Top ten biggest time wasters and how to avoid them

by Julie Baird on October 18, 2010

We all have stuff that we do that wastes time. You set out with the best of intentions but you get sidetracked and before you know it you are at the end of the day and you just don’t know where the time went.

Everyone has their own guilty sins, the trick is to get to know what yours are and then develop some strategies to make sure you don’t fall into their trap.

Here is a list of the top ten time wasters – in no particular order

1.       Facebook

It is easy to get sucked in with what everyone is doing and the instant chat feature is awesome. But if you want to get on and finish your schoolwork, turn off Facebook until you are done.

2.       Texting / phone calls

It may seem like checking the text as it comes in takes no time at all but it takes your brain a while to reengage and get back into working. Mute your phone and only check it between tasks.

3.       Being disorganized

Time spent looking for papers is just a waste. Make sure you have a system that allows you to find everything you need quickly every time.

4.       Playing games

Games can be addictive – they are designed that way. Plan some time in to do your gaming and set a timer to limit yourself.

5.       Bad planning

Poor planning can lead to wasted work, having to wait for materials, having to make multiple trips to stores, libraries etc. Take a few minutes when you get each assignment to plan how you are going to approach them.

6.       Interruptions from others

Interruptions can halt the flow of work, make you forget where you were up to and generally just make everything take longer. Try finding quiet places away from others to work.

7.       Working at the wrong time

Working when you are tired, or in the wrong frame of mind makes everything harder. You make more mistakes and end up having to do rework, and it takes longer to understand and retain information. Plan in your working time so you can tackle the hard stuff while you are fresh.

8.       No clear goals

Without clear goals it can be difficult to know how you are progressing. Work on having goals for your time at school as well as for each assignment.

9.       Getting distracted

Interrupting yourself is just as bad as having others bug you. Give yourself a chance by having an orderly environment and a clear workspace so you don’t get distracted by other papers.

10.   TV

TV can be great for unwinding but can drain your brain of its ability to think! Limit yourself to particular shows and if possible DVR them so you can watch on your schedule without commercial breaks.

The key to getting on top of your time is to learn what your biggest time wasters are and put things in place to try and minimize their impact. That way you can get your work done in the least amount of time and have free time to spend how you wish.

If you are struggling to control your time and get the results you know you are capable of then it is time to take action.

Time Management For Students E-Course gives you tactics to help you focus and reduce the time you spend on schoolwork. So easy! All the tips, tools, and worksheets are handed to you on a silver platter. Check it out at

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