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8 Time Wasters That Hold Us Back (And What To Do Instead)



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If we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that we hold ourselves back. We can blame our past, our parents, we can even blame our pets for the faults in our lives. But our greatest enemies? Are ourselves. We are our greatest saboteurs.

I’ve been there a few times myself and it has not been an easy road to get to a place of true understanding. But I’ve done it and as I discover new things about me I’d like to share with you my journey.
There some time wasters in our lives that suck our energy and hold us back from not only being productive but from achieving real success in our lives on a whole.

8 Time Wasters That Could Potentially Destroy You


1. Holding on to the past

Regrets never take you anywhere but into a dark deep hole of what ifs. You can’t change what has happened but you can ensure that it never occurs again. The energy and emotion spent on regret can be used in other creative ways. And it’ll help you to learn and grow from the experience.

What to do instead:

Letting go of the situation may be easier said than done but it’s not impossible. For example, if you need to forgive someone (even yourself) do it then move on. In her TED Talk Don’t Regret Regret Kathryn Schulz notes:

“regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly, it reminds us that we know we can do better.”

Go forth and do better.


2. Waiting for “something big” to happen

It’s good that you believe in manifesting your reality but if you don’t put in the work, you won’t achieve that grand dream. Things won’t just happen to you. You have to go out and make it happen. Do whatever it takes to make it come to pass.

If big journeys begin with small steps then you need to just put one foot in front the other and start walking.

What to do instead:

Set at least 5 goals that are needed to get that big thing to happen to you then start small, adjust, and tweak as you go along.

You wish to become a writer? Spend 30 minutes each day doing some writing and you’ll be amazed with the results at the end of six months. Or follow your favorite author(s) on Social Media, comment on their posts and share what they share. You’ll begin to make connections with them that way. And while you’re at it live in the moment, savor the “In-Between moments” that occur before the big journey arrives.


3. Seeking revenge on others

On your backstabbing coworker, ex-girlfriend, you name it you want to do it.

I know we’ve all had fantasies of getting back at the idiot who almost ran you over on the freeway or at the boss who called you out in front of your coworkers; but it’s a waste of time as well as energy and happiness.

Share below the last time you exacted revenge on a wrong and you felt good about it.

What to do instead:

Judith Orloff talks about understanding the importance of dealing with your emotions. I’ll just say learn to accept that at some point you will get betrayed and that someone will steal your thunder. No you won’t be walking around being an eternal pessimist, but rather you’ll know that it’s not about you if it ever happens.


4. Having the attention span of a gnat

This has nothing to do with ADD or ADHD. It’s just that you need to focus on what is happening at the point in time.

When there are multiple things happening in your life and mind at once, chaos ensues. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time doing more presents chaos that cannot be controlled.

What to do instead:

Be mindful of what you’re doing every time. If you’re conversing with your spouse stay focused on them.

Train your mind to focus on one thing at a time. Turn off your phone and other distractions when you are completing a task. After you’ve done that you may then commence another task.


Short Life Quote

5. Bad talking others

Admittedly, I’ve been guilty of doing this myself but doing it hurts both the gossiper as well as the gossiped. That childhood taunt – “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can do me no harm” is a barefaced lie.

Words hurt and once they’ve been spoken they can’t be taken back. And you? You’ll lose credibility and no one will trust you with their secrets either.

What to do instead:

Surround yourself with people who are positive and upbeat. Download a few books on your tablet, read them and start a book club. Learn to play the guitar (or some other instrument) during your lunch hour.

Start a blog but whatever you do: RUN from your former gossiping allies.


6. Envying what others have

Do you know how they came by it?

Were you there when they stayed up late, got up early in order to see their project though?

Then why do you feel it’s okay to sit in a corner and let the green eyed monster take you to places you shouldn’t go?

What to do instead:

Be grateful for what you do have and strive to share it with others regardless of how small it may be.

When you think of it nobody really has it all but rather than wanting the shiny object in the other person’s hand go get your own.


7. Negative beliefs

Negativity can be crippling and keep you from launching. Negative beliefs come in thoughts such as I am not good enough; I have nothing to offer; they are so much better than I am.

Why would he want to go out with me? Stop. Just stop.

Until you recognize how negativity is like a crutch, a familiar idol which you keep close to hobble along life then you’ll forever find yourself in a concentric circle dumping your emotions into the smaller circle with little room for escape or maneuvering.

What to do instead:

Within that concentric circle I mentioned above, it’s unavoidable that you’ll touch the life of others around you; we are too intertwined as humans: socially, genetically, romantically for it not to happen.

In order to stem your negative beliefs you can learn to touch others with love, with a bit of grace and definitely patience. Your life is your message don’t let it be defined by things that won’t help others on their own journeys.


8. Procrastination

If you find yourself wanting to clean your car (your most hated activity) when you should be completing that all important thing on your to do list then you have avoidance issues.

Reading about overcoming procrastination won’t help either until you plant yourself firmly to get it done.

What to do instead:

Think about the base feelings that cause you to shy away from doing something. For me it was fear. But I learned to live life with pure Chaucerian genius: nothing ventured, nothing gained!

You may need to schedule your tasks in 30-45 minute blocks, set a timer (use your smartphone or download an app from your PC) whatever will work for you. Tackle the task in small increments then avoid anything else that will distract you from getting it done.



My life is a testament of all of those things I’ve had to endure during the course of my life. Was it easy? Of course. And hell yes at time times I still have to work on myself to go where I want to go. But I never give up and neither should you.

Practice the suggested tips for the next few weeks and share with us below how you tackle the time wasters in your life.

To your success in life.



  1. amit

    Sep 9, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    I like your articles, basically the way u present it Its very interesting and useful!

  2. whatsapphindifunnyjokes

    Aug 21, 2016 at 8:18 am

    I like ur articles! The way u present them is very interesting and useful.

  3. Kishan

    Dec 18, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Thanks for Sharing. Really Awesome Content.

  4. Kishan Patel

    Nov 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post. I love the 2nd and 8th point you mention.

  5. Anshu

    May 7, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Thanks very much for sharing this awesome article. I really appreciate your thinking as Its motivates me. God Bless you Dear

  6. Raghav

    Apr 28, 2015 at 9:40 am

    First great thanks to Tasia Gonsalves-Barriero. You have explain very deep truth of life. I really appreciate this. Lovely reading this post. Have a great Day.

  7. Kendy

    Mar 31, 2015 at 7:46 am

    great article. i never knew why am still held back

  8. Tracie

    Mar 13, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Thank you

  9. Jill adler

    Feb 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    I’m the master procrastor! Like the idea of a 30minute timer. Thanks!

    • Tasia

      Feb 25, 2015 at 7:18 am

      Hi Jill,

      Thanks for stopping by. Try the 30 minute timer for a few days and let us know how it works for you.

  10. EfficientSoftware

    Feb 13, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Love your posts. Totally agree.
    Usually email checking costs me a lot of time, in order to keep productivity i always put it off instead of checking it in the mornings

  11. Tasia

    Feb 12, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Minesh and Jose:

    Thanks for the responses.

    Jose, I agree that a lot of people waste too much time with waiting. The sad thing is the cemeteries are filled with lots of ideas, dreams and aspirations that will never see the light of day.

    All the best to you and drop by and tell us how it goes with you.

  12. José Lugo

    Feb 11, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Great article! For me your second point (Waiting for something big to happen) is the biggest time waster of them all. I believe that there are many people with great ideas, dreams and aspirations but they don’t do nothing because there waiting for a big sign or a lucky day. They don’t realize that it may never come. I like your recommendation to what to do instead. It will help a lot of people, I know it has help me.

  13. Minesh

    Feb 11, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Thank u very much

  14. Tasks

    Feb 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for stopping by Aly and for commenting. I’m glad you’ve recovered from the negativity.

  15. Aly Shah

    Feb 8, 2015 at 8:47 am

    holding on to your past your very first point is the most unique feature of this post, as i have seen the other 7 point being talked upon. But still your first point is also the most important point as i have not had problems in the other areas as much as this some past mistakes really pushed my mind into negativity. But thankfully i have had recovered from them quite some time a go with a lot of contemplation. kudos on recognizing the importance of letting go of regret.

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