Step 2: Wasting Time (Finishing work faster = more personal time)

For a quick recap of Step 1:

We can’t create more time out of thin air – we all have the same 24 hrs in a day available to us – but we can get better at how we use our time.

How do we get better at using our time? Simple – quit wasting time! ?

Don’t confuse simple with easy. It takes real effort to eliminate time wasters, but it’s totally worth the productivity you will gain.

Time-wasters fall into two categories:

  • EXTERNAL time-wasters
  • INTERNAL time-wasters

Last week we covered the external time-wasters—the things outside of us that make it way too easy to waste time—notifications, distractions, and interruptions.

Today we’ll focus on internal time-wasters.

Internal time-wasters are the habits of your mind.

They are the negative thoughts we all have that aren’t actually true, and that certainly don’t serve you.

These lies your brain tells you, they waste your time. And they block your productivity.

The internal time-wasters that most of my clients struggle with are
perfectionism, people-pleasing, and imposter syndrome.

If you are a high-achieving woman, chances are that you struggle with at least one of these, if not all three.

❌ Perfectionism:

  • Perfectionism can show up in several ways but typically results in tasks and projects taking much longer than needed because you have to find the perfect words, the perfect actions, the perfect system, etc.
  • This might look like:
    • spending way too long editing and revising an email before you send it because it’s not good enough yet
    • repeatedly revising a book chapter before you submit it, because it’s not “perfect” yet
    • spending too much time documenting patient notes in the medical record:
      • Over-documenting
      • Rephrasing your wording so it sounds better, or looks better
      • Correcting inconsequential typos, punctuation or grammar
      • Things that suck your time but don’t improve the quality of the patient encounter or your chart note
      • Or it might look like micromanaging your team because their work reflects on you and needs to be up to par (read: perfect)
      • With perfectionism, you are DRAINED by the ongoing quest for perfection and constantly FRUSTRATED, by yourself or others, when you fail to achieve it.

❌ People-pleasing

  • People-pleasing often shows up as taking on tasks or roles that you don’t want to do.
  • Because you don’t want to say “No”.
    • Don’t want to disappoint anyone
    • Don’t want to be seen as uncooperative or not a team-player
  • So you take on tasks that may be unnecessary
  • You agree to take on projects or roles that are uncompensated
  • But these take up your precious time, effort and energy
    • They take your focus away from what really matters
    • And that kills your productivity
  • Not to mention you end up feeling EXHAUSTED and RESENTFUL

❌ Imposter syndrome

  • Imposter syndrome causes you to waste a lot of time in fear or anxiety, believing that you don’t belong
  • Believing that you’re not smart enough or good enough to be where you are, DESPITE having fancy degrees and loads of experience that prove the contrary
  • This might look like not applying for a job or promotion because you don’t think you’re qualified enough
  • Or it might look like spending weeks overpreparing for a simple presentation, because if they ask you a question and you can’t answer it, that definitely proves that you’re a fraud, right?
  • Wrong!
  • But your brain tells you these lies and keeps you in this state of FEAR and ANXIETY which wastes your time and blocks your productivity

So what’s the antidote to your internal time-wasters?

You have to stop believing the LIES your brain is telling you.
The unproductive thoughts your brain is offering you.

This takes a little time and practice for your brain to rewire. But totally worth the effort as it will change how you do EVERYTHING moving forward.

How to hack your internal time-wasters: Recognize ➡️ Reflect ➡️ Redirect

✅ Recognize:

  • Awareness is the first step. Learning to recognize these productivity blockers is the first step to disarming them.
  • Name it to tame it. When you recognize and name your own personal version of these productivity blockers it takes away their power over you.

✅ Reflect:

  • How is this thought or belief harming me?
  • How is it keeping me from my priorities? From what I truly value?
  • Only with reflection will you see the problems these habits are creating in your life. What they are stealing from you.

✅ Rewire:

  • Once you acknowledge that these habits are not serving you, and what they are keeping you from creating in your life, you can choose another path. Intentionally.
  • Simply by intentionally choosing another path, you start to rewire your brain.
  • If you are a people-pleaser, you can choose to set boundaries to protect your time and energy. To protect your dreams.
  • Your future.
  • If you suffer from imposter syndrome, you can choose to believe that you do belong, you are smart enough, you don’t have to have all the answers all the time.
  • If you are a perfectionist, you can choose to release these unrealistic ideals. To know that YOUR average work is exceptional by many standards, and you can help far more people, yourself included, by embracing “good enough”.

Letting go of these harmful habits of the mind is FREEING.

Think about it.

What becomes possible for you
in performance at work, in peace of mind, and in your relationships
when you let go of these harmful habits?

Are you ready to find out? I can help you with that!

Here’s to letting go of what no longer serves you,