Discover How You’re Wasting 25 Hours of Your Time per Week

Joe Green could have been worth 7 billion dollars.

You are probably thinking, who the hell is Joe Green?! I wouldn’t blame you for asking that question either. If you Google Joe Green, you might have to sift through many well-known people before you find the one I am talking about.

How it could have been very different for Joe. He studied at Harvard University and has gone on to create some modest success, but not billions, so what went wrong?

He was the Harvard roommate of someone I am sure you have heard of, Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook. He actually helped Mark with his early adventures with his Hot or Not website Facemash.

When Mark turned to Joe to ask for help with his new project, a little thing called Facebook. Joe asked his Dad for advice, but his father thought his time was better off spent on something else.

7 billion dollars gone.

Don’t waste your time

Now the above story is a bit extreme, and it was mostly down to a poor decision (regrettable I’m sure) than spending time on the wrong thing.

But are you missing out on opportunities of a lifetime because you are spending time on the wrong things? or worse, you don’t have time to do the important stuff in your life because you don’t have enough time in the first place?

Time Management Vs Self Management

I have touched on this in my other posts, but we all get the same amount of time each week. You have the same amount of time as Bill Gates, Justin Bieber and Richard Branson, so why are they more successful? How can they achieve their dreams? Do they just have better time management skills?

When we talk about time management, we talk about control of our time. Can you control time? Can you slow it down or stop it for that matter? Well no you can’t.

I don’t believe we have a time management problem at all. In fact, there’s no such thing as TIME management, just SELF-management. How we operate in the time we’re given is the real problem. It’s about knowing what to do at any given moment. It’s about dealing effectively with the things we need to do to achieve our goals and fulfil our life purpose.

So how can we operate in the most effective and efficient way with our time?

How I realised I was wasting 25 hours per week

I have always been interested in learning about new ways to be more productive. If anything I have a bit of an OCD about it. I HATE wasting time. You can steal all the money from me in the world, but if you waste my time you will definitely know about it.

Over the years I have realised that I am achieving more each day, with even less time. So why is that? I owe this to two reasons.

Firstly, I have been implementing new habits each month. These have helped me deal with my own negative behaviours. For example, I used to hate getting up in the morning, I would snooze it for as long as possible. But now, I will always get up at 6 am without fail, it has become a well-drilled self-discipline that has allowed me to get more done each day.

Secondly, I reflect on my own productivity every month.

Discover how you’re using your time

I am going to show you the process I use for reflecting on my own productivity each week.

I do this by:

  • Writing down how I spend my time across the week.
  • I then look at how I could spend that time better next time.
  • This would involve me improving my self-management, like waking up earlier, not letting things distract me and trying to focus on one thing at a time.

I started doing this years ago, but it wasn’t until recently I realised what an impact it had on my life. I found a time tracker from 2014 buried in one of my folders on my computer. I looked at all the things I used to do (this was before I had my own business) and I had worked out how much time I was wasting each week. It came to 25 hours each week! WOW.

Take a look below:

How I worked out how many hours I was wasting per week

This was a real eye opener for me when I first did this. In this example, I was looking at the productivity in my personal life, but you can use it in your professional life too. I highlighted my day job so I could separate the two out.

How many days I was wasting per week

Hours awake (109.5 Hours)

I wanted to first find out how many hours I had available each day. We all start with 168 hours before we take sleep into account. If you assume the average person needs 8 hours of sleep each night, then that’s 56 hours of sleep each week, leaving us with 112 hours left to play with.

In my case, I was awake for 109 and half hours, which wasn’t that far away. I was getting more sleep than I needed, and probably a bit too much on some days and not enough on others.

Hours at work (39 Hours)

This is one I am sure we would all love to do something about. Reducing our hours at work. If you work for someone else then this won’t be something you can have a massive impact on. If you work for yourself, then it is a really good sign of how much value you’re creating in the time you are spending on your business. You can easily work out your worth, based on the sales you created this week against the actual time you spent on your business.

Entrepreneurs love to pile on the hours. So if you use this approach, you can work out if those extra 10 hours a week are adding any benefit to your business.

Must happen (20.5 Hours)

Unfortunately, we all have to do some “must happen” tasks each week. I mean things like showering, buying food, eating food and doing the housework etc.

If you understand how much time you are using, you can work out if you would actually get more value for time by delegating some of these tasks out. For example, could you hire a personal chef or a cleaner? Would you earn more money per hour working on your business than the cost of paying someone to do these tasks for you?

Likewise, is the time you spend with your kids and family, worth more than paying a few extra bucks for someone to do some of these tasks for you? Only you know the answer to these questions. In my example, I have over 20 hours of time that could be made available. Give or take a shower or two!

Purposeful hours (25 Hours)

These are the hours that you really live your life with purpose.

These hours should be spent on things that really link to your life vision. The things that are important to you, your family, friends, your business, your health and so on. The more hours you live each week with a purpose the better. We only get so much time on this earth, why wouldn’t you want to live each hour purposefully?

I haven’t included my day job as part of this, but you might want to. If you have your own business you could also calculate how many productive hours you’ve worked.

Wasteful hours (25 Hours)

This was the big one for me. When I started adding up my wasted hours, it came to 25 hours!! 25!! I was wasting 25 hours each week on pointless stuff. I was spending way too much time web browsing, Facebook scrolling and watching Netflix.

Granted, we can’t live life in top gear all day long, but when I thought I was relaxing, was I really doing anything to help me relax? How energised and less stressed do you feel after a night in front of the TV? I know I don’t feel energised. I could have had purposeful relaxation time, like going for a walk with my partner, spending time doing a hobby or something creative. Instead, I spent it in front of the TV, not even watching something I was that bothered about.

These are the hours you need to do something about first.

Make small changes each week

Take one task from your wasteful hours and start doing something about it. If you make a small change each week, then after a year you would have made 52 changes to your life. If each of those saved you 30 minutes, you could be 26 hours better off after a year. Imagine what you could do with 26 hours each week?

I would recommend doing this time tracking exercise every couple of months, or when you feel like you are being unproductive. I always do this after my first week back from holiday. It helps me realise the bad habits the bad habits that have slipped back in.

If you are struggling to eradicate some of those wasteful hours, you should keep reading my productivity posts. I share loads of techniques and methods that can help you deal with wasteful hours, and help you live each hour with more purpose.

Why not comment below with your own productivity issues, and we can see what we can do to help you overcome them.

 

If this helped you, then please share!

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