Are You Part Of The 89% Of People Wasting Their Time At Work?
By Glenn Fisher, Editor at Creating Wealth
You need to get out of the nine to five mind-set.
If you’re working eight hours a day so you can relax in the evenings and weekends — you’ve got it wrong.
In fact, it’s probably damaging your relationships and the time you spend with friends and family.
If you feel like you have to spend eight hours doing a ‘job’ that you don’t want to be doing, then it is only a matter of time before you will learn to resent that job. It will end up making you stressed, unhappy and unpleasant during the evenings and weekends that you thought you were working to enjoy in the first place.
We’re gonna talk about this today. It’s important.
Last week we thought about wealth from a more monetary perspective and I spoke about ridding yourself of debt…
But this week I want to look at another element of living a wealthier life that is much less focused on money.
Instead, this week we’re talking about time. Your time. And how, right now, you’re probably wasting it.
And I want to explain why it’s probably because you’re working your job in a 9 to 5 mindset.
It’s BS and you should take your first step to escaping it today — I’ll tell you how.
From Wasteful Working To Working Smart
In the modern world, the idea that you can turn up at a place of work and work effectively for eight hours straight is just mad.
I mean, seriously — think about it.
In fact, data gathered from one poll reported in Forbes suggests “the number of people who now admit to wasting time at work every day has reached a whopping 89%.”
More worryingly it suggests 4% of all employees in the survey waste over half their working day on BS stuff. That’s shocking. But the fact that a massive 31% of people waste at least an hour is just depressing to me.
You could spend that extra hour running one or two of the extra income streams in our 57 Wealth Hacks guide…
You could spend it exercising so you get fitter and feel better about yourself and are more energised to be innovative at work…
Or you could spend it learning about something you know nothing about so that you can expand your mind and feel more confident.
So, let’s change it. Because you really can.
This isn’t about not working. Far from it. I think you’ll end up working more. I have. It’s just that rather than being chained to a desk and wasting time, you could be freer, more innovative and far more effective.
It all starts with being honest to yourself. Sounds easy, but it’s a lot harder than you might think…
Know Yourself. Trust Yourself
You ever had one of those moments where you’re about to go to bed and you think — oh crap, I forgot to do that thing. It could be for anything, from taking out the rubbish to washing up the dishes.
And you think — ah, I’ll do that tomorrow. But then you think — but I’ll be busy first thing and won’t be in the mood. So you force yourself to do it there and then.
In the morning, as you’re rushing about with other stuff you remember — hey, I’m glad I did that thing last night because I knew I’d be too busy this morning.
I do it a lot and it pleases me. I like the fact that I knew I would forget or be too busy and so I did the work in the moment. I reacted to myself.
It’s a small thing. But the principal behind it is extremely useful. Because by predicting how you’ll feel tomorrow and taking action to pre-empt your future self is really the key to breaking out of the 9 to 5 mindset.
Here’s what I mean…
I know that some days, if I write in the morning for two hours, I won’t be able to write for the rest of the day. On another day, I might write for eight hours straight.
On the day where I can only write for two hours, if I were working in a 9 to 5 mindset it would be typical for me to procrastinate for the rest of the day.
If I’m forced to sit at a desk in an office for that time, then when I’m struggling with the task at hand i.e. the writing, I might start searching online for inspiration, or answering emails, or talking to (and distracting) someone else. It could be anything. And sure, sometimes it might have it’s own use, but mostly it’s just going to be wasting time.
This is what happens in most workplaces up and down the country. Hell, it happens all over the world. It’s why 31% of people waste at least one hour at work.
You don’t want that to happen to you. So, as soon as I realise I’m not able to do the thing I set out to do, I stop it and do something different.
Now that might be another task I have to do or it could be I take that time to go eat, exercise or catch up on reading. It could be the reason I can’t write is I just can’t think, so anything that uses my brain would take me twice as long as it should, hence the run, or the early lunch — stuff where I don’t need to think.
What you mustn’t ever do is pause the task and start procrastinating. So often people get stuck on a job and start wandering, a website here, a video there. Just crap things that serve no purpose.
Everyone loses when this happens. Although you might think it’s really only the company losing out…
You’re losing out just as much.
The Clock Still Ticks
Remember, you only have 24 hours in a day. That’s the same for me. That’s the same for Andrew Marr, Andrew Graham Dixon and Prince Andrew. It’s the same for people who aren’t called Andrew too.
EVERYONE has 24 hours a day.
That’s the rub… and it means that if you take two hours to do a thing at work that should only take one hour. You’re still down two hours that day.
All you’ve done is swap an hour of work for an hour of nonsense procrastination.
Spending an hour sat in an office browsing the Internet is not an exciting and cultured spare time pursuit. I’m assuming that’s not what you’d normally do with your spare time if you had the choice.
I would much rather someone work effectively for three hours in the morning, go to an exhibition with friends for two hours, do another effective few hours in the afternoon before a good evening meal with the family and then a final few hours of work.
Sounds like a good, full and efficient day.
Problem is: that breaks out of the 9 to 5. To go to an exhibition mid-morning, you’d need to work in the early evening to cover the hours you’re likely contracted for.
Can you do that? Can you trust yourself to do that? Can your employer trust you to do that?
I realise you may be in a position that doesn’t allow you such freedoms. I wouldn’t worry about that yet. Because this starts with you…
Indeed, it comes back to what I was saying about the key to breaking out of the 9 to 5 grind is about knowing yourself. It’s about trusting yourself too — you need to know that you’ll be able to work when you’re best able to work.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand myself. I’ve noticed I can set myself up in certain routines, or certain situations that will allow me to work most efficiently. But to do so sometimes means I’ll need to work outside of a traditional 9 to 5.
I don’t mind. It all ties in with my own belief that if your job is not something you want to be doing, then you’ve got a much bigger problem anyway.
If that is a problem, then you probably need to go back to read my first article on this issue:
If you are happy with what you’re doing each day — great. That’s a huge step in itself.
But if you feel like you could be doing it more effectively and recognise some of yourself in that percentage of people who are wasting time each day, then this concept of breaking out of the 9 to 5 is important to think about.
In my opinion, the first step is to learn to trust yourself to work smarter and recognise when you’re wasting your own time…
If you can do that, you’ll take a huge leap to living a freer and much wealthier life.
Proving that in practice and then working out how to manage that in your job comes later. First, the initiative is with you. Think about that.
Indeed, do you agree? I’d love to hear your thoughts — just leave a comment and let me know if you found this interesting.
I’ll be continuing on this subject all week and offering you some practical tips on how you can free up more of your time. Keep an eye out for my emails.
Today, though, ask yourself — are you ready to break yourself our of the 9 to 5 mindset?
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