I wonder if what I call a wise use, is really wise. Do I fool myself into spending time doing things that I consider wise or worthwhile, but that aren’t? Most other things I lose in life, I can eventually find again or regain somehow.
I lose car keys. I can hunt till I find them or I can go to the dealer for a new set. I lose my wallet. I can go back to Target an hour later and find it untouched in a shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot – yes, that happened last week. If next time, I’m not so fortunate, I can replace all the valuables that are in my wallet. It would take way too many phone calls, but all could be replaced.
Even if I lose money and don’t find that money again, I can replace it by earning more or spending less elsewhere. Though it’s tough, there are usually options to finding money again.
Time is different. Yes, I have many time-saving devices (thank God!) but I can’t regain or replace lost time. It’s gone. It’s history.
I’ve been fascinated with time for a long time and after almost dying five years ago, I really wondered about time and how to spend it. Sometimes, the thought of what I do or don’t do with my time almost caused me to worry. Gosh, I could have died, but I didn’t, so I can’t waste a moment. I must be productive all the time!
This was discouraging as I was recovering from major injuries, because productive in my mind meant actively working. I thought that was the only way I could consider my time spent wisely.
Questions are a specialty of mine, so my question became, “What is a productive use of time?
Thankfully, I came to realize that not wasting time doesn’t mean being productive in the normal sense of the word. I still don’t want to lose or waste time, but what I call being productive with my time has changed.
I don’t surf, but I like this quote about balancing time.
“We have these big brains, and a limited amount of time. So what to do? A lot of people spend their time making money, sometimes with the hope that they’ll be able to do what they want after they make it. But you never get that time back. Theoretical physics is the most abstractly beautiful and challenging pursuit there is. It’s what I want to spend my time thinking about, so that’s what I do. But all thinking and no action would make for a dull life. So I surf.” – Garrett Lisi, theoretical physicist, Aug. 5, 2007
Part 2 – “My Thoughts on Use of Time” coming soon ….
What does using your time productively look like to you?