Wasting Less Time

I would have liked to call this column “The Complete Elimination of Wasted Time,” but that would have been a waste of time. Why? The answer lays in the nature of setting goals. Many people set lofty goals, only to stop pursuing them within days.

We all like to dream big. There is nothing wrong with that. But to make those dreams come true, we must work backwards from the big dream. We must create a good number of subsidiary goals that will get us, eventually, to where we want to go. However, if we create a very daunting goal, and do not set up a bunch of smaller more manageable goals first, all that will happen is that we will demoralize ourselves. Being demoralized is a gateway to wasting time.

Frequently, we waste time because we are avoiding, consciously or subconsciously, things that we have to do that are not a waste of time. And, often, we do this because we find ourselves with a daunting goal to tackle.

Consider having to write a term paper in school. I can remember having a term paper assigned to me at the beginning of the semester. With the best of intentions, I left class dreaming of writing the greatest paper in the history of term papers. Ah, my imagination took me to lofty places. Yet, I did not plan how to put together this exceptional paper.

What happened? Without a roadmap to writing the ultimate term paper, I psyched myself out about how I would never be able to write something good enough. Instead of going to work on the paper, I found an endless amount of ways to avoid writing it. This is called procrastination. Procrastination is one of the causes of time wasting. Procrastination is driven by the avoidance of doing something we have to do. Eliminate procrastination and we can save time. We can become more efficient.

Back to the term paper. Yes, I would eventually end up writing it after wasting lots of time procrastinating. Sometimes my papers were good, sometimes not. I am convinced they all would have been better had I not left them to the last minute to write, had I not wasted time worrying about creating perfection.

This brings me back to the title of this column. Let’s waste less time, before we worry about eliminating all wasted time. Otherwise, we might find ourselves procrastinating.

Image courtesy of [Mister GC] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at CYInterview.com. For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

You can reach me with your questions and comments at Jay@CYinterview.com Like today’s column? Check back frequently.