20 Things That Waste Your Time

stop wasting time

Are you wondering where all your time is going?  Here are 20 things that waste your time.

Whenever I am trying to get more done and feel productive I look to where my time is being wasted. 

A lot of the time we do these things without even thinking about it.  They are just procrastinating habits that we have formed over time. 

If you are low on time maybe these are some things that can be changed.


20 Things That Waste Your Time:


1 Checking Social Media

Checking social media over and over throughout the day takes a lot of time. 

The second I pick up my phone to check the time I feel the urge to click the Instagram app. 

One way to get back some wasted time is to:

  • Set a limit on these apps.
  • Make a certain time for checking social media
  • Don’t check it until your set time
  • Log out of the app ( this helps because seeing yourself logged out reminds you to not check.
  • You can also hide your phone in a different room


2 Phone Calls

Long phone calls can take up so much time.  It is great to catch up with friends, but if you are trying to get something done this will waste time.

Just don’t answer and simply text you are in the middle of a project.  Call back when you have achieved your goal for the day.


3 Not Planning

Whenever I don’t plan my day out I usually waste half of it.

For a productive day, I like to jot down at least 3 to 5 things I want to accomplish.  This helps to keep me on task.

A lot of time can be wasted wondering what and when you should be doing something.

Check out my post on how to stop procrastinating for more tips.


4 Not Enough Sleep

Getting a good amount of sleep will help you to stop wasting your day.  If I go through my whole day tired I find myself wasting time.

I am slower and more easily distracted.  A good night’s sleep always leads to a more productive day.


5 Worrying What People Think

Worrying about what people think wastes so much time.

This makes us take too much time to make every decision. We are busy thinking about how every decision is going to make someone else feel.

Talk about slowing down your day!  Stop worrying about what people think and do what makes you happy.


6 Certain Relationships

Not every relationship is positive.  Some relationships are too much work and take up too much time.

We only have so much time in the day.  Be careful of who you are allowing to take up your time.


7 Checking Your Phone

Checking your smartphone over and over wastes time.  Every time our phone beeps or a notification pops up we pick it up and check.

This is a huge time waster! The best thing I did was turn off all notifications and set a designated time to check on everything.

If it is really important someone will just call you.


8 Watching TV

Mindlessly watching TV can waste precious time.  As soon as we got rid of cable and cut our TV watching by about 90% I found a lot of time.

It is amazing how quickly we can get sucked into a show or even the news.  

By changing your TV watching habits you will gain time.


9 Shopping Wastes Time

Shopping takes a lot of energy and time.  A few years ago we decluttered our home and became minimalist. 

In that process I was surprised by home much time was wrapped up in shopping!

Now if I need something I make a list and wait until I have several items on the list.

Then I will go online and place an order.  


10 Procrastinating

Procrastinating obviously wastes time.  We all know this.

The important thing is to figure out when we are procrastinating so we can accept it and stop.


Even More Time-Wasting Habits:


11 Trying to do too much

There is only so much time in the day and only so much we can do.

By overfilling a schedule you may find nothing is fully finished.  A lot of half-done projects that you have to come back to can waste time.

I like to make my schedule realistic.  Factor in downtime and meal times.  This way you will know what you actually have time for.


12 Interruptions

Nothing is worse than being interrupted.  Once I am focused and working an interruption can throw off my focus.

Try to avoid all interruptions by having everything you need for your project.  Turning your phone to silent or removing anything that will cause you to be disturbed.


13 Multitasking

10 years ago multitasking was all the rage!  Now we hear about monotasking.

I think we all realized some multitasking is ok, like washing the dishes and having the TV on.

Other types of multitasking leave us with a whole bunch of half-finished things to do.


14 Gossiping

Gossip is the worst!  At work, it’s a great time waster.

I think we have all been there when that one coworker wants to talk about everyone and spill the beans about what they heard.

If you really want to get something done pass on the gossip.


15 Worrying

I am a chronic worrier. After having kids it is even worse.

Always thinking about what-if situations and wondering if I am doing the right thing. 

This can take up so much time and it is completely unnecessary.   Whatever is going to happen is going to happen.

Now I try to make informed decisions and leave the worrying behind.


16 Getting Distracted is a Time Waster

Remove all distractions and make sure you have everything you need.  Get your water and snacks before starting a project.

There have been many times when I start doing something, get hungry and the next thing I know I am standing in front of the fridge.


17 Lack of Organization

Getting organized is a great way to save time.  For instance, if you are ready to go, then you have to stop to find your keys!

What a time waster! 

Get organized and set up some habits so you know where everything is.  Put a hook by the door for all of your important things.

Being organized is one of the best ways to stop wasting time.


18 Missing Motivation

Find your motivation before you start a project or task.  I like to think about the end result and how I want to feel.

Having some motivation will help you to get your task finished faster.


19 Too Much Clutter

Nothing slows you down more than clutter!  I have a detailed ebook on how to declutter because I think it’s so important.

Where there is a bunch of things in your physical way it takes more time to get things done.  We spend more time moving and looking for things than working.

Decluttering your home and office will help with wasted time.


20 Giving Yourself Too Much Time

It is a known fact that we get more done when we only have a limited time.

Limit how much time you are going to allow on any given project.  Or set a due date.

This is a great way to get focused, stop wasting time, and get things done.

Here are some great tips on how to save time.


If you are interested in getting more done check out my Get Things Done Printable.  This is a great way to get organized and schedule your days.



Full Time Wasting Check List:

  • 1 Checking Social Media
  • 2 Phone Calls
  • 3 Not Planning
  • 4 Not Enough Sleep
  • 5 Worrying What People Think
  • 6 Certain Relationships
  • 7 Checking Your Phone
  • 8 Watching TV
  • 9 Shopping Wastes Time
  • 10 Procrastinating
  • 11 Trying to do too much
  • 12 Interruptions
  • 13 Multitasking
  • 14 Gossiping
  • 15 Worrying
  • 16 Getting Distracted is a Time Waster
  • 17 Lack of Organization
  • 18 Missing Motivation
  • 19 Too Much Clutter
  • 20 Giving Yourself Too Much Time

Pin Time-Wasting Habits:

ways you are wasting your time

7 thoughts on “20 Things That Waste Your Time”

  1. Really found this post helpful and most of all practical! As a working momma trying to do all the things, I struggle with many of the things listed here. It’s a great reminder.

    1. SHANNON

      Hi Sierra, I agree it can be so hard sometimes. At least we are trying our best =) I hope you have a nice week.

  2. Ann

    Great list Shannon!
    I can especially relate to #15 worrying.
    I am working hard on this one. I try to remember all the time wasted in worrying about something that never happened. I remind myself that most things are out of our control. After all that worry, most times, nothing happens. Thanks for sharing!

    1. SHANNON

      Hi Ann! Worrying can take up so much time and mental energy, I know because I also struggle with this. At least we are aware of it which is probably the first step to change. I hope you have a nice day.

  3. This is undoubtedly the best thing that I’ve come across today in the internet. It was a long time that I have been thinking on this topic but I couldn’t satiate my quench for knowledge through any post that I read. However, today that I came across your article, I seem to have learnt a lot and I have also gained enough knowledge on this topic. Thanks once again.

  4. Veronica D

    Great list!!
    For me is the phone not so much social media but videos or news. The other ones would be giving myself too much time and not committing to get it done. And the last one not planning my three tasks and sticking to it. I get easily distracted. My brother once told me don’t forget how long a task takes. We underestimate how long laundry for example takes.

    1. SHANNON

      Yes! I always underestimate how long things take to get done too.

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