8 Secret Time-Wasters and How to Overcome Them

There’s a reason we send Seeds of SUCCESS at 2 p.m., CT, and not first thing in the morning. We follow the mantra of time management: Tackle your most important or difficult task first thing in the morning. So if you’re reading this newsletter to avoid doing something else more important on your to-do list, we’re on to you.

“The most common time-waster is procrastination,” says author Paul J. Meyer. “People who are masters of time organization wear success blinders. They do not look to the left or the right.”

The most productive folks always look straight ahead to complete their most important tasks for the day and larger overreaching goals.

Productivity coach Cynthia Kersey highlights these procrastinating behaviors and offers ways to spur you into action:


  • Talking too long on the phone
  • Too frequently browsing social media sites
  • Incessantly preparing and not taking action
  • Failing to say no to unrelated tasks
  • Failing to ask for help or follow directions
  • Waiting until late in the day to do tasks
  • Having a disorganized office
  • Focusing on smaller, less important tasks


  • Schedule phone calls with end times when possible
  • Set a time limit for non-task-related Internet browsing
  • Map or outline your most pressing task
  • Make a short daily to-do list and say no to tasks not on that list
  • Set deadlines and alarms for you to complete tasks
  • Close your Internet browser or unrelated windows to avoid distraction
  • Set your Chat status to “Busy” or go offline
  • Place your phone on “Do Not Disturb”

Journalist, podcaster and southpaw Shelby Skrhak is the former director of digital content and social media for SUCCESS.com. Before joining SUCCESS magazine, Shelby launched the weekly suburban newspaper Plano Insider, and covered topics ranging from cops and courts to transportation and fashion. Her handwriting should be a font.

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