Do Time-Wasters Trip You Up? Here’s Some Help.

inner boundary checklist
Don’t let time-wasters derail you.

Time-wasters seem to come at us from all directions these days. Have you noticed?

The world is filled with potential distractions, and when they pull you off track, you’ve been captured by one of the many time-wasters in your world.

Finding time and staying on track should not be so hard, right?  You have your eye out for the really big distractions.  But quite often it’s the small time-wasters that throw you off.

3 Common Time-Wasters:

  1. You plan to go to bed early, but there is an exciting basketball game on TV.  The next thing you know, it’s the end of double overtime and you are in bed much later than you had planned.
  2. You are going to the gym before work but check your home e-mail before heading out the door.  You get caught up in reading and responding, and run out of time.
  3. You are on your way to an important meeting in an unfamiliar area. You pull over at the sight of an inviting restaurant to order a cup of coffee, decide to call a friend while waiting, and are late for your meeting.  

What Do These 3 Scenarios Have In Common?

  1. Your focus shifted and you tried to fit a new activity into your schedule. 
  2. You probably thought you were being flexible and going with the flow.
  3. You may have felt victimized by the consequence.
  4. You have undermined your trust in yourself to follow through on your plans.

Important Distinction: 

Being flexible and “going with the flow” are NOT the same! 

In each of these examples, being flexible would mean making a conscious choice to stay on course or to change it.  When you do that, you are recognizing and mindfully navigating the choices that your day presents.  This is a very empowering distinction to make for yourself!

5 Tips for Taming These Time-Wasters

  1. Make an effective To-Do List and keep it nearby for reference. This is the course you’ve committed to for the day. When you are tempted to change your plans, ask yourself, “What goal am I putting at risk?”
  2. Weigh the consequences of putting your prior plans at risk before coming to a decision.
  3. Make a list of your own particular time wasters, and notice what feelings precede an impulsive choice that wastes your time. Are you feeling anxious, bored, or angry? What is an effective way to resolve what is bothering you without becoming diverted from your plans?
  4. Schedule a specific time every day for spontaneous pleasure. The more consistently you enjoy this special portion of your day, the easier it will be to reject impulsive choices.  
  5. If you genuinely value flexibility, make a list of situations in which you wish to ‘bend your schedule’ – such as helping a friend in need, extra time with your child, etc. and create buffer time into your day to accommodate these events.

Consider your options the next time a temptation crosses your path. Take a deep breath, affirm what you value and have planned, and make a conscious decision.  The choice is yours… and each time you make it, you are finding time!

And here’s more help for you:

How often do distractions and interruptions pull you off track? If you feel thwarted by some of your own choices, learn to support yourself by setting and maintaining meaningful inner boundaries.  My complimentary Inner Boundary Checklist is designed to help you do just that. 

Find time for what truly matters to you. Are you ready to empower yourself? Use this powerful Checklist with 15 simple steps to set and maintain strong, clear internal boundaries. The Inner Boundary Checklist helps you follow through on what you say you will do. Click this link to give yourself this complimentary tool today!

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