MTFF: How To Stop Wasting Your Time Sent Thursday, October 21, 2010 

Weekly tips for better grades with less stress from The Grade Coach
Oct 21st 2010

A Note From Julie

Hi ,
You would really think I would know better. After all I live and breathe this time management stuff, right? Well, it turns out I get sucked in just like everyone else and sometimes you get the reminders where you least expect them.
In this past week we have had two birthdays and a birthday party at our house. I always like to make the birthday cakes and this year my kindergartner was going for a Star Wars theme. Having agonized over a chocolate Death Star for hours I was debating adding yet more detail when my husband reminded me "they are 6 years old - they are not a tough crowd!".
It was brought home to me even more forcefully on the day of the actual birthday when I had a lot less time to come up with another cake. The Millennium Falcon (Hans Solos ship, for those non Star Wars addicts) was the subject this time. It was a quick job, no time for a crumb coating so the cake showed through the frosting a bit, and yet he was blown away, just as much as by the previous labor of love.
So I figured if I, who should know better, get sucked into this perfectionistic waste of time then perhaps we all need a little reminder.
There are more kick up the pants reminders in the blog this week. Drop by and leave your comments.What are your biggest time wasters?
Wishing happiness and successPlease forward this
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How to Stop Wasting Time
It never feels like wasting time when we're caught in the moment. Time just slips by and before you know it hours have past and you've not accomplished anything.
We have an unlimited choices of ways in which we can waste time and some even come under the guise of getting work done. These are very dangerous time wasters like "research", "team meetings" and the dreaded "thinking"! Let's not even think about the time we waste on trying to get things just right!
If we had all the time in the world, wasting time wouldn't even be an issue. But time is finite, projects are due in, homework needs done and it would be great to fit some time in for fun wouldn't it?
So to make sure that everything gets done on time and well and still have some free time in you tackle those time wasting behaviors
  1. Recognize the things you do to waste time.
Wasting time is a matter of opinion. I might love to spend time on twitter and Facebook and you might consider that a waste of time. You might like to daydream about winter break and I might consider that's a waste. Let's be clear about what we are talking about here. During the time you've allotted to schoolwork anything that is not progressing you toward your school goals is wasted time.
It is time spent stopping you completing your work and moving on. It is time that expands your work day so that you have less time for fun.
So get really honest with yourself and make a list of all the things you do, that you know you really shouldn't be doing, during schoolwork time. Imagine you have a strict boss and think about what you would get in trouble for.
Remember to include things that drag on longer than they really should. For example do your Internet searches last ages because you go off at a tangent and lose track of the goal; do your team meetings last a long time because you socialize during them; do your assignments take longer because they have to be "just right"?
Recognizing your time wasting activities is really important because it brings it into the open and lets you challenge yourself. This becomes your danger list.
Put it somewhere you can see it regularly as a reminder the things you need to watch out for
  1. Stop doing them
Okay, I know it's not as simple as that, but having identified the time wasting activities does make it easier to catch yourself. If you find it hard to cut out altogether then you can plan these activities in as rewards for yourself. For example, every 30 minutes working on your math earns you five minutes returning texts
  1. Find other times to do the ones you enjoy
Sometimes we waste time because the activities just more fun than what we "need" to be doing. If you have an activity you enjoy that is creeping into your study time, then plan in some time for that outside of study time.
So, if you love video games, Facebook, chatting to friends, surfing the web or whatever, plan some time into your schedule to do that. Make it like a meeting with yourself.
The bonus is you look forward to it and work harder to make sure your work is done beforehand
  1.   Make sure you use all the time you have
Sometimes we forget about all the bits of time that we could be using if we were just a bit smarter about it.
Use the time you spend traveling or waiting around. This time, that normally we just waste, is time that you could be using effectively. Think about what you could be doing with this time to allow you to get through your schoolwork quicker.
Reading, listening to audio's, planning projects or even getting your daily fix on Facebook. With the technology around today many more options are available to you. I know some people who choose to take the train rather than drive because it gives them an opportunity to get stuff done on the journey.
Consider how you could make the most of the time you have.
Time wasting is very personal. It is different for each individual. It is important that you recognize what your time wasting behaviors are and take action. After all, the more time you waste, the less time you have for fun.
If you or your child are struggling to control your time and get the results you know you are capable of then it is time to take action.  The Focused Time Management System TM for Students avoids all the clutter and gives you the most important things to focus on to get you back in control of your time and your life. It's all step by step, not a big mish mash of things. So you do step one of the system, and when you're done with that, you move on to step two, and so on. So easy!  All the tips, tools, and worksheets are handed to you on a silver platter.  E mail me at to arrange a time to chat over your issues and see if I can help.

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    You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:The Grade Coach Julie Baird helps overwhelmed students through High School and college with time management skills so they can get back in control of their lives and get the grades they deserve with less stress. Julie publishes the FREE weekly E-Zine "Make Time For Fun" for students and their parents. If you want valuable tips and resources to get more done in less time. Sign up now at

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