Don't Waste Your Time
Imagine if you were given $86,400 everyday...but here’s the catch. Everyday at midnight you lose everything that’s left regardless of what you spent or didn’t spend. That situation plays out every single day. What would you do with that money? How would you spend that money differently knowing you would eventually lose it? Every day you have 86,400 seconds to spend. Sadly, many people waste a majority of that time.
Life is crazy. I think you all are fully aware of that. We have school, jobs, family commitments, games and practices, and probably most important friends to Snapchat -- Speaking of Snapchat could we get a group selfie to keep my streaks going.
Wasting time is such an easy thing to do. We have more “things” than anyone previously ever had combined. Social medias such as Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram are less than 15 years old. Soon the new wave will hit us and we will have virtual reality in everyday things. Whether you think that is a good thing can be for another debate, but it’s real. How many seconds do we as people waste on pointless things. We get caught up in to what is trending in our world and not what we need to individually do to trend us up in the right direction. I bring in social media not to knock it and say it’s as bad as the plague. It can add to our life and capture the most astonishing memories life has to offer. But let me take you back since you are young to a world where instant and fast referred more to the super size fries. When I was finishing high school and entering college social media was big, but it was the Myspace into early Facebook era where social media was in the grassroots of becoming a smartphone thing. Checking Facebook meant you had to actually go login on a computer. Crazy right! Well this was an exciting process, because you never knew how many notifications you would have when that page popped up. You’d post this awesome status and then eventually have to wait until your next login to see how popular it was. With the introduction of Blackberrys and smartphones we have all of our notifications come to us on the spot. Get a status like - notification, get tagged in a picture - notification, get an email response from your co-worker - notification, get an alert that your iphone is out of memory - notification. These notifications lead us to not just check it out, but spend the next 45 minutes scrolling through feed. Live life and leave the notifications for those who want to watch life.
But guess what...there’s still 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, and 86,400 seconds in a day. And I don’t see those things changing anytime soon.
For many people they let insecurities, worries, and most of all EXCUSES cover up for the passed up time of life. We... and I say we because I never want to have you or anyone think I am not an someone who has caved in and made excuses. One of the biggest worries we face is the “worry of won’t”. I won’t be this. I won’t ever be able to do that. “Won’t” is limiting. It essentially takes all the great things you could do and takes them away leaving you with only limited options. We should HATE limited options. There’s a book called “The Distance Between Us” about a 17 year old girl who is trying to figure out life and she has a great quote. “You have as many options as you give yourself”. You want to be a better you. Stop limiting your options. It’s a time waster!
We also live with a worry that we will disappoint people around us. Full transparency. I struggle with this daily. We so badly want to achieve, but we think so much about the perception of others that we will get when we are putting in the extra work or we’re doing things that seem different. How often does the fear of what other people think stop you from doing something? That time you spent delaying your progress or even worse not starting the process at all is wasted! You don’t get it back! Remember this...you are not alone when you have this worry. I just admitted this to you so you can’t use that excuse. You’ll also find that the thoughts in your head isn’t necessarily the reality. The only disappointment you can ever produce is living a life wasted.
Did you know that the average life expectancy for an American is currently 78.6 years. This marks the second straight year it has dropped. This means that if you are 18 you have lived just about 23% of your life. Think of that almost a quarter of your life is done. So without looking into exactly what we do with our time whether it be sleeping, eating, working, watching tv, exercising, or doing laundry….3 years by the way according to research...we must be doing something with our time and my hope that we are and we are moving forward, we are doing amazing things!
At some point in your life you will have your days filled up with many things. One of those things being work you might be doing is working. The U.S. Census Bureau states the average age of retirement is 63 years old. Whatever direction direction life takes you will require you to work. One thing I have grown into realizing after hearing others talk about it is the “Friday Mentality”. Thousands upon thousands of people who go to work or go to school live for the Friday feeling. They live to accept that as long as they can get to Friday life will be great. No more work - No more school for the next two and a half days! Then comes Monday...the dreaded day of all forsaken days. But why? Maybe you have heard of this sentence from someone. “Yeah, must be a Monday”. We say this like we are trying to excuse our lack of performance, or random situation that might occur. I think I got to the point where it was just habit. On a Monday when anyone asks you how you are doing you make a comment about the day. If you want to waste your life spend four days of your week thinking about the other three. If we are in a situation where we don’t care of Monday through Thursday what does that say about our life? What does that say about the job you have or the classes you are taking? If you love what you do Monday will be an amazing day! Wednesday can’t come soon enough! The “Friday Mentality” of living for weekend is a gigantic waste of time. Go pursue something you are passionate about and love deeply. Something that devoting time to doesn’t concern you because of the energy you gain from it. It is a waste of your life to focus on three days of your week compared to four. Put that into perspective. Steve Jobs made the comment that if you haven’t found what you are looking for in life then keep going. The job that you say you hate, the classes you skip out on are wasting your time and energy. The Rock has this to say, “Wake up determined. Go to bed satisfied.” It won’t be easy, but imagine what we could do with passion for each day of the week?
So now we look at our lives and think. How do we do everything we have to do? Life seems like we are on a whirlwind every hour of every day. But so often people fill their lives with things in the wrong way. We say we are busy, that we can’t get to the important things in life. There is just NO time! We hear from everyone how we need to work to get better and put time and effort into our passions so we don’t waste time. How in the world can we? Let’s take a new perspective on our time. You see we have life’s essentials. Like school, work, family, friends, all the important things we need to do to pursue our passions. Then we have our necessary items to get done and spend time on. Studying, sleep, and all the various to do’s we each have. Then there is the “other stuff”. The stuff that is smaller in our lives. All those small items that we also have to do. The issue is we have our life which is this jar. Like I’ve said we only have a fixed amount of time in our day. So what do we often do...we fill our time with the small stuff first. Its easy and it’s often our go to. Next we try to do our necessary tasks. We know we have to get them done so we cram it in our day. Finally, we have our essential stuff. The things we should be spending a great deal of our time on. Funny thing is though it won’t all fit. Our time is out. We have some important things in our life that we neglect because we focused more on the less meaningful things. Terrible right. Now let’s try this. When we start by spending our time on the essential things in our life. This is where we can develop our self grow in life. From there we spend time on the necessary things we need to do. Remembering that we have only so much time we must focus on using that time in the best way possible. With all that in place we can add the smaller, but good to remember “other stuff”. You see, we say we don’t have the time or quite often we run out of time to do things in our life. In reality sometimes it just takes us using a new perspective and managing our time wiser. The time jar cannot get bigger. It cannot grow to our specific accommodations. Make sure you take the time to get the essential in life worked on rather than directing our attention to the small things.
Albert Einstein said “Time is an illusion.” It twists and contorts itself in many forms. So to not waste it I want you to do a few things.
Craft your purpose. Your purpose will take you on the path you need to go. It will fill those 86,400 seconds with more value and meaning. If you have your purpose it makes it much easier for you do what you need to do.
Eliminate the unnecessary. I’m not talking about a smoker quitting smoking. I’m talking about those things in life we do that have no real benefit. I’m one who like to bring in the groceries in one trip. I want to carry every bag with every food item close the trunk and be done. Trouble is when I go to the store hungry I make impulsive decisions on foods I have no business having. Of course when I get back now I have more bags to carry. On more than one occasion I have tried to carry all the bags in and had a bag or two break. We try to add unnecessary things in life we get loaded down and something might break.
Enjoy life. Time is never wasted when we love what we are doing with it. The phrase “Time flies when you're having fun” is so true. So, when your bogged down with school, work, and overall life remember those enjoyable things you do. Dive into a hobby, be with your friends and family, pursue your dream!
86,400 seconds. A decent amount of that has gone already. You’ll never get that back. Don’t take the next 86,400 thinking about what wasn’t accomplished. Go make the life you live filled one with purpose, necessary, and fun.
Don’t waste time. Don’t waste your life.