Time is the most valuable thing in our lives, yet we tend to waste it on unnecessary activities that stop us from being more productive, successful or just happier in general. In this post, I have a list of the 9 biggest time wasters I can think of.


I know… I think there is at least one TV set in every home. We have a smaller one in my bedroom but we don’t have a TV subscription. My daughter usually watches DVDs in the evening and I occasionally watch a film when she is at my ex’s place. We haven’t had a subscription for about 3-4 years and to be honest, I don’t miss it at all. I read it somewhere that successful people read more than less successful individuals. Not sitting in front of the television all evening saves me time – time I can spend with my daughter in a meaningful way, time I can use to improve myself in any area of my life, time to be more productive and a more useful member of my community.

Smart devices

I use my phone for work and private purposes as well. I send and receive emails, send homework to my students, send bids to my clients, arrange meetings, lessons, projects, etc. but I don’t see the point of game applications or surfing the net for hours (except when I really need something). You go online to look something up, then you spend hours on the internet looking for… What? I first saw the word wilfing about ten years ago. WILF stands for What Was I Looking For. This is exactly what happens when you are on your smart device – be it a phone, a laptop or a tablet – for no reason: after some time, you no longer remember what you were originally looking for. What’s the point? Go somewhere nice or grab a book instead.


This one comes from my personal experience. Until a few years ago I used to panic over every minuscule issue. You can’t imagine how much precious time you waste when you let the monsters of fear, anxiety and worry paralyze you.

Not being able to say no

If you don’t learn to say no, you will end up with more tasks and responsibilities than you can handle, which means more time spent on things that might not take you forward, and less time spent on what really would be a priority. Speaking of which…

Not being able to prioritize

Creating a list of to-dos in order of importance can save you a lot of time and energy. By doing so, you will spend more time on what really matters or tackle urgent issues more effectively.


When I was planning a business improvement project, a coach friend of mine advised me to start it when I feel I’m 80% ready. According to her, wanting to be perfect takes away a lot of time from earning money or starting to make any dream come true. ‘You can improve it later little by little based on customer feedback. Why wait?’, she said.


Whether you’re at work or at home, gossiping is a massive time waster. Nowadays, I work alone, but when I was a full-time employee at a language school, I definitely felt the drawbacks of working with and/or around other people, one of which was coffee break or lunchtime gossip. I’m not that gossiping type anyway but being held up at work or just having to listen to all that unnecessary and sometimes toxic bull crap made me sure about wanting to avoid this kind of behaviour. Even in my private life, I try to avoid gossiping and whenever someone starts it in my presence, I leave the situation or hang up the phone. Also remember: those who gossip with you will gossip about you.

Unhealthy food

Eating might not be something you spend a lot of time on, but junk food is harmful to your body, makes you sick, tired and less productive.

Lack of motivation

Without motivation, we tend to procrastinate which is the worst enemy of any task or project. Finding even a tiny little thing to get the ball rolling or keep us going is a huge help along the way.

What do you think about this list? Can you add anything to it? What do you think the biggest time-waster is?

(source of the image: Business vector created by vectorjuice – www.freepik.com)