Do you ever catch yourself looking at the clock on your computer, only to realise that a few hours have gone by and you still haven’t done a single task? You’ve been sitting at your computer, yet not a single piece of productive work has been completed. Why? You’re caught in the endless cycle of mindlessly browsing the internet. And this cycle is having devastating consequences to your productivity.
You want to be more productive. You want to complete your “to-do” list. You want to stop wasting so much of your time.
If your to-do lists are written properly, you can avoid this:
Your to-do list items should contain specific and measurable goals. For example, if you want reading books as one of the to-do item, it should say : Read 100 pages in a book. It should not be generic like: Read a book.
Be aware of your urges:
To stop wasting time, we need to identify where it begins, and it usually begins with an urge or compulsion to do something. When you notice yourself about to open a new tab to check Facebook, take a pause, take a breath and notice what’s happening; it’s in this space that you now have the choice to make a conscious choice of how you live your life. Avoiding time wasters begins by developing more awareness and using your consciousness to identify your urges.
Focus on the result, not on the act:
When you are doing something, focus your mind on the result and not on the mere way of doing the task. Ask yourself, what will I gain if I do this task ? If the reward is something that is of little value to your end goal, you know it is going to be a waste of time.
Mindless browsing also comes from a desire to be entertained and receive instant gratification. If you check Facebook maybe you have a notification that can give you a quick rush of dopamine. Or maybe your friend has posted a new photo to Instagram. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that!? The problem is that entertainment is shallow and instant gratification is fleeting. It might work to stimulate you in the moment but it’s not going to provide you with the fulfilment you are truly looking for.
Focus on the goals and dreams you have. When you catch yourself doing something that does not contribute to your goal, you want to remind yourself what your goals are and why they are important to you. To do this, keep a list of goals handy with you and read it every time you want to procrastinate. Is checking Facebook at this time really helping you achieve your goals? The goals you know deep down you want to achieve?