I had a very wise teenager in my car recently. I was driving my daughter and her friend somewhere and as they chatted, I listened and drove. (I think that’s my job now-driver and listener, at this stage of the game.) At one point, my daughter’s friend said, “I keep saying I don’t have time to do things, but the fact is that I just don’t make time for them. I have lots of time in my day and I waste way too much of it. Then I don’t have time for the things I have to do, or want to do. So I’m not saying, ‘I don’t have time,’ anymore. I will be honest and say, ‘I can’t make time for that.'”
Wow, pretty insightful for a teenager. Not that teenagers are not smart and clever, but it usually takes years and years for us to recognize how much time we waste on stupid things and how many things we miss by doing that. Even I had to sit back and think about all the time I waste on the Internet or watching TV. When I tell people I don’t have time to get to something, just what did I do all day that made me so late?
Of course, I do love TV, I admit it. There’s nothing wrong with watching some Walking Dead (which returns Feb. 10, yipee!) or Downton Abbey. Both offer a grand escape and are highly entertaining. But the channel surfing has to stop. The mornings I wake up and tell myself I will just watch a little TV with my tea and two hours later, cold tea at my side, I have watched nothing but crap. Seriously. So I move on to checking my email and two hours later I’ve looked at crap video clips and checked out a few websites that may be helpful in a work-related way (if I convince myself of it.) Luckily, this doesn’t happen every day or I would never leave the house. I do have responsibilities and a job, but on those rare days when I don’t have somewhere to go or something to do, I am quite disappointed in myself for not making better use of all that free time.
What is your major time waster and how can you get hold of it and wrestle it to the ground? Control it before it controls you, right? I’ve downloaded iTV on my iPad and I now only look for the TV shows I want to watch and keep the TV off all other times. I head into my office as soon as possible in the morning, where there is no television. Yes, there is a computer, but once I start working, it usually takes care of itself.
My last guilty pleasure is Facebook. I post every day and interact with friends and I love that. I read author FB posts and publishers, I check out what’s for sale at my favorite resale store. But mostly, I browse. Well, we all need some kind of vice, right?