Why am I wasting so much time? …and what I’m doing to fix it.

10a

I’m sorry to say but the focus of this article is not some-type of bs self-help article list to help you become more productive. I’m gonna be a little selfish on this one – it’s all about me and maybe some of it applies to you, as well.

I am the king of wasting time. I’ve always been jealous of my wife because she is such a great planner and very task oriented. When she makes a list, she usually gets all, or at least almost all of the items done. I on the other hand have a long list of wasting-time methods, which include, but are not limited to:

  • wasting hours on YouTube
  • mindless researching on eBay, without a specific goal or task in mind
  • House of Cards
  • Orange Is The New Black
  • Bloodline
  • Narcos
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Okay fine… every single Netflix Original Series.
  • Watching sports games of teams I don’t even care about, mindlessly, of course.
  • Fantasy football
  • Fantasy basketball
  • Fantasy baseball
  • HGTV? (why is this on the list???)
  • Checking facebook like something important actually happened.
  • Reading TOO MANY personal finance blogs
  • Reading TOO MANY posts on bogleheads (best personal finance forum on the interwebs – b t dubs … you’re welcome)

Instead I should be more focused on things like self improvement & reflection, really being in the moment with friends & family, and focusing on meaningful tasks & projects in my daily life. It’s almost embarrasing how many hours in a week I currently waste because of mindless internet surfing and the like, so it’s time to work on my time management. Reading GYFG’s post on his typical day last month really made me stop & reflect on my own current daily schedule.

I recently took a training class at work called “5 Choices to Extraordinary Productity.” Yes, it was as cheezy as it sounds. But I’m not saying it was a waste of time. One of the biggest things I got out of the class was that we all have so much stuff going on and we really need to focus on the big rocks. In other words, sometimes it’s important to ignore all the garbage and make sure you get the big shit done. Actually that makes me remember that I forgot to go to the dry cleaners tonight, so terrible example. Hopefully you get the point – planning your week is vital and making sure you finish the big, important tasks on time is obviously very important. If you forget to go to the dry cleaners tonight, maybe that’s okay that you spent some time just hanging out with the dogs & writing.

The whole planning thing is nice in practice, but it’s kind of like a new years resolution for me. I’m good about it for a few weeks, but then fall off a cliff. A deep, steep cliff. So, instead of my day looking something like this currently:

  1. 7:30 AM: wake-up
  2. 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM: work
  3. 5:30 PM – later: do stuff

My new goal is for the average day to look something like this:

  1. 7:00 AM: wake-up
  2. 7:15 AM: work out / walk dogs & shower
  3. 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM: work
  4. 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM: eat & chill time
  5. 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM: school work / ebay / write
  6. 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM: wind down & in-bed by 10:30

Probably like many others, I am a creature of habit. My habits of habitually wasting time, need to be broken. I’m writing this down to have more of a chance of holding myself accountable, and you should too.

So here are some high level goals:

  • average 4 work outs a week
  • average a blog post every 5 days
  • average $60/day of new product posted on eBay store
  • enjoy life with wife & dogs
  • maintain school work
  • read an interesting book (the whole thing, not just the cover…)

We’ll check back in a month from now to see how I’m doing. What are you doing to improve your life? If you can’t answer that question, pick at least one thing. You can handle improving one thing.

“In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying so get in motion and grow.” – Lou Holtz

6 thoughts on “Why am I wasting so much time? …and what I’m doing to fix it.

  1. Way to take action to create the change you want to see in your life.

    What you will find is that if you set a framework to your life, you will schedule your highest priorities or things you really want to get done.

    It doesn’t mean that you won’t have time to to other things not on the schedule. But what it does do is ensure you get the most important things done no matter what.

    Looking forward to updates.

  2. Awesome — I similarly try to set larger goals. I had trouble being too specific each day as things often came up that were unexpected, and I got bored of the long-term daily routines… Now I’m more focused on yearly themes (i.e., complete a triathlon, learn French, etc.) which allow for more daily flexibility. I often found this worked better for me.

    But you definitely have to set goals otherwise you’re not going to make progress as fast… This sounds like a well rounded set of goals and look forward to seeing your progress!

    1. Thanks and I hear you about the daily planning. I’ve tried the whole planner and planning out the day thing and I’ve always struggled with that. But I do think weekly planning is working out well for me so far. As long as I get through my list of items in the current week, that’s a win. And definitely setting up some longer term goals for the year as well. My wife and I sit down every month or so and try to set some financial goals and some non-financial goals for the upcoming year/re-vist and it helps us stay on the same page.

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