We all have an equal amount of time available during one calendar day. Most of the time we are doing the things that will make us feel happier. However, the things that are making us feel good, happy are often different from the things that we make us feel better and improve our lives in the long run.
In my country, and more particularly in my hometown, we have a word that describes a condition where you are calm, relaxed, not thinking about anything in particular. In other words, my words, wasting your time by laying around the whole day and doing nothing. The word is “aylyak“. To describe the meaning of this word more clearly, I will fall into a bit more details: “Imagine a person laying on the beach, the weather is perfect, he is drinking a mojito, extremely calm, no pressure and not thinking about anything” – sounds awesome, right?
The word, the expression is really famous in our town. It’s something like a parasite word. Most of the people are using it in their everyday communication with people.
Even though I kind of like, and use, the word. The actual meaning and the actions that come along with it are quite devastating for us – humans. Especially young people. But this is not something only we, Bulgarians, do. I am fortunate enough to communicate with different people from different nationalities to understand that people all over the world are – “aylyak” – most of their time. We simply have a word for it.
To avoid any language barriers, in the text below, I will replace the word “aylyak” with “wasting your time”
Are you Really Resting or You Are Wasting your Time?
I will often hear people between the age of 15 and 30 saying that they are “wasting their time” for the whole day.
“Hey man, what you do today?” – “Nothing, in particular, went to three coffee shops, saw few friends, resting and just “wasting my time”.”
People are becoming more focused on doing less stuff and wanting more in return. It’s like we are racing against each other to see who will do less work, who will be less occupied, who will have more vacations, more rest.
Some of us are even not tempted to earn more money.
Most people even refuse to use that spare time in order to earn more money. For them, this additional work makes no sense. “I don’t need more money. Yeah, maybe I do, but I have to work harder, get up earlier, do A, B, C instead of only A. I won’t have enough time to watch my favorite series and go out with my friends every day. I’m fine as I am.”
Which, in a way, is maybe a good thing because these can mean that they are really satisfied with what they have currently. However, that’s not always the case.
Most people will use that spare time to complain about their financial, love, educational status. Of course, they are always the victim in their heads. They will put the blame on the country they live in; their parents; boss; partner; friends and even the weather, without ever realizing they should do something about their own happiness.
What Daily Things you Do That Waste Your Time?
Have you ever thought about how exactly you spend a day of your life?
If you didn’t, take the time to think about it now. Take one business day and one weekend day for example. It’s going to be easier if you write everything down. Take a pen and a paper and start writing everything you’ve done during these two days. From the time you woke up, until the time you get back to bed. Don’t save any detail. Write everything you can think off.
Do you see now what is wasting your time?
10 Things that are Wasting Your Time and 10 (Ir)rational Solutions – if you want to stop doing them
1. Oversleeping – There are two major problems caused by sleeping longer than you need to – 1) you get used to it 2) it can waste your whole day. Yes, sometimes we really need to rest a bit longer. But most of the time sleeping between 6 and 8 hours per day is quite enough. When you sleep for more than 8 hours and spend another hour thinking about getting up, it’s already 11:00 PM and half of your day is wasted.
- Solution – Set an alarm so you can get up earlier than usual. When the phone rings, roll out of bed so you can fall on the ground. It will probably hurt a bit, but you will be surely up.
2. Standing in line – Standing in line or in traffic is a pain in the butt. The worst part is that there is little we can do in these situations.
- Solution – See if you can avoid the traffic by going earlier to work. Use bicycle. Avoid standing in lines if possible. Pay your bills online. A wise man once said – ‘They take our money, but they shouldn’t take our time”. Paying your bills and automating them is one of the best things you can do.
3. Senseless communications – Whether this will be live in the office kitchen; on a coffee, with a person, you were not really keen on seeing but you accepted his invitation anyway, you didn’t have anything better to do. Over Slack, Viber, Messenger, Whatsapp or other Social Media network that allows you to communicate.
We can be bombarded with messages from people, all the time, in different ways. You can have a conversation over the phone while writing an email and chatting with someone over slack. At the end, probably all these 3 conversations will be wasted with no real resolution.
- Solution – Value your time and teach people to do exactly the same. If you are the kind of person who is constantly chatting with someone, just because you don’t have anything better to do, but you want to stop that, it won’t be easy. Mainly, because if you suddenly stop responding to their messages, they will think a) you are mad at them b) something has gotten wrong with you c) you don’t want them for friends anymore. If you really don’t want someone as a friend anymore, it will be kind of ok to stop suddenly responding, still, in most of the cases, you will want to continue the relationship with these people. Start responding less frequently and explain what you are doing instead. The main goal should be to chat only when you both really need to.
4. Watching TV – Watching television has evolved. Now, we can watch our favorite show from our phones, laptops, tablets, using Netflix, YouTube. It’s easier than ever to watch what you want when you want. Even though this is amazing, it cost us a lot of time. I have friends and family who turn the TV immediately after they get back home from work. Do they have feel happy – yes. Do they complain about something – all the time, about all sorts of stuff.
- Solution – Really bold decision will be to throw your TV, or stop paying your cable bill. Not quite smart, because you can sell it instead, but you got my idea. Simply, find something better to do. Think about doing something meaningful, read a book, exercise, cook something healthy, talk with your kids. You have plenty of options. Surely there should be something better in your life than watching Friends, again.
5. Social Media Addiction – I do it constantly. I sit on my laptop and one of the first things I do is to open Facebook. When I’m offloading inside the toilet I do the same thing, scroll through the senseless statuses of my friends in Facebook. When I am waiting for someone, I do the same thing. It’s a disease and 1.94 billion people are suffering from it (as of 31 March, 2017).
- Solution – Deleting your Facebook profile makes a lot of sense. You still have other ways of communicating with your friends – actually talking with them live, using your phone to call them, texting, sending an email. The last one is a stupid recommendation, nobody does that. Since I am also not going to delete my Facebook. Another cool solution will be to block your social profiles for a certain amount of time using a software. Here are two of the best tools that you can use – ColdTurkey; Freedom.
6. Internet addiction – You can easily lose a sense of time in the depths of the Internet. Whether this will be searching for a cool new picture for your new blog post, watching funny videos online or watching porn, the opportunities are countless. I often get so caught up searching for the best picture, the best song and at the end I have nothing. I only wasted my time.
- Solution – I am not going to tell you to stop paying to your Interner provider, simply because having an internet connection is a must in the 21st century. The best solution will be to immediately stop when you caught yourself spending time on things that don’t matter. Cut the porn bro.
7. Going out too often – If you are 20, going out every day is what you live for. Parties, girls, boys, alcohol, music – I understand. Getting drunk day after day can be really fun, but not so rational. I don’t remember much from my early 20ies. I had different goals then. Now, I realize, that I’ve not only wasted a lot of money, a good part of my liver but also a lot of time.
- Solution – Start seeing different people (one who have goals), settling down with a girl, finding a stable job or connecting with a person who can help you become a better self, can really help.
8. Lingering – There is always someone in a group of friends that will linger, slow everybody down by stopping every couple of meters. These people are always late for a date, spend an hour on their hairstyle, do stuff extremely slow.
- Solution – If you are such a person you need to understand this – you are pissing everybody around you. Nobody wants to wait for you, or watch you how you wash 5 dishes for 30 minutes, write a single email for an hour. Get yourself together and move quickly god damn it.
9. Helping Everybody – My mom does that. She wants to help everybody and she cannot say “No” to anyone. If you are not like that, I am sure you know at least several of these personalities. Of course, people start abusing them. Constantly asking for favours and offering nothing in return. Some of the people who are trying to take advantage of them are not even their friends. Just people they know. The sad thing is that most of the people who constantly trying to help others, don’t even realize that they are being abused.
- Solution – Realize yourself and “fuck” others. Start refusing stuff you don’t really want to do. “Can you take photos of my kid to his birthday party next week?” “No! Call a photographer.”Can you come by my place and help me clean my maze” “Hell no! I have better stuff to do.”
10. Nothing – Some people are masters of doing – nothing. You can do nothing everywhere and you can be really good at it, simply, because there are no expectations on doing nothing. Whether sitting, standing, laying around – people who do nothing have serious issues.
- Solution – Start doing something. Something that will help you be a better person.
I really hope the list above will help you stop doing some of the stuff that are devastating for us and start doing others, that will lead you towards a better life.
But let’s for a moment observe what does “wasting our time” gives us:
- It surely makes us feel more relaxed.
- Calm and gives us time to enjoy the little things.
- Make us happy, laugh.
- Catch up with friends.
- Opportunity to dream about places and things we don’t have.
These things sound really positive, right? Why then stop doing them?
These experiences give us only momentary pleasures and in order to feel happy again, our brain will constantly push us towards repeating these actions. For example:
- If you really enjoy watching Game of Thrones, you will want to watch all of the series. Still, what will happen when you’ve watched all of them? You will probably feel really sad, or like most people, start watching other series hoping they are good as Game of Thrones.
Same goes when you love going out:
- Yesterday you were at a party but it wasn’t quite good. You didn’t have sex with anyone and you are quite disappointed now. That’s why, today, you are going out once again and you will definitely hook up with someone. We both know that this can’t go forever, and one more thing – there are girls everywhere. You can meet someone on the street, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go out and get drunk.
In the two examples above, you are not only wasting more time than you initially intended but you are also wasting your potential.
Let’s consider something different:
- You can go out, run for a couple of kilometers and you will feel better. Yes, tired, but better. That exercise alone brought you several positive things – movement, adrenaline rush, lose weight, opportunity to meet someone with similar interests and It didn’t cost much of your time.
If you really fell like “wasting your time” is the right thing for you, then do it. Get up around noon, go for a long slow walk. Spend most of your spare time watching TV and chatting with people on Facebook. It won’t heart anybody and nobody will judge you.
But if you are doing all of the above, you don’t have the right to complain about anything – money; love life; boss; being fat. Hold your tongue behind your teeth and enjoy your happiness.
If you are the other type, and you are looking for a way to be more productive, find more time doing what you really want. I really hope that the advice above will help you improve.
Add a comment below if you want to share your thoughts on this one.