clock in center of image left half of graphic is pink right half is blue green

Unpacking Time Habits and How We are Our Own Worst Enemy When it Comes to Time Freedom

Hey loves, let's talk about "enough time." That elusive feeling, especially for us busy women, that there's just never quite enough to squeeze in all the things – family, work, self-care (ah, self-care!). It's like there's a time thief chilling around every corner, snatching minutes as we blink!

But here's the thing: feeling perpetually time-starved might not just be in your head. There are real culprits stealing your precious minutes, often disguised as harmless habits or responsibilities. Let's shed some light on these time wasters and figure out how to reclaim control over our schedules.

The biggest time wasters that limit our personal time, family time, and experiences often fall into four main categories:

Digital Distractions:

  • Social media: Scrolling endlessly through your Instagram, Facebook and TikTok feeds can eat up hours without even realizing. SET LIMITS! Like real limits. And keep them. 
  • Emails and notifications: Constantly checking emails and responding to notifications fragments our attention and disrupts focus. Decide to only check emails in the morning, or once at the start of your work day and once at the end and by end I don't mean 10pm before you lay down in bed. DO NOT check emails at night. Turn off notifications. My husband even stopped wearing his Apple watch because it became another source of distraction and overwhelm. 
  • News and games: While staying informed and playing games can be enjoyable, they can easily become time sucks if not managed well. I love SKIMM news because I can literally SKIM through it when I check emails in the morning and get the overall picture of what's going on in the world without being completely overwhelmed and sucked into long articles or videos. I also only read the news on my desktop and avoid doing it on my phone because it keeps me from staying on my phone and ending up wasting more time getting distracted by texts or clicking out to other things  I don't play games on my phone, or in life generally, but I've been known to get sucked into some Candy Crush. I just have to set a timer and use games as more of a brain break to keep it from taking up too much time. 
  • Mindless browsing: Aimlessly surfing the big 'ol internet can lead us down rabbit holes of irrelevant information. Set the timer or set up the focus parameters on your phone. Another great idea is deciding not to use your phone in bed to browse. This one can be hard af, but if you are are really trying to be intentionally mindful of your time use you have to decide if you'd rather lay in bed on the internet, or if you'd like to spend an hour reading, taking a walk, or talking to a friend. Choosing to habit stack your scroll time can help too! I tried, but ultimately failed, to only scroll socials while I was riding on my Peloton. I love this concept, but admittedly it's difficult for me. 

Studies show the average woman spends over 54 minutes a day on those platforms, and that doesn't even include mindless browsing! Instead of letting those minutes melt away, set timers, designate phone-free zones, and remember, real-life connections are infinitely more nourishing than virtual ones! Taking back almost an hour a day definitely sets you up for sustainable self care. 

Productivity Mismanagement:

  • Procrastination: Putting off tasks or starting but constantly stopping leads to inefficient use of time. I recently decided I was going to focus on my procrastination tendencies. It’s a real problem for me and one of the ways I’m working towards managing it is by simply creating a weekly calendar and I add one or two tasks I need to complete for the week to each day. I try to only add one or two things to each day but it helps keep the overwhelm at bay instead of staring at a mile long to do list that easily overwhelms me and instead of tackling it, I avoid it because I know I can't accomplish it all. Having a couple tasks a day to check off has been much more successful for me. 
  • Multitasking: Trying to do too many things at once often results in lower quality work and wasted time switching between tasks, plus as humans we are actually not designed to multi-task. Solo-tasking allows complete focus on the task and the likelihood of completing the task increases and we feel like we got an easy win!
  • Disorganization: A cluttered workspace or disorganized schedule can lead to wasted time searching for things and reactively addressing tasks. Embrace minimalism - and keep things around your house as tidy as you can. Less time searching for lost items or missing receipts, gives you more time for the things you love and crave. I am obsessed with the idea of a capsule wardrobe to save time and eliminate decision fatigue for me when getting dressed. Same with minimalism overall. I'm just in love with the concept. ( I do love the look and am super drawn to maximalism but it definitely overwhelms me) so in order for me to feel less anxious and cluttered and maximize how I utilize my time leading me to less wasted time and  more time for those self care goals. 

Procrastination whispers sweet nothings about "just five more minutes," but those minutes turn into hours, leaving us stressed and scrambling later. Let's fight back by identifying our procrastination triggers, breaking down tasks into bite-sized pieces, and celebrating every win, no matter how small. And ditch the multitasking myth! Solo-tasking – giving our full attention to one thing at a time – is the true path to productivity ninja status.

How we feel physically and mentally actually has a huge impact on how we do, or do not spend our time. So if our goal is to create MORE time in a day, week, or month, for our self care, or our joy filled activities…..literally everything needs to be considered. Including the negative energy we carry.

Negative Energy:

  • Excessive worry and rumination: Dwelling on problems or negative thoughts can drain our energy and make us less likely to engage in enjoyable activities. Get a handle on your mental health - therapy, mindfulness practices, gratitude journaling. I am not a huge journal girlie, but I’m a huge advocate for it, I’m just not super consistent with mine. However, I do have a planner and in my planner I just have an area for each day and I write down a couple things I’m grateful for every day. Not even complete sentences. Just words sometimes and it works and keeps things in perspective for me.
  • Comparison and envy: Constantly comparing ourselves to others can lead to dissatisfaction and wasted time wishing for what we don't have. This is when you have to get really intentional about your social media time or spending time with others that trigger you. Start to really think about who you are spending your time with as well as, who is popping up in your social feeds causing you to feel crappy about your own life. The mute button can be your best friend on socials. 
  • Perfectionism: Striving for unrealistic standards can lead to procrastination and missed opportunities to enjoy life. I've struggled with perfectionism my whole life and recently it popped back up for me and it is definitely tied to my productivity and procrastination, so it's really costing me a TON of time. Time I could be spending taking care of myself. 
  • Negativity and complaining: Focusing on the negative aspects of life can drain our mood and motivation. Another great reason to really look at who you're spending your time with. Surrounding yourself with Negative Nellie's can impact how you look at the world. Make sure you're protecting your peace!

Worry's endless loop can drain our energy and motivation, while comparing ourselves to others traps us in a toxic cycle of unhappiness. Instead, practice mindfulness and gratitude, remember that everyone has their own battles, and celebrate your own unique journeys.

Lifestyle Choices:

These are things we have control over but are harder to manage or might not seem as realistic for us to change or might require us to work a little harder in order to be effective for us.  

  • Long commutes: Spending hours stuck in traffic takes away from personal time and can contribute to stress. We can't always control this, but if it's something that is really causing you severe unhappiness and is impacting the amount of time you have with your family, friends or yourself, considering your alternatives can positively impact your life in the long run.
  • Sedentary work: Sitting for long periods can contribute to health problems and leave us feeling drained with less energy for leisure activities. Ever noticed when you spend day in and day out on the couch, in bed or sitting at your desk without taking breaks, how miserable you feel? How lethargic and unmotivated you are? It's going to be super easy to say no to that walk in the park if you haven't left the couch all day. 
  • Unhealthy habits: Poor sleep, unhealthy eating, and lack of exercise can negatively impact our energy levels and enjoyment of life. I've struggled with sleeping difficulties my whole life and I've finally mastered my nighttime routine to help alleviate my restless tendencies. Again, if you're exhausted from lack of sleep you're not likely going to accept the invitation to catch that late night movie with your girlfriends. Prime time for yourself...gone just like that! 
  • Overcommitting: Saying yes to everything can leave us feeling overwhelmed and with little time for ourselves or loved ones. This includes overcommitting even when we think it’s for the good. Taking on every volunteer opportunity that comes your way is a quick way to end up with ZERO time for yourself or the things you love. You don't need to be the room mom in your kid's class, and run the baseball fundraiser, and organize the meals for your friend who is recovering from surgery. All of these things are great, and can be so fulfilling, but the good needs to outweigh the bad and we simply can't do it all. 

Lifestyle choices might be subtly chipping away at our time. For those long commutes explore alternative options like carpooling or public transportation. Sedentary work? Get up and move! Even small breaks for stretches, walks, or quick exercise routines can make a big difference. And remember, prioritizing sleep, healthy eating, and exercise isn't just about feeling good, it's about giving ourselves the energy and focus to tackle everything else.

Ultimately, reclaiming control over our time is about recognizing what works for us and being intentional about how we spend it. Prioritize, schedule (because yes, even self-care deserves a spot on the calendar!), and don't be afraid to say no sometimes. Remember, friend, you deserve that time for yourself, for your family, for the things that bring you joy. So go forth, slay the time wasters, and create a life that feels full, not frantic. You've got this!

Want to dive in a little deeper to this topic? Be sure to listen to Episode 15 of the podcast where I get down and dirty with these time sucks and share some of my own experiences and expertise with how to tackle them!

Continue the convo with me over on socials! 

Tik Tok

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

1 of 3