5 Huge Time Drains

Are you busy?

When I’m at my happiest, and most efficient, I definitely am not.  However, this winter I have found that I am lacking the time to complete everything I would like to do.  I have the same amount of time each day as everyone else, but what changed?

What changed, of course, was how I was using my time.  I was wasting it, by having a life that was too cluttered, too disorganized. 

Here are the top 5 things that were wasting my time:

1.  Inefficient usage of online time.  Taking a break from being online would make it impossible for me to do my job, or pursue my hobbies.  But, poor online work habits were costing me time.  I’ve been trying to multi-task, which our brains are not capable of doing.  I found that if I closed my e-mail while blogging or working on projects for work, I was not distracted when a new message popped up.  Separating work, blogging, and e-mailing time has helped me to get more done. 

2.  Looking for things.  When things are chaotic at home, clutter creeps in.  Clutter leads to more things being lost.  Not following a regular rhythm or routine leads to things being thrown in places where they do not belong.  I’ve found myself wasting much more time looking for things.

3.  Choosing my clothes.  When I’m following a regular rhythm, laundry gets done, and my 5 outfits are happily on their hangers.  When things are chaotic, I spend my mornings frantically searching for a presentable outfit. 

4.  Grocery shopping trips.  Normally, I shop once a week or once every other week.  When we’re not following a routine, I end up making little shopping trips to pick up odds and ends everyday.  This not only costs us more money, it uses up a significant amount of time.

5.  Avoiding work.  Think about it.  When you don’t want to do something, you procrastinate by doing little, slightly-enjoyable activities.  When I’m supposed to clean the house, I’ll go on “junk food” websites, or read a chapter of a book, without having the time to really get into it.  A better usage of time is to do the task at hand, get it over with, then have plenty of time to devote to activities that you really want to do.

Intentional living is a journey, not a destination that we ever reach.  There is always room for improvement, always room to grow.

  • Arum Lily - Zantedeschia Stock Photo

12 thoughts on “5 Huge Time Drains

  1. ‘Inefficient usage of online time.’

    Once on a computer, it is very difficult for me to discipline myself properly. I’m learning, but my best solution is to minimize time online.


  2. Yeah, I waste a lot of time on teh internets. It does help that my hard drive got coffee on it and now we just have Dad’s.

  3. Hi Bethany
    I am not really joining in this discussion but did want to say how helpful and inspiring your blog has been since I found it. About two months ago I was feeling crushed by the difficulties in my life and stumbled across Be More With Less which then led me to your site.

    I have been putting a lot of the advice on your site into practice and have also found your more thoughtful and personal posts helpful in thinking through my own issues.

    Minimalism and simplicity definitely struck a very loud chord with me as soon as I found these sites. I started to take action, and began to understand why, in some cases, I hadn’t taken action, I feel I am definitely going in the right direction now.

    As you say, it is a journey and I have a long long way to go. But I check out your blog everyday for advice and encouragement and just wanted to say thank you.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Linda. It’s been a rough winter, to be sure–not just for me, but for most people I know! I’m glad that sharing my struggles helped you through yours. Definitely don’t be shy, here! 🙂

  4. The internet, mainly on my phone, is my biggest time suck! However, I’ve identified the problem and am making attempts at redeeming the time. I’m not grabbing my phone every time I have a spare second and am trying to do my internet ‘stuff’ on my computer and not my phone!

  5. I try to lead a very simple organized life and it really helps. I had to recently clean out my moms house as she has moved into an assisted living facility and I cannot believe how much stuff she has. I really think that is such a waste cause she never got to appreciate it cause it was always packed away in a closet, etc. I would rather have one or two items that bring me joy and look at time then have boxes and boxes of stuff. I really think she started shopping in the last few years just for something to do, that’s what it looks like anyway. I have had lots of people come into my home and tell me how peaceful it is and that is because it is clean and orderly with no clutter. I think when you are organized everything else falls into place.

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