Just about everyone at some point in their lives feels like they are simply spinning their wheels and not getting anywhere. However, this feeling of time being wasted is not always so apparent. Too many people mistakes taking breaks, going on vacation, or going out as wasting time when it really is getting them closer to their goals.
Sounds like an irony? Well, yes, there is an irony in this!
You need to accurately identify that you are actually wasting your time. Otherwise, it is just not true. Life is not only about working hard and achieving results, life is about everything in proper doses.
So, how do you know when you are wasting time?
The answer is easier than it might seem. Particularly, if you have set certain goals to achieve. What follows are some tips to help you better understand if you are wasting time.
If you have not set any goals for yourself, then you might very well be wasting your time. There is no direction unless there is a goal that provides focus. You should start by setting long-term goals that will take time to achieve and short-term goals that get you step-by-step to that point. The goals you set should be reasonable in terms of how long they take to achieve. They also need to be meaningful and reachable.
This means that you should not always set your goals on a tight time schedule, but rather something that considers all aspects of your life.
Reaching your goals is more like a marathon rather than a sprint. If anything, it’s a series of smaller sprints where you achieve the short-term goals needed to take you where you want. This means that you are going to rest between sprints, so you should not look at the time on vacation or taking care of other matters as wasting time.
Instead, you should schedule breaks (even short naps count here), so your mind and body can recuperate and get ready for the next challenge. Do not consider rest as wasting time. Instead, it is recharging you for the next run.
Living a mentally and physically healthy life is also a goal. However, to achieve this particular goal you might be doing things that might from time to time resemble classic “time wasting” activities. This, for instance, can be simply listening to music, doing nothing for a while or just surfing the web and browsing random websites. What is important here is to know the moment when achieving your goal turns to wasting your time.
Do you know how many websites are there? More than a billion!
Your browsing options are limitless, so obviously at a certain moment, the innocent web browsing might turn to time wasting. This usually happens when the activity you are doing stops positively contributing to one of your priorities (your health and relaxation in this particular example) and starts negatively affecting another priority (e.g. productivity). This is the moment when the healthy balance gets lost and you start wasting your time. The key here is to know how to catch the right moment.
Goals Can Change
What seemed vitally important a few years ago may not be so important now. Your goals in life can change due to a myriad of circumstances. So, if you find yourself pursuing other paths, that does not mean you have wasted your time. Rather, it means that you had to go on one journey to discover that there was something more important you needed to achieve.
If you feel like you are wasting time, look over your goals and see how much further you need to go. Once you have figured out what to do, set a reasonable time to achieve them. This will help you focus more on what to do and not what you have been doing.
If you do conclude that you are wasting time, then the first step is to reevaluate your goals and set new ones, so you can get back on track. You may find that you are not wasting time at all or perhaps what you were doing was propelling you to a new goal. Either way, you should always evaluate your goals first before making any conclusion about wasting time.