Identifying Your Time Wasters & How To Manage Them

ADDers all have things in our lives that are time wasters. Some are pretty easy to notice such as social media and another one is losing track of your time when you are scrolling through your feeds. However, some other time wasters are harder to spot. This is because they disguise themselves as helpful activities or necessary steps. Why am I telling you this? Because it is important that not all tine wasters are right in front of your face. So how can you identify your own

What Are The Different Time Wasters?

What Are Time Wasters? My definition of a time waster is anything that takes time away from the important things that need to be done and they pull a person with ADHD focus and are easy to lose track of time while doing them.  Over time I have noticed that time wasters can be broken down into two categories which are obvious time wasters and hidden time wasters

 Obvious Time Wasters – These are the easiest ones to pick out even when we are not. thinking about them but we know we are there. Maybe you call them another name because these are the things that ae supposed to get done quick, but we end up losing track of time by doing them. An example, of an obvious time waster is binge watching your favorite television show when you are supposed to be doing housework.

 Hidden Time Wasters- These are a little more difficult to point out because they disguise themselves as being helpful or necessary. An example of this is when I was researching information for a project I was working on. I spent more time on doing the research for the project instead of actually doing it. The research was my hidden time waster. If I was looking up something specific, like how to solve an organizing project in my closet then it would have been helpful but spending all my time reading about how to organize a closet wasn’t helpful.

Identifying Time Wasters

How To Identify Your Time Wasters – The easiest way to figure out what your time wasters are is to spend a week logging how you spend your time each day. Keeping a time log is easy to do. Keep a small notepad with you all day and note the start and the end times of your different task and what they were. To make your time log effective, try to be descriptive as you can. If you spend 20 minutes on Facebook, write that down. The more honest you are with yourself the easier it is going to be to see those time wasters. This may seem like a lot of extra work but spending time to log your tasks will make identifying your time wasters much easier

What Next?

Once you have figured out what your time wasters are, you really have two choices.  First is to just ignore them all together or try the following strategies

Set Time Limits– One of the easiest ways to deal with your Obvious Time Wasters is to use a time to hold yourself accountable for the time that you use. If you do have a few extra minutes and you would like to check your email or social media set your timer, and when it goes off go onto the new task. When it comes to the Hidden Time Wasters, setting time limits work really well also. Giving yourself a deadline for when you need to get the project/task done can be a great motivator to stay on task and not get sidetracked.

Be Specific –   Being specific is great for Hidden Time Wasters. The reason being is when you write up your to do list try to be specific on what needs to be done.  For example, organizing my closet. If I was planning out the same project as I did before it would include any problems that I need to address such as how to best organize my scarves with my extra blankets. Give yourself time limits when you actually organize these items.

 Give Yourself Time To Have Fun- When you are writing your to do list don’t forget to schedule in fun things. If your social media has a lot of notifications that you want to get to set aside time to spend on it. If you have a favorite show that you want to watch, make time for it. Giving yourself the freedom to spend on your time wasters can be an effective way to work with them especially when they are things that you enjoy doing. After all, what’s the point in identifying time wasters if we can’t have some fun with them.