As a mentor, people often come to me when they are overwhelmed, stressed and feeling like they’re not accomplishing their goals, the things they most want to do in life. They feel stuck. They are at a point which they don’t know what to do.
So one of the first things I do first is identify their time-wasters, the things that are getting in the way of them being successful, keeping them from moving forward, toward what they want to accomplish.
I think we all, from time to time, get ourselves involved in activities that do not contribute to our greatest success or happiness. I definitely did at one time, but I made the necessary changes once I became an entrepreneur and learned how valuable each second of the day was—that there really wasn’t any time to waste on activities that didn’t grow me or my business.
We’re all looking to be successful in life, but sometimes we are wasting our time doing things that are holding us back from reaching our full potential. And, often, we don’t recognize those things until someone points them out.
It’s important to analyze how we spend our days, hour by hour, and regularly look for ways to work smarter, ways to eliminate time-wasters. So, to get started, here are eight things that productive, successful people never waste their time doing (and you shouldn’t either):
1. Productive, successful people don’t get sucked into social media.
Being on social media—checking notifications Facebook, scrolling through pictures on Instagram, reading quick updates on Twitter, whatever—it’s part of everyday life. But if you don’t control how much time you spend on it, the hours will fly by and you won’t have accomplished anything on your to-do list.
So either put a time limit on it—set an alarm for when you need to minimize it, close the app, do something else—or only get on after completing necessary work projects. Use social media as a reward.
2. Productive, successful people don’t go through the day without a plan.
Successful people have a purpose, a laser-focused plan of things they want to achieve on a particular day. I believe in writing things down—but only the top two or three priorities I need to accomplish that day, not a long list of things.
Write down your top priorities and break down those large tasks into more reasonable steps and you’ll see yourself wanting to get them done and crossed off the list.
3. Productive, successful people don’t do emotionally draining activities.
If you want to step into a truly successful life, you have to focus on things that positively fuel your life. Productive people don’t waste their time on things that emotionally drain them.
Before committing to activities on your schedule, be sure the activity will positively add to your life. If you believe it won’t, then think about saying no to it. Also, don’t feel obligated to give an answer right at the time you’re being asked to do something. Think before you say yes and know that it’s OK to say no to requests for your time.
4. Productive, successful people don’t worry about things they can’t control.
Successful people realize that worrying gets you absolutely nowhere in life, especially if you can’t do anything about a situation.
So turn your thoughts to action-based activities. Focus on things you can get done.
5. Productive, successful people don’t hang out with negative people.
It’s said that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you want to be your best, you have to surround yourself with the best people.
Be sure to eliminate negative, toxic energy around you. If you want to soar in life, you need to unload what is weighing you down.
6. Productive, successful people don’t dwell on past mistakes.
Successful people make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. The key to being successful in life is not making the same mistake twice, learning and growing from mistakes, and becoming a better person because of them.
So when you make a mistake, get into a mindset that the mistake is done with and you can’t go back to the past. Focus on what you learned and design a strategy to positively move forward from it.
7. Productive, successful people don’t focus on what other people are doing.
It’s great to be inspired by what other successful people are doing, but when you’re constantly comparing yourself to the next person and it’s bringing you down, it’s time to shift your mindset.
Be inspired by others, but focus your mindset to only compete with the most important person: yourself.
8. Productive, successful people don’t put themselves last in priority.
We all go through times that we don’t get enough sleep or exercise because we need to work on a big project. But for long-term success and happiness, you must put yourself first on the priority list.
Some great ways to do this is to kick start your day by doing something you love to do—maybe it’s completing a great workout, meditating, journaling or reading your favorite book. Do what works for you. Because when you start off your day doing something you love and that is good for you, you’ll feel happy, focused and strong the rest of the day.
Are there things on this list that have been time-wasters for you? Eliminate them so you can step into your best life.