. Spending time on less important activities is still a step backwards and a time waster when you have other deadlines or due dates looming. Recognize when the task you’re working on isn’t the one that should be at the top of your list.


7. Give yourself a stop time. Working without a stop time in mind is a sure way to burn yourself out and get frustrated. Whether your stop time is the end of the workday, when you have a dinner scheduled, or something entirely different, having a finish time in mind will help stop you from overworking yourself, which will only lead to a decline in the quality of the work regardless.

  • Even if you’re in crunch mode with a term paper due the next day, schedule breaks that give you enough time to collect before getting back to it.


Method 2 – Using the Repeat Test


1. Create a form to manage your time for the day. Now that you have a collection of steps to help you stay focused from Method 1, the repeat test is a great way to test how effectively you use them. Start by creating a spreadsheet or even simply drawing a form on a piece of paper or a whiteboard. Make one column with the hours in your day listed, and then make a wider column leaving space to the right of each hour.


2. Stop what you’re doing at the top of each hour. This test requires you to take a minute or two at the top of each hour to evaluate how you used the preceding hour. Set a timer if you need to ensure that you stop long enough to fill in the form.


3. Consider how you spent the hour. During your evaluation period, consider what you completed over the previous hour. This can be anything from an exercise routine to studying for a test to spending the hour in front of the television. Be honest with yourself regarding how you spent the hour.


4. Ask yourself if you’d repeat the hour. This is the step from which the test draws its name. Once you’ve taken stock of the hour, simply ask yourself if you’d repeat it. The question essentially seeks to make you ask yourself if you believe you spent the hour in a productive manner. You’re less likely to repeat the hour if the answer is no.


5. Summarize the hour and write down your evaluation in the righthand column. Keeping a written record of the day to see how many hours you would repeat and how many you wouldn’t is also an effective motivational tool. Write a few words about what you did with the hour in the righthand column and as well as your repeatability evaluation.


6. Acknowledge the parts of your day over which you have control. One of the drawbacks to the repeat test is that you can quickly fall into the habit of judging every hour by its overall utility. A class where the instructor doesn’t cover new material, an unproductive work meeting, and other parts of your day can start feeling like frustrating time wasters in themselves. Try to remember that you don’t have complete control over every hour of your day sometimes and that meeting an obligation—such as being present for the unproductive meeting—can still count as a necessary portion of your day.


Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki that is building the world’s largest and highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Stop Wasting Time. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.


How to structure your day and stop wasting time?

Brian Tracy speaks about some ideas and tips to help you structure your day to be more productive and successful and avoid wasting time.

Half the time men think they are talking business, they are wasting time. E. W. Howe Click To Tweet



“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have. John C. Maxwell”


Motivational videoDon’t waste your time

Watch the below motivational videoDon’t waste your time by Sandeep Maheshwari. This video will help to understand how to stop wasting time.



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