In my previous post, I argued that there is actually something that is worse for you than the much-dreaded procrastination.
And this is to waste your time on stupid bullshit!
To Procrastinate Is To Remain Inert In Your Current Position Instead Of Moving Forward
But To Waste Your Time On Things That Are Actually Meaningless To You
Is To Move Backwards!
So I declare that you must first strive to stop wasting your time on all these worthless activities, before being able to properly take on procrastination.
And, here, I think I can help you.
I will do so by sharing with you 18 surefire and relatively easy to implement ways to drastically reduce the frequency of you proclaiming to yourself (or others): “Boy, was that a complete waste of time, or what…”!
Here goes the second part, and please make sure you pay close attention!
I assure you that this is helpful advice, drawn from my extensive personal experience of unreasonable and uncalled for (not to mention irretrievable) waste of time.
7. When You Cannot Escape Doing Something That You (Think You) Hate
Try Doing It As Lovingly And Playfully As You Can
Admittedly, this piece of advice is a bit more “advanced” or “meta”, if you prefer a technical term. But it can also make a huge difference in your life, because it really touches the crux of the matter at hand.
You see, you treat an activity you engage with as worthless, insofar as you first acknowledge it as such.
Am I implying that additional value, meaning and beauty can be found in any task you undertake?
Even in the ones you terminally detest?
The answer to this question is a big yes.
If you can avoid doing something you consider to be a heap of bullshit and a black hole sucking your precious time, by all means, do so.
But the truth is there will always be in your life many things which you hate, yet you cannot avoid doing them.
So do them! But there is no reason you must suffer, while in the process.
Since, after all, you cannot escape these things, do them as attentively and caringly as you can. Logically speaking, there’s no reason not to do your level best, once you’re in the “Arena”.
See this as a constructive challenge for yourself. One that can lead you into higher self-appreciation and cultivate within you the following so valuable and rare a “commodity”, especially nowadays:
Your Peace Of Mind.
Another trick in you finding enjoyment through conducting “meaningless” chores is to gamify them.
The beauty here is that anything can be turned into a game and, subsequently, dealt with in a playful way.
I will give you an example.
Imagine that, for the sake of your better half or a dear friend of yours, you have to spend 2 or more hours of your time watching a movie you find utterly idiotic.
Instead of silently suffering while the movie goes on, try to bet with yourself on how many and which clichés of said movie genre will manifest in the particular film.
Notice how this adds, out of nowhere, some interest (even excitement) to an activity you previously thought was worthless. Plus, notice that you were able to create this newfound interest and / or excitement singlehandedly and on the spot.
I bet (let me place one as well) that this will make you very happy about yourself and disperse any negativity you previously felt about the activity in question.
The key in entering a truly playful mood is to remember that the point and fun of any game is about playing it as long as possible. It is not about winning it (or losing it).
Because when someone wins or loses, the game in question stops and we are all back in our “serious mode” (i.e. our “boring” self), are we not?
So, to recap, try to love everything you do for the sake of what it is, and not for what you (think you) can get out of it.
Moreover, try to either turn a thing you do into a new game or add it to an existing one.
After all, don’t you feel quite often that life itself is but a big (in fact, the biggest) game?
I have pretty much said everything about the dreadful effect of multitasking in your life in the article this link will lead you to.
Allow me then to only use this opportunity to come up with an alternative definition of multitasking, which I believe ties very well with my present article’s subject matter:
Multitasking is the virus that can turn any meaningful and useful activity into worthless bullshit.
9. Be Very Mindful As To What You Promise
And To Whom You Make Promises
I am making an implicit assumption here. It is probably worth our while I spell it out loud and clear:
You are a person who “walks your talk” and makes sure you deliver on all the promises you make.
Because if you are not, this is not for you.
To be honest, I don’t think any of my material is for you…
Okay, but assuming you are such a person, it logically follows that you have to be very careful about which promises you make and to whom you commit on what.
That is because this is a major determining factor of how much junk you will either manage to avoid – and be a “happy bunny” – or pick up and waste your valuable time (and good mood) on.
This may seem obvious, yet I have observed, time and again, smart, capable and (too) good-willing people falling for it. I am talking about the trap of promising everything to everyone. Judging from my vast (if also anecdotal) experience, this is usually because of the fear of “losing face” in case the promise is not made.
However, in virtually all such cases, if you take some time and carefully and objectively examine your fears, you will likely come to the conclusion that their root cause is your identification with your thoughts.
And, as we have seen before, you are not your thoughts.
Thus, you should only make promises you feel like making and keeping, because they resonate with your values and make you feel truly joyful and motivated about pursuing them.
Anything in excess of that is a recipe for suffering and – of course -truckloads of wasted time, because of you having to follow through with some… ahem… bullshit promise that you made, contrary to your true will.
10. Watch (Much) Less Sports
Unless you’re a sportscaster or sports journalist, why would you want to waste so much time watching sports?
Why invest such a portion of your being in worrying about how your favorite sports team will fare during the upcoming game or season?
I’ll be honest with you: if you are addicted to watching sports, there is a void within you that you are trying to patch in the wrong way.
Trust me, I’ve been there. I was very much addicted to watching anything that involved scores of people running frantically after, and / or around, a round- or cylinder- or pumpkin-shaped object. And I’m afraid there is no magic solution to enable you to step out of this pattern from one moment to the next (mind you, not to say that such radical shift would be entirely out of the question).
So, the best you can do is find another hobby or pastime activity to replace your sport-watching one.
Ideally, this new activity should be related to something that demands your direct participation and contribution.
Do what you can to find out what such activity could be and start engaging with it, step by step, gradually devoting more of your, formerly sport-watching, time to it.
If you follow my advice, you will notice that you will start identifying yourself less and less with your “favorite team”.
On the other hand, if you don’t take such action, the void I was talking about a couple of lines above will in all likelihood keep on enlarging every time “the game is over”.
And YOUR true game (the one of your life) must always go on, as we saw.
11. Consume Much More Selectively
Mass consumption means mass garbage. Literal and metaphorical. Material, mental and emotional.
If you want to significantly reduce your life’s wasted time, you have to choose very carefully what and when to consume.
Naturally, this is the activity you spend most of your waking life doing: consuming (rather than producing).
So, feed yourself – again, literally and metaphorically – only with what you know is best for you. Always be on the lookout for eclectic experiences as well as top and unique product quality. And don’t be quick to assume that you absolutely must spend a flotilla of money in order to secure one (a product with top quality) or the other (a unique and special experience).
This, by the way, complements wonderfully the principle I shared with you in my previous article:
For Every “YES” You Say (To Others Or Yourself), You Must Count Twenty “NO”s.
12. Mercilessly Scrutinize Each And Every Urge You Get
Before Allowing Yourself To Succumb To It
In doing so, the key question to ask yourself is:
Is the journey I will embark on, if I succumb to this urge, one I truly wish to take?
Or am I just blindly following the wishes of others, the trends of media and society, and/or my mind’s pointless and incessant chatter?
And no matter what that urge may be (from very small to very big), it is imperative that when you first get it you don’t immediately rush to serve and satisfy it.
You first need to stop and take a moment to truly examine it.
I have personally found that a very good rule of thumb whenever such urge arises on the screen of my consciousness is to ask myself three times (allowing at least a 30-second interval between each question) if I really want to cave in and satisfy it.
In order for me to even consider doing so, I must answer a wholehearted, pure and unfiltered YES each single time.
Try it. You will be surprised by how well this little trick works and from how much rubbish it will spare you.
There you have it, friend…!
We will continue and conclude next time with my third part of my 18 bullshit-proof ways (the last six ones). In the meantime, I think you have a good opportunity to act on the ones I have already shared in this, as well as in my previous post. These should preferably be the ones you find more relevant for you, or more to your liking.
Therefore, until then,
Remain safe and alert, and try one, few, many or all (why not?) of these ways out.
And don’t forget to write me back and share with me how they worked for you.