7 Common Things You Do to Waste Your Life
What defines you as a person? How do you define success? Success is subjective and relative, and your idea of success will certainly be different from someone else’s notion of success.
However, understanding that we only have one life is crucial to living a fulfilling and purposeful life. We often waste time doing unmeaningful things that will neither enhance nor develop our lives.
In this article, we are going to highlight seven common things you do to waste your life. Wasting precious time doing things that take your focus away from meaningful important work is quite simply a waste of your time and life.
1. Wasting Time on Distractions
“Don’t let the things of the world distract you. Focus on your purpose”
― Sunday Adelaja
21st century boredom often leads to hours of time wasted on smartphones, social media and other unnecessary things that could be filled with something purposeful.
For example, a 15-minute wait at a dental surgery could be used reading and learning something new rather than wasting it mindlessly scrolling through social media platforms.
A highly recommended book that can help you to avoid distractions and focus on what is important is a book called Deep Work by Cal Newport. In the book he talks about something called “attention residue.”
This idea focuses on moving from one task to another and how in doing so, it takes our attention away from the initial task. For example, you are writing an article and stop writing your article to check a notification.
This notification removes your attention away from writing the article, but the residue of your attention is still stuck on the initial task. When you finally get back to the first task, your attention residue will still be stuck on the second task. Making it difficult for you to focus your attention fully on the initial task.
If you want to get into deep work mode, where you place all your attention on that one task, you need to shut off distractions and fully focus for a period of time. If you keep switching from one task to another, instead of producing deep work, you will produce shallow work.
Thus, destroying your productivity and making it difficult for you to finish tasks. It is possible to waste a whole day switching between tasks instead of focusing on one important thing at a time.
One of the best ways of avoiding distractions is to create time slots for specific tasks. For example, checking your social media accounts should be done at a specific time for a certain amount of time.
Checking your email should also be carried out at a certain time for a specific amount of time. This style of working is called batching, where you batch together similar tasks and focus on them until you complete them.
2. Not Working on Your Dreams
You waste your life every second that you do not work on your dreams. Knowing what you want to do and simply not working on it is a waste of your life. I
f you are not working on your dreams daily or whenever you get the chance to, you are most certainly wasting your precious time.
Do you spend most of your time doing meaningless, unfulfilling tasks rather than focusing on the things you need to do to achieve your goals and make your dreams come true?
“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” –Gail Devers
Do one thing every day to build the wall of your dreams. The Late great Nipsey Hussle said, instead of trying to build a huge wall, lay one brick every single day and by the time you realize, you would have built the wall of your dreams. Wasting time focusing on tasks that pull you away from your main focus is a waste of your time.
3. Lack of Discipline
Self-discipline is key, if you fail to discipline yourself, you are more likely to slip into old bad habits. Every successful person has a dedicated routine that they stick to every day.
It is all part of the process, with no routine or self-discipline, you might end up spending valuable time doing things that distract you instead of empowering you to achieve your dreams and goals.
If you want to maximize your potential, develop self-control and self-discipline. Create a simple yet structured routine to build self-discipline.
It does not have to be anything too intense at first, just focus on sticking to one thing each day, and continue to do this for 30 days. By the end of the 30 days, you will be stronger, more focused and you will find it easier to form new habits.
In the bestselling book Atomic Habits by James Clear he talks about positive habit forming and how important it is to develop new habits slowly.
Therefore, instead of forcing yourself to get up and workout for an hour a day, why not stick with the 2-minute rule and promise yourself that you will work out for two minutes a day for the next seven days.
Build self-discipline slowly and learn to focus on the things that will facilitate your personal growth.
4. Not Spending Enough Time with Your Family
Your family is extremely important, it is vital that you schedule time to spend with them regularly. Yes, chasing your dreams and work is important too however, your family will most likely be there for you through thick and thin.
Therefore, spending months and months away from your family and neglecting the opportunity to spend time with them is one of the ways that you can waste your life away.
The days are not promised and at any given time, a family member could pass away. Therefore, taking the time to spend quality time with your family is crucial.
5. Staying in Your Comfort Zone
“The sooner you step away from your comfort zone you’ll realize that it really wasn’t all that comfortable.” -Eddie Harris Jr
If you want to build a successful and fulfilling life for yourself, step outside your comfort zone. Remove yourself from that comfortable space and do things that scare you.
Think about it like this, if you want to lose weight, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Exercising is not comfortable for someone who never works out. Eating healthy is not comfortable for someone who is addicted to junk food.
You will go through withdrawals and you will feel the pain, but when you stick to it and work through the pain, you will eventually see the results of your hard work.
Comfort zones are for staying in the same place, getting uncomfortable promotes growth and excellence.
Give yourself a challenge and do one thing that scares you every single week for a month. You can literally change your life if you are willing to step outside your comfort zone and face your fear.
Staying in your comfort zone is a waste of life because instead of evolving and developing, you remain the same. Life is about growth and evolution, so today instead of staying inside your comfortable space, get out and get uncomfortable.
Constantly worrying about things, you cannot control is one of the worst things you can do if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life.
Every minute or second you spend worrying, you waste away those minutes and seconds thinking about something you cannot change.
Therefore, instead of worrying, focus on the things in your life that you can change, and work diligently to make those changes happen.
7. People Pleasing
Living to please others means that you are spending less time pleasing yourself and focusing on the things that make you happy. When you ignore your own needs to fulfil the needs of others you waste your life away.
There is certainly nothing wrong with helping others, however, focus on yourself first and create a fulfilling, purposeful life for yourself before you think about pleasing others.
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You only get one life, live it wholeheartedly. Instead of just existing, live it well, achieve goals, make a difference and become the best version of yourself.
Whenever you feel like you are just wasting your life, think back to this article and remember some of the common things that you might be doing to waste away your life.
Like Tony Robbins says, “change your physiology” and push yourself to become your greatest version and live the best life that you can live.