Perfectionism is by far the biggest time waster most people are affected by. A perfectionist will always see room for improvement and will never acknowledge the results they made already. It’s a mentality that causes a person to halt their progress until they can figure everything out, instead of learning as they go along.
Perfectionism is a time waster because it’s prevents you from making progress and prevents you from feeling a sense of accomplishment.
An example of this would be starting a podcast or even a YouTube vlog. You aren’t going to be able to start Episode One of your podcast and be as good as Larry King, Joe Rogan and Howard Stern to name a few. You won’t have the years of experience and knowledge they have developed over time from recording content. If you were to start a vlog, as a perfectionist, you might think you have to go out of your way to spend a few thousand dollars on equipment to launch a successful YouTube channel. Instead of trying to replicate the results of others that are where you want to be, focus on getting better with time the natural way.
2. Fear of Failure
Another time waster that many people face is the fear of failure. On this blog, I will talk to you about fear and how it holds us back in life. Fear is an emotional reaction to what is unknown, almost like a survival instinct.
Will Smith describes it perfectly in this one speech he delivered. Listen to it:
Now I am not exactly referring to fear with the exact intent that Will describes it in this video, but I will say that fear in life and in failure go hand in hand. If we fear that we may make a mistake or end up failing, we might not build up the courage to try.
There have been countless times in human history where brave people have had to make an attempt at the high costs of making a mistake. It’s having the courage to push forward unbeknownst of what lies ahead.
Procrastination is so bad for progress that the word “sloth” was added to the list of seven deadly sins because it is such a huge time waster.
Now don’t get me wrong, we can’t always expect to be busy 24/7. In fact it’s better to be productive rather than busy. But procrastination is a form of laziness and a mix of boredom. Procrastination is not a form of productivity.
Instead of telling you why procrastination is bad, (because I’m sure we have all been guilty of procrastination before) I’m going to give you a list of alternative options so you no longer have to procrastinate again.
Four Steps to Avoid Procrastination:
1. Change up your workflow.
If you get stuck procrastinating, maybe you are just bored. Find a new way to mix things up and invent a system that works for you. The classic “carrot and stick” method works well. Give yourself a goal or objective you want to reach and after accomplishing this goal/objective reward yourself. The reward could be doing something you enjoy, or simply taking a break.
2. Change up your environment.
Studies have found that your environment can disrupt your workflow. It’s why companies like Google and Facebook are investing millions into state-of-the-art workplaces to boost productivity and creativity. If your work space environment is too distracting or not a practical location to accomplish your goals, you need to find somewhere else to get work done or modify your work space to boost your productivity.
3. Build a fire, then sit on it.
The best way to get a procrastinator to work more effectively is to figuratively put fire underneath them and watch them move. Adding a deadline to a goal or task will give you more structure and a targeted approach to completing your objectives. If you want to turn an idea into a business but procrastinate, it’s time for you to lay out a business plan of action and then plan out one big to-do-list until your idea becomes a reality.
4. Journal your progress.
One of the best methods to stopping procrastination is writing down your goals and objectives into a clear concise format. I keep a journal on my phone and a physical journal at home at all times. I will constantly go through my goals throughout the day keeping tabs on the progress I am making. Before I head off to bed, I write down my progress and what I accomplished for the day. It’s easy to feel like you aren’t making any progress on any given day but over a year of continuing to improve and accomplishing your goals you will shock yourself with how far you’ve come.
Follow these steps and you will quickly forget about procrastinating ever again.
If you want me to go into more details about learning how to avoid procrastination then leave a comment below.
4. Lack of Discipline
The reason most waste time being unproductive is because they lack discipline, more importantly, self discipline.
Jocko Willink, a former U.S. Navy Seal wrote a incredibly informative novel about discipline called, “Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual” in the book Jocko discusses how having discipline helped him complete his missions and helped him have control under stressful conditions. I recommend grabbing a copy.
Here’s a link: https://amzn.to/2N3tezh
5. Not Learning to Say “No”
Most people have a hard time saying no to others. Successful people do not and here’s why:
The reason people having a hard time saying no is because they fear disappointing others. It’s not easy to tell someone no. If you don’t learn to tell others no, you may begin to think other people’s priorities are your own priorities. At every bustling business there is a room full of slackers and one overworked employee. The reason that one employee is being overworked is because they are afraid to say no. They take on the job of their co-workers to try and get ahead or even be nice, but eventually those simple favors turn into their responsibilities.
If you learn to say no, people will respect you more. Now I said respected, I never said well liked. When you learn to say no, you are telling others that your decision was final and there is no room for interpretation. Some people have a hard time dealing with rejection.
Put it into this perspective, “every time you say no to something that is not important, you are saying yes to something that is”. Placing our own self-interests may come across as selfish but sometimes saying no is completely necessary in order to progress. You can’t help everyone if you aren’t capable of helping yourself first.
6. Making the Same Mistakes
I will always encourage you to build a growth mindset. In order to do that you must learn to fail and to fail frequently. In order to succeed you must learn to accept failure and make mistakes. The important distinction from making mistakes is we use our failures to improve ourselves and the only way to do that is by learning from our mistakes.
One way to waste time is by making the same mistakes. If you make a mistake but never learn from it, you will never benefit from it.
They say the definition of insanity is, “repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”. Learn from your mistakes, before you go insane.
7. Complaining and Comparing
Don’t you just hate having to be in the presence of someone who is often times negative or complains way too much? Most of us can’t stand that type of person. A big time waster is someone who complains and even compares their own circumstances towards others.
As my mentor taught me, if you complain about something you can’t change you’re a fool. If you complain about something you have the ability to change you’re an even greater fool.
Stop complaining about things you can change! You may not have everything you desire but you will certainly never achieve those things by complaining about them. Instead, you should try to take action and be the change you want to see.
Stop comparing yourself to others and what they have or have accomplished. Instead, focus on improving yourself and being the best that you can be. Success won’t happen overnight it could be years in the making.
As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”
8. Not Living Your Life
This brushes on what I meant by saying No. When we fail to tell others how we are feeling and suppress our inner thoughts in order to satisfy the needs of others we are failing ourselves. Not living to your life’s full potential is a great time waster for people because we refuse to accept who we are destined to become simply out of fear of disappointing others.
You don’t need permission to live your life. Just make it yours.