How to Get S*** Done in Half the Time

Relaxing in the sun

If you’re still finding at the end of the day, week, or month you’re not getting as much done as you’d like, by the time you read this post, you’ll have a clear understanding why and how to fix it.

Too often you’ve been focused on the tasks you need to do to achieve your goals. The endless to do list. We’ve all tried them. Today let’s take a different approach to being more productive.

What you may have neglected are the behaviors that slow or distract you from accomplishing more.

The solution is there needs to be a not-to-do list.

It’s behaviors you know you shouldn’t be doing when you are trying to achieve your biggest goals for the day, week, month, or year.

If you’re serious about creating your ideal life, building a business, losing weight, making more money or more you’ve got to make some changes to your life.

Secret Ninjas

Do you realize what your big time wasters are? You may not cause they’re like ninjas.

These time wasters creep up on you. You might not think they take up too much time. If you’re on Facebook in the morning for 20 minutes, at lunch, when you get home, after dinner, then before bed for 20 minutes each time.

That’s easily an hour of the day you’ve spent just on Facebook!

An hour may not seem like much time but if you’re complaining you never have enough time to do certain things, an hour is a long time.

The same can be said for watching television. If you’re accustomed to watching TV after work for 3-4 hours a night that’s 21-28 hours in a week!

Regardless of if it’s a documentary or a reality show, that’s hours that could have been spent improving yourself, building your online business, networking, or writing.

You Think You Know but You Have No Idea

You might think “I don’t spend too much time _______.” I bet you couldn’t answer specifically if I asked you these questions.

Do you really know how much time you spent reading and responding to emails?

Do you really know how much television you watch per week?

Do you know how much time you spend watching the news?

How much time you spend on Facebook, Twitter, or web surfing?

How many hours are spent in useless meetings?

How much you talk on the phone?

Typically you just “do them” as the day goes on but if you’re not conscious about how much time you’re spending, you’ll easily lose track of time.

Also are you aware what distracts you when you are trying to work? The Twitter popup? The email notification? That pile of papers on your desk? Cleaning your room when you know you should be writing? The urge to check out a website?

We’ve all been guilty of one of those things distractions when we should have been working. Again, these distraction adds up to valuable time wasted.

A Simple Task

To figure out what some bad habits you need to eliminate, I want you to take one goal you want to achieve. It can be writing a book, creating a digital product, write more guest posts, losing weight, writing an e-book, growing your blog community…anything.

Write it down on a piece of paper. Now make a list of what might get in your way making progress. What tasks or behaviors can you cut back on to free up more time? What do you do too much of and you know it wastes valuable time? Write every little thing down.

Don’t get upset at yourself by realizing you are doing so many time wasting things but let this make it clear to you what needs to improve.

My Two Main Enemies

When I got fed up with where my life wasn’t heading, and began a full on charge to take back control of my life, not only did I study what steps I needed to accomplish, more importantly I took a look at what I needed to eliminate as well.

What I found were the two big useless, meaningless, time sucking, distractions that I knew I had to greatly cut back…watching television and a single video game.

For myself the television had become a huge part of my life. A typical day, I would turn it on first thing in the morning until I went to work. When I came home, I turned it on until I went to bed. If I stayed home all day, it was on.

Even if I wasn’t paying attention, I liked to have it on as background noise.

Can you guess how productive I was? Not so much. I either gave my full attention to the television or a part of it at all times.

Where did it lead me? Unhappy, frustrated, stuck, and a life without direction (but I could name all the people on the Jersey Shore).

When I began to create take back control of my life, I knew I had to cut out my #1 distraction…my friend the television.

No more having the television on all day long. I rarely turn it on when I’m home.

I have shows, like Modern Family, on my DVR waiting to be watched. It’s been months! When I feel the urge to watch I realize that’s 30 minutes I could be doing something productive.

Sure I miss channel surfing and being entertained but I had to get my priorities straight.

As for the video game, I bought Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 the first day it came out last year. I’ll be honest, I suck at the game. I know a 10 year old kid could beat me but the multi-player is addicting.

Maybe I sucked cause I would spend only an hour a day playing. It’s still an hour of day that could be doing something productive.

Again, I knew what I had to do. I sold the video game instead of keeping it around to tempt me.

Those two things alone accounted for most of my free time at home.

How has it impacted my productivity? I don’t have numbers or percentages but it’s been life changing.

I know I wouldn’t be in the position I am in right now had I kept the television on or spent an hour a day playing video games. No way.

I would not have direction in my life. I would not be creating everyday. I would not be inspiring people like you.

Not only have I cut back on those two activities, which allows me more time to do what I want to be doing, but they also don’t distract me in the middle of doing something.

Getting S*** Done Also Means Eliminating Distractions

If I really need to focus, I don’t turn on the television. Also I will close down my email notifications and Tweetdeck. That way I don’t get distracted by the popups, notifications, or temptations to just peek at what’s going on.

If you want to get really extreme, try disabling the internet to your computer or laptop. That way you can’t do anything that requires the internet.

A short things that should be eliminated while working…

Television

Facebook

Youtube

Twitter

Email

Shopping online

Consuming news

Personal phone calls

Texting

What else would you add?

There’s a time and a place for all these. If you know me I’m on Twitter often. I love Facebook. I will still watch television if something is worth watching.

I have just adjusted accordingly. Cutting back on my biggest time wasters. Eliminate them completely when I’m working on a project. Know when it’s time to relax and when it’s time to work.

We all have 24 hours in a day. The special ones maximize their time. That’s why they get more done. The others think they’re being productive but wonder why a year later they haven’t made much progress.

If you really want to get more s**** done, find your biggest time wasters and eliminate them.

Have you made a not-to-do list?

If so, share what you have on your not to do list

What’s one thing you know you do too much of and need to cut back?

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  • One hour of TV per day used to be a problem. The biggest problem was that one hour could run into two or three hours on occasion – especially for marathons on Supernatural, Dr. Who, or StarGate. My super wide TV went dead and its too big to haul to the shop without the help of four gorillas – so I was liberated from the TV suck time. Phew!

    Since Triberr came out and I’ve been building community and curating people, I don’t have much time to spare. Following interesting links on Twitter, etc. had to stop. The thing is that there really is a lot of interesting information out there. Nowadays, I ask myself if this is something I need to know before I click. Curiosity is on a time budget and if i can’t justify the click (personal, professional, etc.) by the title glimpse, then I keep moving.

    Thanks for reminding us to stay focused on the dream work, Benny.

    Stan

    Recently at my blog: A Morning Litany For A Fair Damsel In Distress http://wp.me/pbg0R-ig

    • Benny

      Hi Stan,

      I read your comment and can relate on so many levels! Time flies when we watch TV. That’s for sure.

      I also try to cut back on how much content I consume. Cause everyday in my Twitter stream I save so many great looking articles that I want to read. Some I get back to and others are still there, bookmarked and waiting to be read. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to it. I do have to limit myself as well or else I’d get nothing else done.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and share with us!

  • I totally agree, Benny.

    I took a time management course before. I learned about the time I wasted with realizing. The course suggested that I write the time wasting things I do everyday. I didn’t realize that the 5 minutes I spend checking my e-mail would cause any harm. But when I counted the things and the time I wasted, I was shocked. So yes, one needs to eliminate certain things like TV, Facebook, Twitter, etc. while working. One must also eliminate negative thoughts. They can really sabotage your progress. I find negative thoughts harder to deal with compared to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    Thanks Benny for this useful post. As you may know, I am horrible at organizing my time. But I always tend to turn my weaknesses into strengths. So after some time, you’ll probably hear someone saying that I am a time management expert! 😀

    Have a lovely day Benny. 🙂

    Mouh

    • Benny

      Hi Mouh!

      Yes tracking your habits for a week is a great way to really find out how much time you spend on certain tasks. I would recommend that to anyone else who is serious about finding what consumes most of their time that isn’t productive to what they want to achieve.

      I agree negative thoughts are much hard to control. Just takes constant awareness and practice I believe.

      I sure do hope one day you will be that time management expert! At least you can show how far your progressed!

      Thanks for sharing Mouh. Always appreciate it.

  • I have a similar problem with TV. However, I think I can work while I watch TV. So I turn on my TV, get my computer and go to work. I know I could get at least 2x as much done if the TV was off.

    • Benny

      Before I thought the same thing too David. Sure I could get stuff done but turning it off I get better and quicker. Try it man! 🙂

  • Benny,

    This is spot on. I always the reason people get nothign done is they try to everything done. I actually use distraction free writing tools to write every blog post. I do spend kind of an insane amount of time networking on twitter, but that’s intentional. When I need to get writing done that’s all i’m doing nothing else. I heard some great advice yesterday from a BlogcastFM guest. She said you should only have 2 things on your to do list each day and actually do them. Then you’ll get far more done. Time to hit the waves

    • Benny

      Hey Srini,

      I used to try and do too much in one day. Also, I realized now I’m horrible at multi tasking too. Actually there’s an article floating around the internet about the negative aspects of it. I’m sure you’ve gotten to where you are now cause you put your priorities in order. That’s what I realized I needed to do if I wanted to do more.

      I like that 2 things a day advice. I’ll have to try it out. Hope the waves were nice today my friend!

  • Really smart post. Identifying our weak points is one of the best way to improve productivity. It’s actually pretty crazy how much my productivity has increased since I stopped watching TV.

    • Benny

      The TV seems to be the #1 time killer judging from the other comments. I wish I knew sooner to turn off the TV when doing work.

      Thanks for reading and commenting Steven!

  • Looks like we have the same weaknesses! TV and video games. I have two games I switch between (NBA 2k and FIFA). I figure when I can’t actually play a pickup game I might as well play the video game…right? Not so much. Actually playing sends endorphins to the brain and gets me pumped up…video games make me feel brain dead 🙂

    • Eugene – want to get killed in NBA 2k? If you’re on PS3 – we need to get a game in. I haven’t played once this year (simply been too busy), but I’d love to square up on the virtual court with you!

      • Oh yeah…it’s on! I’m on PS3. I’ve never really gotten online with it though. And my connection is terrible since we switched to UVerse, but I would definitely give it a try (and hopefully the game won’t disconnect and give you a chance to catch up :)).

        • Alright, we’ll make it happen. Kind of sad, but it’s been so long that I don’t even recall my handle. I think it’s JKA3 or JKALLEN3, but I’ll have to jump on and see. I’ll let you know, maybe this weekend.

    • Benny

      We do have the same weakness! There are some great video games that I want to play but I know I’ll spend too much time on them. Also in November the new Modern Warfare 3 comes out and I really want to get that. So I hope by November I have built up enough free time to play it. Right now I’d better not!

      Yeah playing video games never energized me either. I usually would get all nervous and stressed out from trying to not be killed!

      I see you and JK have formed a little gaming bond here. Glad to have helped! Haha 🙂

  • I’ve tried systematically eliminating distractions from my schedule, so that I can focus on getting those big wins…but it’s so hard to give up checking twitter and facebook when I get home. I usually only have the willpower to pull through for like a week or so, then I return back to my old habits.

    It’s like a disease!

    • Benny

      It’s tough Paul! I get Twitter and FB all the time. I just cut out my two biggest time killers. So that gives me more time for those two things. It’s definitely tough to get away but they aren’t the worst things to be spending time on! At least you can network and read good content on Twitter.

  • Learning to be productive is something that I’ve been working hard at over the last few months. I didn’t realize how much 6 years in the corporate world had conditioned me to waste time. I didn’t have enough work to fill the 8-12 hours when I was chained to my cube so I read blogs, used StumbleUpon, obsessively checked Facebook. Those things aren’t necessarily bad, but when you mindlessly do them instead of getting important work done, they’re time wasters.

    I’ve been trying to focus on important tasks first before I read blogs, check-in on Twitter or read/respond to emails. I’m not always successful, but I’m definitely making progress.

    • Benny

      Hey Lindsay,

      That’s why so many people get their online shopping done while at work right? So much free time during a typical work day. Too bad your old job wasn’t performance based. If you got your work done you could leave.

      I’m with you. I fall off the wagon sometimes still but I’m making more and more progress. At least we’re aware of what needs to be done and are working hard at focusing. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing! Hope you’re healing okay now after your accident.

      • Exactly. I used to work for Expedia and our biggest transaction day by far was Wednesday. Very few people made purchases on weekend days compared to week days.

        • Benny

          Very interesting! And that’s why they have Cyber Monday now. All those people going back to work to get the shopping done online!

  • Hey Benny,

    I’ve never really made a not-to-do list, directly. But I guess indirectly I have.

    One area I get caught up in more than anything is being available to help people. Often times I’ll spend WAY too much time helping others, that I let me personal stuff go (I’m speaking in a work setting). So, what I’ve done to combat this is simply make time specifically for me. I don’t make my self available and I focus only on personal tasks.

    Another quick thing that was throwing me off my game was turning on the TV while I worked out. I have a gym in my home and I usually turn on ESPN or something, but turn the volume off. During the Basketball Playoffs I had the volume up and realized that I was taking 5 minute breaks in between sets. So I turned off the tube and instead blasted the tunes.

    My thing used to be video games. I would spend at least an hour (hopefully 2) each day. This is something I really need to pick up again, because not playing tells me that maybe I have too much on plate – that I’m missing out on doing some of the things I enjoy. But for the time being, I’m hustling hard for very deliberate reasons. So it’s a sacrifice worth making.

    Man, I loved this post because I’m always searching for ways to be more productive. Thanks for hooking us up Benny!

    PEACE

    • Benny

      Hey JK!

      I was listening to an interview in my car and the person was talking about saying no more often. It’s not being mean it’s just realizing you gotta get your stuff done first. I haven’t encountered that problem in my life but it’s something I’ll remember if I get too overwhelmed.

      You’re definitely a nice guy and can tell you’re willing to help out so many people! But I can understand in a work setting how that can be a problem.

      I see you and Eugene are about to play some NBA2K! Glad to have helped! hahaha. 🙂

      • Yep the power of no is an important one. There’s helping people and then there’s helping yourself. You can’t do as much good as you think if you keep agreeing to help people out as they’ll keep on taking and you’ll feel overwhelmed and spent.

        And Benny how come you don’t have exact stats on how much more productive you are now?? 🙂 – have you tried Rescue Time? It’s awesome for telling you where you’re spending your time and whether that’s on distracting or productive tasks

        • Benny

          Hi Natalie!

          I haven’t tried Rescue Time! I will take a look into it. Thanks for sharing that.

          Thank you so much for coming by and sharing Natalie!

  • I was talking to my dad the other day and mentioned a Guns ‘N’ Roses song and was said, “never heard of that one.” He’s a big music guy so I was super surprised. We got talking and later he said “If it happend between ’84 and ’97, I wasn’t paying attention.”

    He focused so hard building his business during that time that there wasn’t room for “stuff.” Now, he goes to concerts with my mom, plays golf a few days a week, still works, but took those few years and built the kind of life he wanted.

    • Benny

      Hey Graham! Your dad sounded like he worked his tail off that time. That’s great he’s able to enjoy the fruits of his labor now.

  • I’ve been perfecting this method for the past few months.
    what’s really funny is i cut out T.V. aver 2 years ago. No cable, no T.V. shows. I watch hulu aor rent a movie once in a while.

    Instead of having more time, i ended up filling up my free time with busy work. Little things that kept me busy but didn’t contribute to the bottom line. lately i’ve been constantly checking my email. ZAP, I’m stopping that tomorrow. Frustrated i devised a plan.. To set time limits. It’s helping me get busy and get things done but i need to work on refining it. I want to accomplish a lot in 2011 and the year is half gone. DAMN time flies…

  • It’s sooo hard to not turn that TV on at the end of the day. It’s such a nice brain break. I turn it on while I cook, then of course watch while eating. Then your in such a food/TV coma that you stay there for the next two shows.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten into bed thinking how much I could have gotten done with those hours of my day. But, like you Benny, it’s more than just mindless for me. I like the entertainment industry, I like seeing if the acting is good, did the script work, and if there’s a guest director etc. But since no one pays me to be a critic, or script writer or director….I should probably get on with my life, huh?

    • Benny

      Hi Kathy!

      I bet since you worked in the industry before you not only enjoy the entertainment but look at the different parts as well. I know it’s really hard to not turn on the TV. I understand! Before when Lost and 24 were on TV, I’d come home and watch those shows right away. When football season starts in the fall, I know for a fact my TV will be on more. I haven’t planned what I’ll do yet but I know I need my football. 🙂

  • Spooky, i’ve written on the subject of distractions today. Maybe that shows how important it is to eliminate those time wasters that eat up our time day by day. Once we do we can make big advances in our life

    • Benny

      Hi Larry,

      Distractions are definitely a huge part of our lives. We’re bombarded everyday with things that can distract us. We just have to do a better job of getting rid of them if we want to accomplish anything like you said.

      Thanks for sharing Larry and I’ll go and read your article now.

  • Ah time wasters… They are everywhere aren’t they!

    Well, I have my to-do list for what needs to be accomplished during the day and I make sure I get that done. I also set a timer so that I only spend a certain amount of time on the social networking sites. I only return lengthy emails and other not so productive work after everything else is completed.

    Oh and for TV, I only watch that after my work day is completed and that’s usually later at night. Sometimes I’ll go weeks without ever watching it at all. But I also record everything so I can watch it whenever I want. I have cut way back on the amount of time I spend watching TV too. It’s usually just on the weekends now.

    Great post and topic as always Benny! Thanks for this one.

    Adrienne

    • Benny

      I believe you definitely are very disciplined Adrienne and don’t let distractions get to you! That’s why you make so much progress and get things done. You have it down to a science I think. 🙂

      Thanks as always for sharing!

  • Dude, you can take my TV when you pry it from dead cold hands….

    I need my sports and movies. All that other crap, you can have…

    No vids here, wifey says no. It’s probably for the best.

    My biggest time suck is my day job and my own ADHD of reading the web and all it’s glorious sites….

    I devote a lot of time to my family, but I think that doesn’t count since I’m being productive as a husband and father.

    Hey, is your fiance living with you or is she somewhere else?

    • Benny

      Hey Brad,

      I don’t watch much TV now because it’s also not football season. When it starts, it will be on a lot more. I need my football. College and pro! If football was year round, I may never get any work done.

      My fiance now is not here. She’s in Taipei but we’re working on getting her a fiance visa so she can come over. Probably later this summer.

      Thanks King!

      • Yeah, I love my football. OSU Beavers (live in a college town) and the NY Jets…

        good luck on getting your fiance here with you. I’m sure it will all work out.

        Take care and have a good weekend.

  • OK, I’m going to admit something straightaway: I like to watch TV. There, I said it, it’s out there. Most days, I watch in the evenings, after I’ve completed my daily to-do list. (Yes, I admit, I’m a to-do list person too.) If I have more to accomplish, I don’t turn on the TV. I think of it as an allocation of my weekly entertainment hours, and I just happen to spend a lot of mine watching TV.

    But the important point is what you discussed in your post: we need to be aware of how much time we spend on these unproductive activities and find a balance that works for us. I recently shut myself off from social media for a few days to focus on a writing project, and it really helped me concentrate on that single goal.

    Thanks for sharing Benny. This is an important topic now that social media is so popular that it’s becoming a huge time suck for more and more people.

    • Benny

      Hey Marianne,

      You sound like you’re aware of what will distract you from getting stuff done. I like TV too. I love football so when the fall arrives, it’ll be on much more! Just have to find quiet time as well to work on my projects.

      There is a time and place for TV. If people are avoiding a task by watching TV then that’s not doing them any good. Finishing everything for the day and relaxing by watching TV is a great reward.

      Social media can easily take up so much time!! Now we can use social media on our smart phones so we’re never without it. It can be good and a bad thing!

      Thanks so much for sharing Marianne!

  • This is so true. I found myself at home instead of at a day job and suddenly instead of having a ton more time and getting so much done, I was doing less. Sounds counterintuitive. So what I did was, I made a list of 3 things that I would get done that day, no matter what. Then I spent the day doing what I wanted, when I wanted, to the extent possible. In thay way, a ton of stuff started getting done, and I was a lot happier, because I was flowing with the mood.

    What did I eliminate? No tv (except when I have insomnia), no news following (my husband tells me when something important is happening), no checking anything when I’m writing or doing readings, and learning when to pay attention to the kids and when they can be distracted with something else themselves, like reading or the computer or being sent off with their Dad.

    • Benny

      Hi Julie!

      People would think staying at home more would mean more free time. But I can understand how it can be counterintuitive. The list of 3 things is a great idea. Another commenter, Srini, mentioned someone suggested he pick his two most important task for that day and focus on those. So you both are proof that having 2-3 on the list works.

      I’m glad you eliminated your biggest distractions when working. For myself, it allows me to just focus on what I’m doing and not with one ear on the TV and my eyes on the screen.

      Thanks for your first comment here Julie!

  • Benny, I just wanted to stop by and give you a huge congrats on this great community you’ve created on your blog. I’m so very impressed with all the interaction as well as the subjects you’ve been writing about. Good for you brother.

    As far as this article is concerned, like everyone else I can relate. I like back on my teenage years and I feel that I wasted to much time on frivolous activities, mainly, like you said, TV and gaming.

    Today, I never do an video games. I also only watch the TV when I’m on the elliptical. For me, I’ve worked very hard over the last couple of years to do what you’ve suggested above, and for the most part, I feel as though I’m getting the most out of the majority of my days.

    Anyway, thanks for this and I hope to come by again soon.

    Have a great weekend Benny.

    Marcus

    • Benny

      Thank you Marcus! I’m very thankful I’ve attracted some great people here. It’s very cool for sure. I did a guest post on Ending the Grind and was blew away with the support I got in the comments. The blog owner, Steve was impressed I had gotten so many comments.

      Thanks for sharing how cutting back on watching TV really helped you get more done in a day. Others have shared it’s their #1 problem and are doing better to cut back.

      Thanks Marcus for visiting and sharing!! I’m very honored!

  • Hi Benny – so wow. I can’t believe you sold your favorite game! That shows exactly how serious you are about changing how you spend time. Good for you!
    I was thinking about what I spend a lot of time on that isn’t necessarily a productive thing. Being in CR there isn’t much that I actually can waste time with. The TV channels on in Spanish except 1, no video games, no phone for texting, no money to go shopping with – I dont want to sound crazy here, but I don’t think I actually waste time – but I sometimes see that as a problem. Like, I never really relax. I am always thinking and doing. The other day Srini was laughing at me because we were at dinner and when he came back to my place to hang out, the first thing I did was ask him for an email address so I could email someone about my new website. I think I am actually addicted to getting stuff done – not in a healthy way all of the time.
    Anyways, I really enjoyed this post because (in a weird but cool way) it reminded me to sometimes take a step back and chill. Thanks!

    • Benny

      Hey Julia!

      Thanks! I knew it had to be done and it would be like this huge distraction.

      I know what you mean by always wanting to do something. I’m the same way. I’ve kinda neglected most household chores and calling friends. When I have free time I’m writing, learning, networking, or doing anything towards my goals. I enjoy it immensely. I think I could do it all day long but there does need to be some time to relax and step away.

      I do it also cause I live by myself now. My fiance is in Taipei but she plans on moving over in early August. Being long distance sucks but a positive thing for me is being able to get so much done without distraction. If she was I’d be spending more time with her. So I’m putting everything else in the backseat for now to build up a great foundation and momentum for my blog and projects.

      I understand sometimes you just gotta relax! I still will go watch a movie once a week cause it’s summer movie season. I’ll have lunch with family on weekends.

      But you’re right, there need to be some time to step away from the computer and thinking about the hundred of ideas and have fun and relax.

      I’m glad this post helped in a different way for you!

  • Benny,

    I usually try to write a list the night before of what needs to be done the next day. Then I try to stay with the list and get it all done.

    I agree there are a lot of distractions out there and I get hung up with them also.

    I made a list of those and thought that I would share them. So my list is
    1. surfing the internet — I usually only do this when commenting though as I try to check out all of the links in people’s posts as I want to learn as much as I can but I get off on rabbit trails and it is very time consuming
    2. kids – I home school my kids so they are always home and have continual questions it seems. I have tried to set times when they are doing things so they are not asking questions all day.
    3. cleaning up messes — I hate have a mess everywhere. I try to just clean up a couple of times a day instead of all day.

    Those are mine and after reading your post I am going to try harder to get rid of my time hogs.

    Thanks for the great post.

    Dee Ann Rice

    • Benny

      Hi Dee Ann,

      Thanks so much for sharing! Surfing the internet is a big one for me too. I could read blog posts and comment all day long if I wasn’t careful.

      You sound like my mom. 🙂 She cleans her house and dusts everyday. I tell her why and she said cause it’s already dirty. I don’t try to stop her anymore.

      At least you are aware of your distractions and trying hard to reduce them.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

  • The only time I watch TV is when I’m doing my cold therapy to aide in fat loss

  • Ohh damn, makes tons of sense Benny. I am guilty sometimes of spending too much doing all those things. But when it times to get work done, I normally give myself deadlines.

    • Benny

      Deadlines are great. If we don’t give ourself deadlines, the work will take much longer to do. That’s why many people like to put things off till the last minute. Because they know the deadline is soon so they get the work done.

  • This is why I’ve cut out watching television from my life. I think I might watch about an hour a week now and I’m okay with that. Plus, I’ve stopped playing video games. It’s amazing how much more free time just those two things will give you.

    Although I do have other time wasters taking up my time. I’m on the internet a lot and a big part of it is just goofing off. Unfortunately for me, the things I want to get accomplished all need me to be on the computer. I’ll have to come up with something to get rid of those so I can be more focused.

    • Benny

      Hey Steve,

      People truly would get so much more done if they cut tv out. I do spend a lot of time on the computer too but I do get distracted as well. Like you, I need the computer but I also need to get more focused as well!

      Thanks for sharing Steve.

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  • “Not to do list” – LOVE it! Yes, there are so many sneaky things that eat up our time. TV is my biggest weakness. Getting a dvr was a big help in helping me control when I watch shows and of course being able to skip commercials is awesome. I’ve cut my tv time probably by 60% over last year. I still allow myself a few hours a week b/c I really like watching certain shows and I find ways to multi task when I’m watching. -Sydney

    • Benny

      Thanks for loving it! I really had to cut back on things that I did if I really wanted to get any work done. I love having a DVR. I can’t imagine not having one. It’s so easy to record shows to watch later. Plus I love to pause live TV.

      That’s great you’ve cut back but do still find time to enjoy it. I do the same thing too.

      Thanks for sharing Sydney!

  • Interesting look at the situation here.

    I too constantly struggle with being productive. I have been able to cut the television I know watch about 10 minutes per day, when I watch it.

    But Facebook is still killing me. I am going to try your approach and see how it works, thanks.

    • Benny

      Definitely try Hugo. At least you’re aware Facebook take a lot of your time. Try to limit it if you’re really trying to get work done. Think about your priorities. What’s important to you? Is Facebook important or doing something towards your goals? What’s going to make a different a month from now? In six months are you going to wish you spent more time on Facebook or working on something else that means more to you?

      Thanks so much for your comment Hugo!

      • I am aware, just like I was aware that television took a lot of my time too. Television is now down, Facebook is next. Thanks

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  • Hey Benny…visiting from Tentblogger where you responded to my comment. 🙂 I clicked on this post because I loved the title and because I really need to get more stuff done! I am very easily distracted because I have 3 little people near me at all times. And, when they’re in bed, my hubby is home-that’s a good distraction, but nevertheless, it’s a distraction when I’m trying to blog! I had/have been wasting so much time on FB. So, we broke up {for an undetermined amount of time}. I’ve been surprised at how much less time I’ve been spending online in general since ditching FB. And, while I do miss some of my interactions there, the goal is to spend more time with people in person-building real and lasting relationships!

    • Hey Keri! Glad you saw my reply. Was worried you wouldn’t come back and see it. Social media is so distracting! Twitter, FB and now Google+. There is time for that but we have to get our priorities in order. What’s more important? As much as I enjoy video games and TV, I had to cut back because my blog is my priority right now. I’m glad you realized how much time FB was taking and had a temporary break up. 🙂

      So I hope you get my reply and can see how the ReplyMe plugin works. Here is the link if you’re interested http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/replyme/

      Thanks for coming by!

  • Awesome post. I did make a quick list of things I need to cut back on, they ended up being:

    1. Watch less Heroes of Newerth shout casts.

    I used to play Heroes of Newerth a lot but I cut back considerably (now I only really play if I go over to a friend’s house who also plays the game, it’s more of a social thing now). I realized that I still watch a lot of shout casts. These usually range from 30-60 minutes long and often times I’d watch 2-3 in a row. That’s a good hour or two of time gone.

    2. I spend a lot of time browsing social media sites, I am somewhat of a social media marketer at work so I tend to get really caught up in everything involved in that but I need to step back and realize that that isn’t productive outside of work.

    There are probably more that I’m not thinking about right now but those are the two biggest ones that popped into my head as soon as I was reading the task you gave. Thanks for the enlightenment I will be working hard to stick to my ‘not-to-do’ list.

    • Hey Andrew,

      I’m glad you made a list! Most often we do things but don’t realize how much time they take up in a week. If you cut back, you’ll find so much more free time in a week! I know I have since I started to make a not to do list.

      Let me know how it works for you a few months down the road. Thanks for sharing your list!

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  • when I was younger I used to watch a lot of TV. As soon as I stopped, my life changed. Not watching TV is a damn good first step to getting s**t done.

    I recently came across the ‘not to do list’ – I hadn’t thought of it before… again – 3x boost in productivity.

    Good post dude, good read 😉

    • I agree 100% Mickey! I used to just watch TV all the time when I was at home. It’s all I’d do. It sure did waste a lot of my time in the long run. Most of what people watch on TV isn’t even needed. They’re just channel surfing or killing time. Glad to hear having a not to do list has helped you out!

      • Yeh, an hour a day would make an enormous difference over the course of a year.