There are days where I wish that I could be a vampire (no, not that type of vampire) because they don’t have to sleep and just think of everything that you could get done?! But living on blood doesn’t sound very appetizing, so I guess I’ll stay human.
The time suck has gotten worse in recent years. I blame it on technology and social media… it’s so easy to start surfing Facebook or Instagram, and suddenly it’s an hour later and you are still double tapping photos of people you’ve never met before.
I think the first step in mastering the time suck is realizing what it is that steals your time away from you. And it’s the stuff that steals your quality time that you could be spending with friends, family or doing something productive.
Luckily, I’m not a huge TV addict. I like watching TV, but I generally like to watch shows that I’ve watched before (Friends reruns, anyone?) so it’s on in the background and I can do what I need to do. For me, the biggest time suck is probably social media and I’ve been working really hard to figure out how to manage it.
So, some things that I’ve learned along the way:
You have to find what works for you. At first, I was going to go dark one day a week… and I realized that was unrealistic and not very fun. Instead, I’ve figured out a few different times of day where I get on social and check things out and otherwise, focus on being productive in other areas.
Know what your time sucks are. Like I said, TV isn’t a huge time suck for me but it might be for you. Recognizing what it is that sucks your time away from you is the first step. If you don’t know what’s killing your productivity/schedule, you won’t ever be able to know how to fix it.
You need to know about energy vampires. I talked about this a few weeks ago, but they can be the biggest time sucks of all. Know who are the energy vampires in your life; get them out or understand how to mitigate the time they steal away from you.
Eliminate the temptations. I love playing Candy Crush. It’s the dumbest game, yes, but it’s so entertaining and a little bit of a mental challenge too. I just don’t have it on my phone so I don’t have to be tempted by it. It’s kind of like not stocking your kitchen with junk food – if it’s not there, you can’t eat it. So just don’t do it.
Schedule time for what you love/want to do instead. Time sucks are called that because they draw you in and waste your time and suddenly, you’re frantically running around because you weren’t able to spend time on your favorite hobby or the project that you really needed to finish today. Schedule the time like a meeting so you can commit to it. I only did this at first, and after a bit, it just became second nature. Break your habit and focus on what actually matters to you.
Be present. This is the part about technology/social that makes me so sad today. Whenever you go out, you’ll see couples or a group of friends not even talking to each other because they are so immersed in their phones. I get doing it for a minute when you are out (otherwise how will you post your Insta food pics?!), but not the ENTIRE time. I’ve noticed that if you set an example of being present and not on your phone, whoever you’re with will likely follow. Do that.
What are your time sucks in life? How do you avoid them?
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