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Simply put, our time is a precious commodity.
But instead of realizing this, we rush around, trying to accomplish as much as possible in our limited time.
With our hectic schedules, letting time slip away without accomplishing anything of value is easy.
However, there are ways to make the most of our time and avoid wasting it.
This post was written because I’ve realized that life is short, and we shouldn’t waste our limited time doing things that don’t bring us joy.
Steve Jobs has some excellent quotes (most of which I found on ABC News), but I like this one the best.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Life is Too Short
So why do we tend to waste on things that do not make us happy?
Going back twenty years, we didn’t have this issue. But today, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with messages telling us to buy this or do that to be happy.
It can be easy to forget that happiness is a choice.
We often waste our time and energy on things we think will make us happy, but they leave us empty and dissatisfied.
Guess what? Possessions and things will never make you happy.
The biggest one I’ve seen is buying something you think will make you happy. But after getting it, there is one thing you do. Look for the next “thing.”
They are digging into living and how the average person uses their time. I found a few things intriguing.
This study found that Americans spent more than 1,300 hours on social media in 2020 (Forbes).
The crazy part of that study is that we spend over three hours daily on social media. What?
Again, this is just one study I found while doing some research. It’s pretty interesting to see how time is spent.
Something I’ve said before that I want to bring up again is that time is the one thing that once you “spend” it, it’s gone forever. So spending three hours on social media, what if you used that time for something productive?
You could try calling a friend, going for a walk, taking 10 minutes for meditation, or reading a blog (I know that’s why you are here, and I appreciate that).
Here are a few more interesting stats
Once I started looking this stuff up, I couldn’t stop. Take this website which found the following:
- The American Time Use Survey (ATUS) illustrates that we sleep an average of 8.5 hours daily.
- Work 8.5 hours a day (five days a week).
- Spend approximately two hours daily on household activities, including cleaning, laundry, preparing meals, etc.
- Leisure activities are around four hours daily (watching TV, socializing, exercising, eating, drinking, shopping).
- We also spend 51 minutes a day on grooming, 18 minutes a day for volunteering and religious activities, and 9 minutes on phone calls.
I’m not going to lie, but I don’t believe all of the above.
It might work for some people, but not many get eight hours of sleep a night.
And if you are curious, here is a wold data map on how we spend our time.
I might be beating a dead horse right now, but it’s important to remember that life is too short to waste on things that don’t make us happy.
We only have a limited amount of time on this earth, and we should make the most of it by doing things that bring us joy.
Of course, there will always be some aspects of our lives that are not pleasurable, but we can try to minimize these as much as possible.
Identify Time Suckers
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and lose track of what truly matters.
We have already discovered we spend time on things that don’t make us happy, but we do them anyway because they are a part of our routine.
So what things take up our time but don’t make us happy?
It seems at the top of many lists is work.
We may not always enjoy our jobs, but we do them because we have to earn a living.
What about the never-ending chores around the house?
You know what needs to be done, even though they’re not fun (like mowing the lawn, dishes in the sink, or cleaning the gutters).
Let’s not forget all the little things that eat away at our time throughout the day, like checking social media, watching TV, or browsing the internet.
We might use these things to disengage or relax, but let’s be honest. They are time suckers.
The above study is fascinating because we all know about time suckers.
We just don’t do anything about it.
I’ve received messages, comments, and emails from previous articles that claim they don’t have enough time. There are three areas I look to prove them wrong. Including the time they spend on social media, watching TV (YouTube included), and shopping.
But what about the things we should be doing that bring joy to our lives? Let’s get into that!
Finding the Joy in Life
This is the part of spending time that is so much fun. A joyful life is full of happiness and contentment.
These are the things that will bring us motivation as well as happiness.
For me, that is trying to redevelop my writing.
Recently, I’ve been so preoccupied that I’m not writing as much as I should. And when that is how you make money, it’s a problem.
Finding what brings you happiness will allow you to live a happier and more fulfilled life.
Let’s make a pack and focus on those things. It might not be writing for you, but I suggest you try and find out what it is.
I’m writing this in Lake Tahoe, and I must admit, it might just be my happy place.
You might want to try taking an afternoon for yourself, going for a walk, or planning a weekend getaway with family or friends.
If it’s been a while since you went outside (a walk around the block, hike, or camping), you might miss out on an amazing thing.
Try this, when you are feeling stuck, go for a 10-minute walk. It’s amazing how great it will feel!
The important part is that we start taking our time back. Stop wasting it on things that you don’t like doing (minus what you need to do to survive, that is).
Once you do this, I’m optimistic you will feel better and be more productive overall.
Living a joyful life (where you aren’t stressed all the time) will make your personal, professional, and physical health better.
I know this first hand. After resigning from my career in law enforcement, I discovered I wasn’t as stressed all the time, sleep better, and started feeling like myself again.
I realized I was living in a fog that slowly started to lift.
I didn’t know this was happening until I took the first step.
I am sharing some of the personal things I’ve gone through to hopefully relate to what you are going through. But now, it’s time to focus on you.
It’s Your Time
It’s no secret that the things that bring us happiness can change over time.
What made us happy as children might not have the same effect on us now. And that’s OK! As we grow and change, so do our needs and wants.
But what doesn’t change is that we all want to be happy.
We all want to live a life that is fulfilling and satisfying. So, how can we ensure that we’re focusing on the things that will bring us happiness?
No matter how busy you are, schedule some time for the activities and pursuits that (you guessed it) make you happy.
It’s funny how so many things we do and that I write about lead to happiness. Which so happens to be one of my favorite questions of all time!
What Makes You Happy?
As you might already know, this is a question I’ve been asking people for a few years.
I’ll do my best not to write it all again, but here is a short version (because when we do what makes us happy, the time is well spent!).
Maybe the answer would be working on your hobbies, spending time with family, being outside, or simply relaxing.
To help get your time back, focus on what makes you happy and then plan a few things in your day (or week).
This might allow you to find the essential things and forget about those time suckers.
Once you start discovering the small joys in life, I believe, separates the people living their best lives from those scraping by.
Case and point. I recently have fallen into a rut. I’m not doing what I need to do.
I started thinking about this post, and one of the reasons I started doing things on the weekends (for me, that is camping, waking up early for a hike, and now relaxing by a lake).
I’ve discovered an added benefit too! Once you start doing the things you enjoy, you will become more creative, which will help your business and your life!
Spending Your Time
We all have the same time (at least for now). There are 365 days a year and the same 24 hours every day.
How are you going to spend yours?
Once you discover your time suckers, focus on what brings you happiness. This is one way you can start taking your time back.
If you don’t believe me, give it a try for a few weeks. You might just be surprised by how much better you feel.
We must stop wasting our time on things that do not bring us joy. Instead, focus on the things that make us happy and fulfilled.
It’s time to stop wasting your time and start living the life you want to live today.
8 thoughts on “Don’t Waste Your Time”
Great article on not wasting time, Eric! This article definitely came at a great time. I was reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and it made me really think about being more present in life. We definitely waste a lot of time thinking about the future and past instead of focusing on enjoying the present.
I couldn’t agree more, and I haven’t heard of that book. I’m definitely going to check it out. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment too!
Hi Eric, you are so right in saying that our life is short and we shouldn’t waste our precious time doing things that don’t make us happy. I am 47yrs old, and I pretty much know what makes me happy now. I know that I need to work out and take some time for myself like taking a bath with a good book and nice ambient background music. I also don’t see cooking as a chore anymore. (It used to feel like it when raising 4 kids). So I enjoy cooking a good meal to share with my family. These are a few examples :). Thank you for this inspirational article!
That’s awesome to hear, and thanks for sharing!
I appreciate your blog.
Especially this one … makes me realize how much I rush around.
I’ve been working a lot of hours in a new job and find I have very little time of my own.
Even things that I enjoy doing seem to cause me stress.
Fortunately, I live with an awesome human that is always helpful and supportive.
Time is a precious commodity. I am going to strive to make better use of it.
Thank you for the reminder that I need to find joy in my life.
You have been rushing around (way too much). Not that I see it or anything 😉
You MUST take some time, even if it’s 10 minutes, to focus on yourself. Do something that brings you joy and happiness,, even if just sitting quietly. It is crazy how much better you will feel.
As for making better use of your time, and not working for “the man” for free…I can think of someone that will hold you accountable for that!
It was too useful, don’t waste your time cause you even can’t buy it with gold. Everyone say time is gold but if you ask me, i tell you it’s more than gold. The way we spend our time differ in different countries.finally you should identify time suckers to easily remove them from your life and then you could feel the difference. Spend your life for what makes you deeply happy.
I agree, Liam. Life is short and time is the only thing we can’t get back (at least that I know of).