Thursday, June 7, 2012

Are you wasting your time?

Yes, that's Bejeweled Blitz on my computer screen.
I, uh, was just. . .researching!
The frugality of time.

There are only so many hours in a day, only so many minutes in an hour—we have to budget our time just as well as our bank accounts. . .

Confession: The other day, I came home from work exhausted and headachy. And then I played Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook for, like, four hours straight. It did not improve my headache or fatigue, and I ended up feeling even worse for the wasted day.

The dishes weren't done, the laundry wasn't put away, I had missed an entire week or so of posting on this blog. . .Yuck.

So I've been thinking of time wasters and how to avoid getting trapped by them. If you've ever been in the midst of an all-day mindless-internet-surfing spree, you'll know there's no easy way to snap out of it. I'm guessing the most fool-proof way to save time is to avoid ever getting sucked into time-wasting activities in the first place.

How can you save time?
  • Do not play games on your computer. If you get bombarded with requests on Facebook, block them. Sorry Farmville. So long, Solitaire. Just don't do it. Computer games have to be the absolute epitome of pointless time-wasters. And oh—they're devious and tricky, too: Designed specifically to suck the unwary surfer into a vicious sort of addiction. You're awarded "points" or congratulated by cartoon characters with "bonuses". . . Ei yi yi.
  • Keep the TV off. The occasional movie is a great way to relax, but do you really want to be wasting hours upon hours of your life watching inane (if engaging) things like Cupcake Wars or CSI: Miami? 
  • What are you doing? Finish it and clean up after yourself. Baking cookies? While they're in the oven, you can wash your mixing bowl and measuring implements. And then, when they're done, you're kitchen will look like one of those magical Food Network kitchens where you always end up with a delicious finished project and miraculously no mess!'
  • Give yourself an allowance. This many minutes to catch up on social media and e-mail, that many minutes to surf Pinterest—and no more. Stick to it.
  • Be prepared. One of my jobs now requires me to leave for work at 4:35AM. No exaggeration. However, by showering the night before, laying out clothes, and making sure there are adequate leftovers in the refrigerator, I can sleep in until 4:00AM and still get out the door on time.
  • Do the hard thing first. Balance your checking account, put away the laundry, and THEN reward yourself with your latest library book.
When you look back on your life, do you want to remember a sea of Pinterest boards or a best-selling book with your name on it? Endless hours of computer games, or the faces and laughs of the family members you invested time actively engaging with?

So what are your struggles? How do you make the best use of your time?