Time Is Too Valuable to Waste

How is it that time seems to have the ability to speed up when we aren’t paying attention?

Where has the time gone?

How is it that time seems to have the ability to speed up when we aren’t paying attention?

Have you ever started working on a project and then life happens? Before you know it, it’s been weeks, months…sometimes years before you find yourself getting back to it? Is the answer that time has picked up or is it that we’ve allowed ourselves the option to waste the time we’re given?

Is it that we’ve allowed our distractions to take the lead in our life instead of what drives us? What can we do to balance the scales?

Am I just being lazy?

I haven’t found myself any less involved or motivated. If anything, I’ve been more involved and motivated. I traveled through Europe with my family (stories and thoughts to come), I successfully staffed and opened a new restaurant, I’ve kept up with a mostly steady workout routine; but I haven’t given myself the time to sit and type out my thoughts. It would be easy to blame my lack of writing on those things. But I know, deep down, they aren’t the reason. I allowed myself to get comfortable with missing my weekly deadlines. I provided excuses when I should have been persistent and focused. I let distractions outweigh my passion. Well, it ends now.

Distractions, distractions, distractions…

Why is it that we can binge watch an entire 5 seasons of a Netflix show in a matter of days but when it comes to finding time to do something impactful with our lives, excuses flow freely? We can’t spit them out fast enough. How many hours of Facebook do we need in our day before we are satiated? What does it take to break the cycle?

I know why I can lose hours, if not days, to the almighty Netflix or Hulu. It’s easy. It’s my kryptonite. They do all the work for you. Not only do they do the work for you, but they give you all of 10 seconds between episodes before starting a new one(which you can manually skip if 10 seconds is unbearable), you have the option to skip the intro, they have something for everyone–it is unnervingly convenient. The stream only stops if you haven’t manually selected anything after a few episodes. Then, they pause and ask for a confirmation to verify you are actually still watching. How many sleeping streamers did it take for them to figure that out? I think the answer would be scary to know. Even scarier, is how many of you reading this right now have woken up to the same, judgmental message.

What’s so wrong with a little escape?

Don’t get me wrong. The streaming providers really do give us a great escape from everyday life. There are times we absolutely need that escape. The ability to jump into another reality for a few hours let’s us break up our days; it allows a hiatus from the stresses of life. Escaping becomes an issue when our alternate realities become our constant. We lose our grasp on the world around us and we become couch locked, bed locked, thought locked–we might as well be sleeping through our day. One of our most valuable resources, wasted, and we can’t get it back.

We need time to be bored

What would you do if you were given back the hours lost to these distractions? Anything? I don’t mean it in any kind of judgmental way. It’s really is a tough question to answer. I don’t know if anyone knows what they would do with this time until they sit with their thoughts, instead of their distractions. What kinds of things keep our mind going when we allow for time to be bored? I believe it’s in boredom we find new goals. We find new passions.

If you were to ask my closest friends and family what I would do with this kind of free time, writing articles aimed at helping others would probably be the last thing they’d think of. It’s one of the last things I would have come up with, in all honesty. However, it has become something that drives me. It has become more powerful than the pull of the useless distractions. That’s how you break the cycle.

Can you think of anything that would break the cycle for you? If you can’t think of anything, ask your friends. What is the thing you can talk about for hours? What is the thing that you find yourself constantly circling back to in conversations? More than likely, that is your passion. Once you find your passion, finding a purpose becomes much easier. I am certain you won’t find your purpose sleeping through life. Get out there and off of the couch. Find some time to put towards living. Find your passion, find your purpose, and you’ll find some happy.

I talk more about the power of doing nothing in my other article: When’s the Last Time You Did Nothing?

A version of this post was previously published on GoFindYourHappy and is republished here with permission from author.

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