If you really want to move forward in life, stop wasting time on these 7 things

Ever heard the saying, “Time is money”? I bet you have.

It’s a universally acknowledged truth, right? Time is a valuable asset, an irretrievable resource that we often take for granted. But let’s face it; we all have been guilty of wasting time on things that don’t really matter.

Here’s the deal.

You might not even realize it, but there are certain activities or habits that are eating into your precious time and holding you back in life.

So if you’re asking yourself, “How can I utilize my time better to move forward?” buckle up.

We’re about to dive into an exploration of the 7 things that are stealing your time and slowing down your progress in life.

Let’s get started, shall we?

1) Spending excessive time on social media

Ah, social media.

It’s a tool that connects us, entertains us, and keeps us updated with the world. But it can also be a black hole that sucks up our time if we’re not careful.

Those five-minute scroll sessions on Instagram? Checking Facebook every half an hour? That’s time you could be using to learn a new skill, read a book, or simply relax and recharge.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not suggesting you quit social media. It’s about setting boundaries, allocating specific times for browsing, and most importantly, being mindful of the time you spend there.

2) Overthinking every decision

Let me share a personal anecdote.

I used to be an overthinker.

Whether it was deciding on what to eat for lunch, or making a career move, I would spend hours, sometimes even days, agonizing over every tiny detail.

And guess what?

Most of the time, all that overthinking didn’t even lead to a better decision. In fact, it only led to unnecessary stress and wasted time.

Here’s the truth.

We can’t predict everything. We can’t control everything. And that’s okay.

Sure, it’s important to make thoughtful decisions. But there’s a difference between thoughtful and overthought.

So, if you’re like the old me and find yourself overthinking, remember – decision-making is a skill. And like any other skill, it gets better with practice.

Start with small decisions and work your way up. Trust your instincts more. And most importantly, remember that not every decision is a life-or-death situation.

Time spent in indecision is time wasted. So let’s stop overthinking and start doing.

3) Procrastinating important tasks

Confession time: I used to be a master procrastinator.

There was a time when I would put off important tasks for days, sometimes even weeks. Whether it was a crucial work project or simply cleaning up my room, I’d always find an excuse to delay it.

Sound familiar?

Well, here’s what I learned the hard way.

Procrastination is like a credit card. It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill. And trust me, that bill always comes due.

The project deadlines would creep up on me, or the mess in my room would get so out of hand that I’d have to spend an entire weekend tackling it.

Needless to say, that’s not how one moves forward in life.

So what did I do?

I decided to tackle procrastination head-on. I started using techniques like time-blocking and the Pomodoro Technique. I made to-do lists and prioritized tasks based on their importance and urgency.

And guess what?

It worked! Not only did I become more productive, but I also found more time for things that truly mattered.

4) Neglecting self-care

This might sound counterintuitive, but hear me out.

Self-care is not a waste of time. It is, in fact, quite the opposite.

We’re often so caught up in our daily hustle that we forget to take care of ourselves. We push through our exhaustion, skip meals, and compromise on sleep just to get more done.

This approach is not sustainable. It leads to burnout, decreased productivity, and can seriously hinder your progress in life.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I found myself constantly worn out and unable to focus on my work. It was only then I realized that by neglecting my self-care, I was actually wasting more time.

So here’s what you need to do.

Start setting aside time every day for self-care. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Something as simple as a 10-minute meditation session or a short walk in the park can do wonders for your physical and mental well-being.

A healthier you is a more productive you. So stop wasting time neglecting your self-care and start investing time in it. Your future self will thank you for it!

5) Being trapped in the past or future

newimagesize 130 If you really want to move forward in life, stop wasting time on these 7 things

Did you know that according to a study conducted at Harvard University, people spend almost 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re currently doing?

That’s nearly half our day spent either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Here’s the problem.

By living in the past or the future, we’re missing out on the present. And the present is all we truly have.

Regretting past mistakes won’t change them. Worrying about future outcomes won’t predict them. All it does is rob us of our present joy and productivity.

So here’s my advice.

Learn from your past, plan for your future, but live in the present. Practice mindfulness, enjoy the moment, and focus on the task at hand.

After all, the key to moving forward in life lies in making the most of each moment. So let’s stop wasting time on what was or what might be, and start investing time in what is.

6) Comparing yourself to others

Once upon a time, I found myself in a spiral of comparison.

I’d look at my friends’ lives – their jobs, their homes, their relationships – and feel a pang of inadequacy. I’d scroll through social media and see people living seemingly perfect lives, and I’d wonder where I was going wrong.

But here’s what I learned.

Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s a never-ending race with no finish line in sight. The more you compare, the less satisfied you become with your own progress.

Plus, we often compare our behind-the-scenes with others’ highlight reel. We don’t see the struggles, the failures, the hard work that goes into those ‘perfect’ lives we see online or around us.

So here’s what you need to do.

Focus on your own journey. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Learn from your failures and use them as stepping stones towards your own success.

7) Not setting clear goals

Here’s the most important thing you should know.

Without clear goals, it’s easy to drift aimlessly through life, wasting time on things that don’t contribute to your growth or progress.

Goals give us direction. They provide a roadmap for where we want to go and how we plan on getting there. They keep us focused, motivated, and accountable.

And no, you don’t need to have every detail of your life mapped out. But having a general idea of what you want to achieve – be it in your career, relationships, personal growth or health – can make all the difference.

Take some time to reflect on what truly matters to you. Set realistic, achievable goals. Break them down into smaller tasks and work towards them every day.

Remember, it’s okay if your goals change over time. That’s part of life’s journey.

Whatever you do, don’t waste your time wandering aimlessly. Have a purpose, have a plan, and stay committed to it.

Final thoughts

If you identify with one, some, or all of these points, know that you’re not alone.

But remember – recognizing these time-wasters is the first step towards change.

It’s not about striving for perfection, but progress. It’s about making small, consistent changes every day. It’s about investing your time in activities that align with your goals and values.

Start by being mindful of these habits. Observe when you’re falling into these time traps. Ask yourself – is this really how I want to spend my time? Is this helping me move forward in life?

Keep in mind, it’s a process and it won’t happen overnight.

But with conscious effort and determination, you can transform these habits. Each small step towards better time management is a step towards a more fulfilling life.

Remember, time is the one thing we can’t get back, so let’s make the most of it. Let’s stop wasting it on things that don’t serve us and start investing it in things that do.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Lost time is never found again.” So let’s use ours wisely, and continue moving forward in life.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.