3 Ways to Waste Your Time Right

focus goals leadership priorities time management values Oct 30, 2018

Do you find yourself feeling the need to be busy?  

Yeah. Me too.

The need to be busy and not waste my time has at times, been all consuming.  So much so that I ended up wasting more time worrying about it. Anyone out there ever have this feeling?  From what research suggests, humans are the only species with the ability to “time travel”... like my life coach, Coach Jennie, puts it “future trip”.  Yep, I’ve taken a lot of future tripping adventures in my thirty-seven years of life and per what research suggests I’ll time travel a lot more unless I can train myself in focusing in on the NOW.

The Now… yeah, right at this moment, I have open on my computer thirteen tabs, I have 5 text message notifications, 8 Facebook, 1 Instagram, 190 Voxer, and in order to not go completely insane both my email inbox and messager apps notifications have been turned off… I have no idea how many I could keep myself busy within tripping about how to implement, reply and use that communication.  I’ve felt for some time that we are being so untrue to ourselves with the evolving world of technology.

Let me explain.  

How often have you sat and thought about defining for yourself what it really means to you personally to waste time well?  What are the tasks, things, and experiences that equate into the freedom you have to “waste time”? “Are those 190 Voxer messages where my time has the most freedom and presents me as the most trustworthy version of myself?”  For me, the answer is no, so as soon as I finish typing this sentence I am turning off those notifications. 

Five years ago, I left my corporate job, it was a really freakin’ hard period of my life.  It was a defining moment in me creating my own freedom and the first step in the road of me being honest with myself on how I wanted to waste my time and how I define as my busy.  I am going to state openly, I am still on this journey, but I felt like this topic was so important to discuss with you. For so long I didn’t take the time to think about this for myself, and instead, I spent a lot of my life living on other people's expectations, schedules, and definitions of what success looked like.  And like I said, I still do fall in this trap sometimes but being aware and setting my own boundaries of how I waste time has really helped me bring myself back to a place of not feeling the need to feel busy. Until I started to get really honest about how I wanted to waste my time and what it meant to me to be successfully busy I had no clue what freedom felt like.  I became an entrepreneur to be free to do my own thing, to be in the moment and to create my truth. But how can we do that if we don’t figure out our boundaries how we are going to waste our time? All I have is time. All you have… is time. So let’s spend some of our time figuring that out so we can be free to enjoy it!

In my insiders group on Facebook, The Academy of Adventuring Apprentices, a group of continual learners who seek with me to lead and empower women to uncover the skills they have to create their own freedoms, I asked them,  “What was one truth about something they wished they could be more present during the week?” I received a variety of answers from them, some said “focusing on their home instead of daydreaming”, others said “creating a better work/life blend”, a few focused on their marriages and sleep schedules, but one of them hit them all on the head… She discussed the want to not waste time.  

So here it is.  My 3 Steps on How to Waste Your Time Right:

1:: Know Your Core Values

I know, I know.  It is so cliche’ but it’s true.  Like I said, for me, this was something I thought I knew but truly I hadn’t thought about them from my perspective.  I had only thought of them from others perspectives. Like my husband, or my kids, or my employers, or my Mentors, or better yet my parents.  I took on what their core values were over my own because I thought that would make them happy, hence making me happy.


Do the work.  Sit down and think about what your core values are.  I just recently finished the book by Brene’ Brown, Dare to Lead.  She talks about this in her book unlike I have ever heard anyone talk about it.  She says we have two main core values… YES, ONLY TWO… I had a slight panic attack when I heard that but after looking at her core values sheet, and making a list of around fifteen I realized all my core values could be rolled into two pretty much.  

Freedom and Trust.  These two values are so important to me.  They drive me as a businesswoman, wife, mom, and daughter.  

Know Your Core Values, it will tell you exactly where wasting your time will matter most!

2:: Define How You’ll Filter Out What Doesn’t Matter

For a long time, I knew pretty much what my priorities were but I just tried to add them in with everyone else.  I didn’t want to let anyone down or disappoint anyone. It didn’t work at all and I ended up over scheduling myself, not showing up and not following through.  It hurt relationships I care about and really wasted more time in me trying to back peddle than anything. One of the most important things is to know how to say “No”.  It doesn’t have to be a “NO!” with capitals and an exclamation point… it can be a clear but kind “No, I have something else to do that day.” or a “No, Thank You that sound nice but I am already super busy that week.”

Just because it’s nice or it’s for someone you love or it’s what we perceive is what is expected, doesn’t mean it’s for us.  I have a quote from Oprah hanging in my office that says, “Don’t think you can be brave in your work or life without ever disappointing anyone.”  

I promise you, the people we care about will be more disappointed if we promise and don’t show up than if we say “No” and live to our values.  

Take a look at your calendar right now.  How much of it doesn’t really matter to you and your core values?  Be honest with yourself. If it doesn’t matter, take note to follow through if it is within two weeks.  If it is at least two weeks out and you do not have core responsibilities reach out and share what you’ve over-committed yourself.  It is better to have someone all in than to have someone scattered and uncommitted.

3:: Make Your Core Values the Top Priority in all Your Priorities

I think we confuse priorities and values so much.  It’s why we take on other people’s goals and one of our many reasons for disappointment.  A priority is our families, friendships, health, work, etc… but our values they can be woven throughout all of those areas of our life.

When I focus on my value of Freedom among my priority of my family, it reminds me that I want to raise my children to be independent and self-sustaining.  I make it a priority to teach them skills and expose them to experiences that encourage Freedom in their life.

When I focus on my value of Trust among the priority of my home environment, it makes me seek to create an atmosphere in my home that is inviting.  It makes me think about planning get-togethers with friends or working with my husband to finish our basement so our home can be a welcome place for our growing teenagers and their friends.

When we know the difference between our values and our priorities we are able to use our time, even when wasting it for what matters to us.

I’d love to hear from you on what you feel you're currently wasting your time on and if you know your core values, and if your time your spending reflects them.  I promise you aren't alone here if your time looks nothing like the way you want.  I'm still in it, reminding myself that what I want matters.  Feel free to share with us in the comments, and let’s have an open conversation about defining how we can waste time the right way.  Our way!