“Clocks slay time… time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”
— William Faulkner
The world we live in is practically overflowing with information, media sound bites, cable news, magazines, hot reads, and more stuff than we ever will have the time to look at or read, much less comprehend. In this fast-paced environment, it is highly likely that many of us find time to be a strange thing that seems to slip out of our hands just as fast as it comes into it.
When we really think about it, much of the information that comes our way has very little to do with us. While it is very important to be knowledgeable about the world we live in, many of us focus too much, even to the point of obsession, about what is going on in the world to the neglect of the things we deem as personal priorities.
It is for this reason that we find most of our time seemingly flying away from us. It is important that we don’t spend time on negative things, trivial concerns, or even frivolous events that bring no real benefit to our lives or to the life of anyone else for that matter. Here is a list of little things we do that actually waste a lot of precious time:
1. Hitting the snooze button multiple times in the morning. You set the alarm for a reason, presumably to wake up and get going on your day. It is then very counter-productive and even a bit of self-sabotage to intend to get up at a certain time, do everything to set yourself up to do that, and then lay in the bed well past that time only to cause yourself frustration later.
2. Constantly checking your phone for text messages. Guilty face here. You are one person out of billions and you don’t have lots of friends who are saying lots of very important things all the time. Ever wonder why you can’t focus on work or studies, the problem is in that phone. If you didn’t hear it ring or give a message beep, no one is calling you.
3. Reading everything you see online. Unless you are finding good advice and positive information that can help you or otherwise benefit you and the world you live in in some way, please disregard it. Most of what is said online is said that way and developed that way in order to gain attention. Don’t waste your time and energy focused on what everyone else thinks or is doing.
4. Stop trying to get back at people. Holding grudges and having an ‘I’m-going-to-get-you-back’, ‘I’m-going-to-get-my-licks-in’ kind of attitude only serves to keep you in a negative cycle of getting people back because they are always going to get you back for getting them back and on and on it goes. Life is too short to hold grudges and be angry at the world. Choose to forgive and let it go.
5. Waiting for the world to change. Too many people are waiting for something to happen, waiting for an opportunity to drop into their lap, waiting for someone to take care of them or love them or help them. Waiting in the sense of patience is good, but waiting because you’re lazy and don’t want to be courageous and pursue a dream or goal is a waste of time. The world is not going to stop for you. The world isn’t going to change for you. You have to go after what you want.
6. Watching reality TV. The only real thing about reality TV is that it is not in the least bit real. All of what you see is staged because in truth we don’t care to see how people really live. If you’re going to watch TV, change the channel to something informative, beneficial, or decently entertaining. Forget that half-scripted garbage that networks put out for ratings. There are great shows out there if you take the time to find them.
7. Stop the gossip. I know it can be juicy and seemingly fun especially for people who don’t have a real life of their own, but gossip whether you are doing it or you are listening to other people do it is a colossal waste of time. People say what they want other people to hear and it is often very far from the truth. So stop gossiping about people and things and do not waste your time listening to other people do the same.
8. Getting strung out on consumerism. All the expensive things you see advertised on the television, radio and magazines aren’t really that special. You buy the latest fashions and in a month or two, they are outdated. Don’t fall for the insane price tags, get over the obsession with brand names. Spend your time on obtaining the things you need and the good things that you want but spend the better part of your time and money on much worthier things.
9. Telling the world what you’re doing every second of the day. I don’t live my life on Instagram or Facebook because real life doesn’t exist there. What you see on there is just a snippet, a moment in time. No life can survive on social media alone. Seriously, no one really cares that you spilled chocolate milk on your new white shirt before work or you broke a fingernail in the elevator. You shouldn’t need that public validation to live a wholesome life.
10. Eating to feel good. I love food, but eating for the sake of eating or because you want a warm and cuddly feeling on the inside after a harsh and stressful day is a really bad idea. If you are bored or you feel bad, it means that you are wasting time doing the wrong things. You need to shift your focus from yourself, put that ice cream bucket back in the freezer, return those Twinkies to the cupboard, and throw your attention onto someone else or to some good cause.
“You don’t want to wake up and realize you could have been happy, that the risks would have been worth it, but you dwindled away your chances.”
— Sarah Noffke