It is very fitting that in writing this post that I have deleted the first sentence over five times now, because one of my bad habits is my perfectionism. I sometimes find it hard to get started because I want everything to be perfect from the start. You would think I was writing this in permanent marker that could never be erased, instead of typing and being able to edit at anytime. OK. I am getting ahead of myself. Lets start with an introduction.
In trying to decide this week, what topic I wanted to write about my mind kept coming back to Gilmore Girls. I have become very aware this week how much time I have been wasting watching Netflix shows, the last couple weeks specifically Gilmore Girls. I kept coming back to the topic of wasted time, and that led me to wanting to talk about ‘Time Wasting Habits That Interfere With Productivity, and below are my top 5, along with what changes I plan to make.
- Television- So lets start with the above mentioned. I think it is fine to have tv shows or movies that you enjoy to watch. Me and Master Chef Canada are BFFs at the moment, but enter the world of Netflix. The ability to watch not only full seasons, but entire series of television shows. Not to mention autoplay that has taken the need of the remote control away, and will just continue playing episode after episode. Apple TV does do me the favour of asking after four episodes if I am still watching-as if to remind me to get off my ass and do something, but even Apple’s reminder doesn’t always guilt me off the couch. At first I would background watch while doing other things- but as winter arrived, I noticed myself actually watching episode after episode. I will complain to myself I am getting nothing done, but then I have watched hours of t.v.
The Plan- So obviously I need to stop binge watching tv. But that goes back to changing of habits, which I have talked about in the last few posts. I prefer the cold turkey method and plan to implement it soon. Which is no Netflix for a month. I believe that if we can avoid bad habits for a short-term, the feeling of happiness (or fulfillment) that the bad habit was giving you, will be replaced with a tremendous feeling of productivity. Which hopefully will out weight the want for the bad habit.I am sure after feeling more productive, I will not miss the background noise. Which leads into my next bad technology habit.
2. Cell Phone- Obviously I don’t consider all my time spent on my phone and more specifically social media an unproductive waste of time. I love going on Instagram to look at photos, posting my own photos and interact with others. But have you every been on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and posted or looked through photos, and decide that you are finished, click out of the app, put down your phone and picked it up not even two minutes later to look again? Not because you weren’t finished or you want to check something out, but purely because of habit. I have. For me my phone is only harmful when it is causing me to be unproductive. My unproductive time on my phone, is when I could be doing more productive things, but I am scrolling through photos I have already seen, or going on a YouTube video binge just because. It is very easy for me to go from watching a makeup tutorial, to watching a vlog, to hearing a song I liked, to then looking up the song, which reminds me of a song I used to listen to, then going to that song, then all of a sudden I am binge watching Ellen Show clips and then crying to Oprah’s Where Are They Now. I also have a bit of an online window shopping habit. I scroll through clothing store websites, books, planners, makeup, etc just looking, instead of working on something productive.
The Plan- I think identifying whether I am using my phone in a productive way or for entertainment and whether or not it is stopping me from being productive at something else. Obviously if I have nothing on my to-do list and I want to stay on social media all day, that is my choice, it is only when it is causing me to be unproductive that it becomes an issue I want to address. If you really want to see if you are spending unproductive time on your phone, use the watching your thoughts method I spoke about in my last post (here), but instead of your thoughts track your cell phone use for the day.
3. Multi-Tasking- I know the ability to multi-task has always been seen as a positive characteristic. The majority of people have that listed on their resume…’ability to multi-task’ BUT I find multi-tasking can be very unproductive for me. From years of multi-tasking at work and school, I have a really hard time concentrating on one task now. It is like I have wired my brain to always be doing more then one thing at a time, so it gets confused when I try to focus on one task. This is a topic I really want to go into further detail on in it’s own post. But an example of how it is making me unproductive, as I am typing this post, I have stopped twice, once because I thought of a photo that should be edited tonight, another time because I remembered I needed to text a friend about an event. For me multi-tasking distracts me and doesn’t allow me to do my best work, and can end up wasting time.
The Plan- I have been combating this habit both in my work and personal life for a while now, and what I am finding helps–a notepad. I try to have my planner or a notebook around at all times. When I think of something that needs to be done, I write it down, decide if it is priority and the amount of time it will take to complete. Will it completely distract me from the task at hand or is it something I can do quickly and be back into what I was originally doing, without loosing productivity.
4. Perfectionism – I spoke at the beginning of this post about my habit of perfectionism. I am a perfectionist, which means getting started is really difficult for me. I hate rough drafts, I want everything to be perfect the first draft. I don’t write in my planner if I have the wrong pen, I have a hard time starting a project without having it fully thought out for every detail. One example of this is the Beauty section to this blog. I created a while back yet it doesn’t have a single post to it. Why? Because I want the first post to be perfect and I haven’t figured out what that is yet. So there is sits empty. It wastes time when you are trying to be perfect. All the time I have wasted waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect idea, I could have started, and maybe it wouldn’t be exactly perfect but I would be further ahead then doing nothing.
The Plan- I am forcing myself to get started. When blogging, I am forcing myself to write, even if the sentence isn’t perfect, and I don’t know how to start. I am forcing myself to start. I think starting anything in life is often the hardest part.Forcing yourself to begin something whether or not it is going to be perfect from the beginning or not.
5. Procrastinating- Good ol’ procrastination. There are lots of ways I procrastinate tasks, but mainly it is chores I procrastinate. My laundry mostly. I decide I will leave it till tomorrow, and then tomorrow becomes the next day, and the next day, and then finally I have to spend the evening doing laundry because I have multiple loads, instead of just the one I started with. That saying..never put off until tomorrow what you can do today, has never been me. Whether big or small tasks, I always wait till last minute. I know procrastinating is a waste of time, but somehow I still keep doing it. If you see my planner spreads, you will see I sometimes have tasks ‘order contacts’ in my weekly plans for three weeks before it gets done. Procrastinating causes me to procrastinate more, because I feel bad about not getting stuff done, that I put it off further.
The Plan- I use a planner, but I use it more to keep tracks of what I have to do (I have a terrible memory), and don’t force myself to do things on the certain day that I write them in. I need to get better at completing the tasks for the day regardless if they ‘have’ to be done that day.
I found the perfect quote that describes my habit of perfectionism with my habit of procrastination:
I would love to hear if you have any bad time wasting habits. Or maybe you have tips for me how I can avoid my bad habits and be a bit more productive. Let me know down below in the comments.