Beware the Habits That Eat Away Your Time

You may have heard it said that time management is really about managing yourself. That truth becomes all the more apparent when your ingrained habits seem to eat away at the time you have available each day.

Most of us deal with a few “bad habits,” but sometimes our habits move beyond “bad” into “destructive and limiting.” Does this describe some of your habits? And do those habits make managing your life almost impossible?

When it comes to bad habits, there are several that can completely stall your efforts at effective time management, but here are two common ones to start with:


This is a habit that can range from mildly annoying to downright debilitating. While some people procrastinate only occasionally, others have gotten locked into a rut of inaction that will eventually create severe problems in their lives.

How often do you procrastinate? Do you consistently avoid doing the things that would make your life easier? Is your favorite phrase, “I’ll do it later”? If so, you are likely causing more problems for yourself because you can’t realistically do everything “later.” As a result, more and more things aren’t done getting done, right?

In order to overcome this habit, you’ll need to develop a stronger will to do certain things immediately instead of setting them aside until later. You’ll find that many tasks you’re tempted to put off until later really wouldn’t take that much time if you’d just get them over with quickly. When you do decide to set a task aside for later, just be sure you schedule time for it so it doesn’t remain in the “later” category forevermore!


Another big time-eater is disorganization. We often avoid activities like filing or putting belongings in their proper place because we think it will take too long, but not doing so is what creates problems!

When you’re disorganized, it takes you much longer to find the things you need to manage your life properly. You’re forever searching for your car keys, your brown shoes, your wallet, or the files you need to finish a project at work.

The more disorganized you are, the less efficiently you’ll be able to complete your activities each day. While it SEEMS like putting organization off until you have more time is a good thing, it will just continue to wreak havoc in your life until you get control of it.

Here’s one good way to start:

Beginning today, spend 10 or 15 minutes organizing your surroundings each day. Clear off your desk, toss unused products and containers from your kitchen cabinets, designate a spot for your car keys, and so on. These short organizing sessions each day really begin to add up and before long you’ll notice a big difference in your stress levels.

Other common time-eaters include: excessive television and computer activities, dealing with crises (that could have been avoided with better planning), and not having a set routine to follow each day.

Take a few minutes right now and jot down some ideas about what is eating up much of your time. Then come up with some simple strategies to get them under control. Even small changes can often create big results!

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