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Train your brain to live in the moment.
Train your brain to live in the moment. / Getty Images / Nicolas Hansen

Do you ever ask yourself, “Where did the day go?”

Wasted, says an expert.

“We squander a lot of mental time on things such as making excuses rather than on accomplishing our goals,” says Samantha Sutton, Ph.D., and director of seminars at The Handel Group. Try her solutions for three top time-wasters.

Excuses. If you’ll be late for work after your alarm doesn’t go off, rather than make excuses (the power went out!) tell the truth. Say: “Sorry I’m late. It won’t happen again,” and use your mental energy instead to brainstorm ideas.

Wandering attention. Ever notice how weeks fly by when you’re running through boring to-do lists, but time slows on vacation? That’s because you’re living more in the moment. You can train your brain to stay present. So if your mind wanders to paying bills while you’re playing with your kids, redirect thoughts back to the fun at hand.

Gossiping. Talking about people when they’re not around is counter-productive, because you’re not addressing an issue with the person who can change it. Make a no-gossip rule: Tell friends you won’t talk behind their backs, and reserve the right to tell anything they say about another to that person’s face. It will end gossip in your life, guaranteed.

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