Ever yell at your kids for wasting their time? You point out that they are wasting too much time online. Or they are doddling when they could have had their school work done. Only to realize that you struggle with the exact thing! Ugh! So what are some common time wasters at home and how can moms overcome? After all, I would rather be productive while completing my work or household duties so I have time to do the things I love!
Common Time Wasters and How Moms Can Overcome
Here are some common time wasters to be on the watch for in your life. See if you can work on 1 or 2 this year, because if we work productively, we can accomplish more quickly and pass along good time management habits to our teens! And we create a life that is fulfilling and rewarding!
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Multitasking and Leaving Tasks Unfinished Decreased Productivity
OK, I have discovered that I actual works in circles. This has NOT been a fun discovery. I wish that I worked in a straight line, but I tend to complete part of the laundry, then think of something else I need to do in the kitchen.
Part of this works for me, and part of it does not! I think we should all discover and accept that we work differently. But trying to do too many things at one time, feeling like we are productive actually wastes time.
Before, you start one more task, look around and see if you need to complete a half finished task. Focus on one thing at time, check it off your list, then move forward.
Choosing the Wrong Time of Day to Work Cuts Productivity
What is your best time of day? Do you know when you are most alert and effective? Try to complete as many tasks during your alert hours as possible. Working on complicated tasks during your low energy time can lead to wasting time.
Typically, mornings are the best for me. I can get so much done in the morning. So unless, I really need extra sleep, I get up and get going as I know that mornings are my best time to work.
Also, I try to schedule appointments in the afternoon, as I know I will have less energy to make decisions, but still have time to run errands or go to appointments.
Generating Too Many Decisions is a Huge Common Time Waster
If you have to decide every day what to make for breakfast, what to wear, who is in charge of what chores and what to cook for dinner, you already have too many decisions.
The more you can automate your household, then less time will be wasted. And the more energy you will have for the decisions that truly matter!
Here are several ideas you can try. At the beginning of the week, decide what meals you will eat and what chores you will try to complete on each day. Or you can have a set routine where you eat certain meals on certain days of the week. I work in the evenings on Wednesday, so every Wednesday I cook chili. It is a quick meal I can make and put in the crockpot before I walk out the door.
Another idea is to sign up for a plan or challenge in the area you struggle to make decisions quickly. I love being part of Get Your Pretty On wardrobe capsules. I receive an email every evening telling me what the outfit of the day is. It is fun to see what the coordinated outfit will be, I can quickly get dressed and there are less clothes cluttering up my closet.
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So if you like challenges try and find a challenge in the area you need help. There are fun challenges when it comes to making meals, organizing, decluttering, exercise and fashion!
Putting Off Little Decisions is a Common Time Waster
I read somewhere that if a task takes less than 30 seconds, then just stop and do it then. So while it is good to remain focused on the task at hand, it can often be more productive to do those little tasks immediately.
Struggle with Anxiety? Here are 10 Tips to Calm Anxiety and Have a Productive Day
For instance, you are in the midst of folding laundry or making dinner and your husband walks in with the mail. It is better to quickly sort through the mail, throwing away the ads and placing the bills in your bill folder. Otherwise, if you set it down, that pile of mail will probably get moved around several times, before you come back to sort it.
Try to make small decisions quickly, as touching the same item and moving it around before making a decision is a common time waster.
Not Creating a To Do List Decreases Time Management
Creating a to do list or writing things down in a planner truly helps you manage your time. When you can see everything laid out, you have a much better idea of tasks or errand you can group together. You will have a better idea of how much time you actually have to complete tasks. And writing down tasks allows you to stay focused and not waste time.
If you tend to loose focus, like me, half way through the day or the week, a planner can help you regain your day. I simply open my planner, look at my main goals for the day, and get myself back on track!
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Believing You Will Have Hours to Work on a Task
Oh friend, have you been there? You imagine all the tasks you will get done over summer break, Christmas break or over the weekend. We dream of having hours to focus on things. In reality, we usually have small chunks of time.
Now that your kids are older, you may have longer chunks of time. However, your time is still interrupted by phone calls, picking up or dropping off kids, errands and cleaning up messes.
This year, I want to stop looking for those hours of time and think in terms of 20 minutes. When I adhere to this idea of 20-25 minutes, it is amazing what I can finish in 20-25 minutes of uninterrupted time. But when I believe that I have an hour of time, I tend to waste those first 10-20 minutes doing inconsequential tasks.
Thinking You Can Look at Your Phone…For Just a Second
Which brings me to my next point. Put down the phone. There is no such thing as looking at your phone for just a second. Once you pick up your phone you are typically wasting 10-15 minutes. So be intentional as to how you want to truly use your screen time.
I have heard various ideas such as leaving the phone off, putting the phone in another room or removing Facebook from your phone.
The idea that seems to work the best for me, is to leave the phone in another room. I put the notifications on vibrate, but I leave my phone on ring. As typically, only my husband or kids call me, that seems to work the best.
That way when I get bored paying the bills or stumped writing a post, I am not tempted to grab my phone…just for a minute;)
Common Time Wasters at Home and How Moms Can Overcome
So what is your biggest struggle when it comes to wasting time? Do you have any secrets to being more productive? Love to hear your ideas! Drop it below in the comments.
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Heather bee says
Oh boy! I am so guilty of avoiding this little tasks… I don’t know why I dread them, but I always tend to take on the large ones with relish! Thank you for encouraging me to work on getting them crossed off my list first before diving in to the more time-consuming tasks. As a bonus, it’ll allow me to cross more items off my list, right?
Yes, you can cross more items off your list when you tackle and complete smaller tasks! Which is probably why I struggle the other way. I keep finding smaller to do items to focus on in order to avoid the bigger more daunting tasks! Ha:)