Not a fan of the ‘hustle’ movement, but I do believe that most of us waste a significant proportion of our time during a day that could be spent on other productive activities. And no, it does not just mean work. But it also includes spending time with family & friends, taking a vacation, doing a hobby, developing a skillset, completing unfinished tasks, exercising, meditating, taking rest, or even living in the moment.  

Don’t believe me? Here are some ways in which you could be wasting your precious time. Introspect yourself.

1. You’re scrolling mindlessly

Are you binge-watching reels on Instagram? Or are you randomly scrolling your feed and liking every other photo that flashes on your screen? Sometimes, mindless scrolling could be our guilty pleasure. That’s alright, as long as it’s limited and not spread across hours. Think about it yourself the next time your scroll through your social media feed. Does the content you consume give you any value input other than exposing you to unneeded information that just muddles up your mind? Is the content you’re reading toxic?

Also, on an average, Indians spend approximately 5 hours on their cellphones everyday, 70% of that time is spent on on social media. Be wise about using social media the next time.

2. You’re procrastinating too much

Memes about procrastination can be cool, but the actual habit of procrastinating is not. Delaying one task after another will create more troubles than necessary. You are also risking your productivity because you’ll be rushing to complete the work right before the deadline. Besides, the baggage of the inevitable task to be done will only pressure you in the present.

3. You’re spending hours giving advice to that friend who never follows any but just wants to rant.

We all know such people who rant way too much. It is acceptable at times. But is it their pattern? Are they in a mess because of their lack of ability to do anything at all? Are their problems too repetitive? Several times, we meet people who constantly diss their otherwise perfect life. These people take advice only to discard them. They take away all your time asking for a solution, only to do absolutely nothing about it. Respect your hours, and don’t indulge yourself in those conversations.

4. You’re multitasking

A scattered mind will never be able to finish the work as beautifully as a mind with undivided attention does. You can do over a thousand things at once only to finish nothing at all. By multitasking, you’re risking your productivity. When you’re doing one thing, other things should take a backseat because only then will you be able to fulfill your to-do list with greater efficiency. Multitasking also includes working with distraction. Studying with your phone buzzing on the side is pure time wastage as you’re bound to get distracted from your reading. In short, multitasking means you’re wasting more time than necessary.

5. You’re gossiping way too much

Who is making out with whom? Who wore what yesterday? Who fought with whom? Who is single, and who is not? I can go on and on, but that’s not the point. The thing is that gossiping is okay so long as that’s not the only thing do. If you are wondering where all your time went by, even when you were in front of your laptop the whole time, think about the conversations you had. Did they have any point? How many of those pointless conversations have you had today?  

6. You’re binge-watching all the time

Not every series needs to be binged upon; you need to get some air. Imagine binge-watching the first season of a popular series that has 8 episodes of one hour each. That’s 8 hours of your day gone, and that’s okay in isolation. Now imagine that series has 8 seasons and some seasons also have 10 hour-long episodes. This means that you need to devote almost 70 hours of your week to watching one series. If you’re going to do this to every other series you come across, think about how many days you will be squandering without completing anything substantial. In short, binge-watching every other series is unhealthy and a sheer waste of time. 

7. You’re trapped in an infinite loop of emails without an actual conversation seeking clarification

Emails are inevitable in corporate life, and everything needs to be documented. That is true. However, there is also no substitute for one-to-one communication. When you’re not able to make sense of an email, pick up the phone, talk to that person, and seek clarity, if possible. The email game can go on and on, back and forth, and you can still be perplexed with what you’re supposed to do. At those times, talking is the best way to get the job done without wasting any time. 

8. You’re not prioritizing enough

Tasks always come with a sense of urgency. Some stuff can be done later, while some needs to be done now. You need to prioritize better to do everything just in time. If a general banter with a friend can be put on hold when your mind really needs a break and some headspace, do it. This doesn’t mean one should not talk to their friends. However, one should prioritize things in life to minimize dissipating time on superfluous tasks.  

9. You’re too dependent upon life to come to you without doing something about it yourself

Manifestation works when you take the lead. For things to happen, you need to catalyze life a bit. There is no guardian angel whose squish of a wand will magically sort everything in your life unless that angel is you. If you’re waiting for a perfect opportunity to come through, you need to make the first step towards it. If you have been waiting for an answer for a long time, you need to get closure. The point is that you will need to do something if you want your life to change. You should not waste time waiting for your stars to align. 

10. You’re just  busy socializing

Socializing is very important until it becomes the only thing you do in your day. Not all phone calls need to be answered, not all parties have to be attended, and not all social media posts need to be looked at. Weekend parties are the coolest. But, they’re a sheer waste of time when your life is a party, and you don’t pay heed to other critical areas of your life. This is also when you’re too vested in mindless conversation without doing any productive activity.

11. You are capturing everything and not living in the moment

Are you one of those who has this incessant need to capture every other moment on their mobile phones? Stop right there. Spending hours to get that one perfect click means you’re wasting a hell lot of time for one picture that everybody (like you) will forget after one like. Also, when you’re super thrilled and making a memory, capturing a photo essentially implies that you are consciously stepping out of that surreal moment that could be spent on making the most out of it. The crux here is that not everything needs to captured. Let some beautiful moments exist in your memory.

Think about it. Are you wasting your time?