Is your life turning into a waste of time?

Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. – Charles Richards

4 Hour Work WeekThis month on my reading list is The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris (the expanded and updated version of course). Although I don’t think I’ll finish the book by the end of the month, there are several lessons I have learned already. After 7 chapters, my main take away is that it appears I’ve been wasting my time on pointless tasks, spending too much time twiddling my thumbs.

My first time-management wake up call was in February of 2013 when I began my adventures in freelancing.

I was hired as a contract recruiter for a small but strong company in Canada. The President of the company immediately sent me a reading list, starting with the book Getting Things Done by David Allen. The overall message focused on removing barriers and making things happen. A key take away from that book was task management.

  • If the task doesn’t take long – do it
  • If the task will take a long time – defer it
  • If someone else can do the task – delegate it
  • If the task has no importance – drop it

As I started applying those principles I discovered it did not take me as long to complete tasks as I’d initially thought. Through tracking my freelance hours I realized I was able to be more productive and accomplish much more than I had previously thought in a limited window of time.

Fast forward to today, I still find myself wasting my personal time.

While there’s nothing wrong with playing a game, reading a good book, or taking a nap at the park, there are bigger goals I seek to accomplish and my wasted time is holding me back.

In The 4 Hour Work Week Tim Ferris focuses on the 9-5 illusion and how we are filling our days with wasted time. He points out that in the face of deadlines we make things happen quickly, so why can’t we put forth that kind of productivity at all times?

Think about it, how much time throughout the day do you spend:

  • Checking your phone?
  • Browsing social media sites?
  • Reading the newspaper?
  • Watching television?
  • Surfing the web?
  • Shopping online?
  • Checking email?

All of these can add up to a huge waste of time. Time you could have spent:

  • Reading a self-help book
  • Writing your next book or blog post
  • Listening to a podcast or training
  • Completing projects or other work-related tasks
  • Taking a course
  • Finishing your website

What are your time-wasters?

Challenge yourself: This week I will not spend time _____. Instead I will focus on spending time ____.

 

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