It is entirely up to you whether you use them productively or waste them.
How many times do you go through your day and realise you didn't do anything you should have done?
You obviously spent that time doing something, but it wasn't on what you wanted to do. Instead of trying to find another technique to make you more productive, examine which habits are currently consuming so much of your time.
It's not always what you do that matters when it comes to success; it's what you don't do.
Today I'll talk about four time wasters that you can avoid in order to make more time for the things that really matter.
1. Playing Video Games
Gaming is one of the most popular pastimes in today's world. However, many people spend far too much time playing.
One hour here and two hours there… Time simply vanishes.
What happens to it? Who can say?
That's for sure. I'm not into anything productive.
How much do you get out of a video game for the amount of time you put into it?
Sure, you're getting temporary pleasure, but what about genuine and long-lasting pleasure?
You know the kind of satisfaction that comes from achieving real-life goals? Nothing is more frustrating than devoting a significant amount of time to something and having nothing to show for it.
Will having the best gear in the game help you in 5 years?
Most likely not.
2. Watching TV.
While many will argue that a little bit of TV never hurt anyone, the amount of "little bit" is constantly debatable.
According to a Nielsen report, the average American watches more than 34 hours of television per week. That's nearly an entire workweek.
Imagine if you spent just a fraction of this time working on your goals - you'd be so far ahead.
Nobody ever achieved anything by simply sitting on the couch. Aside from being a time waster, studies have shown that people who watch a lot of TV have lower life satisfaction and anxiety. Television distorts our perception of reality.
Every episode is filled with beautiful people doing interesting things and having great adventures. Life will never be like a TV show, and this can leave people feeling very disillusioned about how their lives should be.
When compared to the never-ending adventures of the TV world, this creates a sense of inadequacy and emptiness.
And here we are, telling ourselves, "Just one more episode, and I'll be done."
3. Exploring the internet.
Let's look at an all-too-common scenario in today's world.
It is 4 p.m. Mike has just returned from a college lecture and has decided to study for the upcoming exam. He's feeling inspired, so he sits down with a massive textbook.
He's reading about the subject, but he's not sure what the second chapter is about.
As a result, Mike decides to look for additional resources on the internet. He goes to Wikipedia and finds the information he was looking for. Since he's already here, he decides to check his email before returning to his studies. Suddenly, it's 9 p.m., and Mike has been studying for 5 hours.
Despite this, he didn't get past the second chapter, and he's still on the internet. The internet is a trap that everyone falls into at some point.
It is intended to hold our attention for extended periods of time. You may feel as if you will miss out if you do not read the article about 8 proven ways to lose belly fat or watch the video about 4 bad habits you must avoid.
This is precisely what occurred with Mike.
He thought it would be a good idea to check Facebook after checking his email. Then he felt compelled to visit the front pages of Reddit and YouTube. He kept surfing because he didn't want to miss anything important.
Mike had already been sucked into the Internet black hole by this point. When used correctly, the internet is a fantastic tool.
When done mindlessly, however, it can be your worst enemy.
4. Scrolling through social media.
While social media is a great way to stay up to date on industry news and catch up with friends and family, it is also a huge time waster.
In fact, we spend about two hours per day on social media. You don't need to spend that much time on social media unless you're a social media manager.
Social media, like television, has a negative impact on our mental health.
After all, it has been linked to higher levels of loneliness and depression. That's not surprising given that most people on social media try to portray their lives as perfect, leaving you feeling insecure.
Because few people want others to know they are depressed, the only things we see on our news feed are the highlights of other people's days.
And we frequently make this mistake, believing that their lives are always like this. But keep in mind that their life may be far worse than yours behind the scenes, even if it appears to be perfect in that one photo. And that about sums it up.
Oh, one more thing about my list: You may regard any of the activities I mentioned as joyful and exciting.
It could be significant to you.
You might be doing it with purpose and intention, rather than the force of an old habit that you can't seem to break.
If you feel that way, it is NOT a waste of time.
However, you should limit yourself to a certain extent when engaging in these activities to avoid becoming sucked in.
You may enjoy video games and do not want to stop playing them.
That's all right.
But set a time limit for how much time you'll spend on them. If someone asks you, "What did you do today?" and you literally have no idea where your time went because you spent the entire day staring at a screen, it's time to reflect and reevaluate your priorities.