Is It Okay to Waste Time?

By Ron Rosenbergdont waste your time phrase handwritten on chalkboard vintage precise stopwatch used instead of O

We hear it in various sayings: "Time is money," "You can't get back lost time, " and "When people waste your time, they're stealing your life."

There are some things in life that can be replaced, but time is not one of them; and the older you get, the more significant this becomes.

When you think of life in terms of a giant hourglass, as you get older, more and more of the sand shifts from the top part to the bottom, making each grain of sand remaining in the top section extremely valuable. So with that view in mind, you might think that wasting time is always a bad thing.

But there are times when it's important to slow down, other times when you need a diversion or maybe just do nothing at all.

A good friend of ours who is retired likes to say that "the time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time at all."

What he means is that you're allowed to have some down time; it's okay to do things that may seem frivolous and unproductive, because this gives your brain an opportunity to rest and re-calibrate.

For example, if I'm struggling with a work problem, my wife will often recommend that I get on my bicycle and go for a ride. I'll protest that I can't do anything until I solve the problem. But if she insists, I'll usually follow her advice - she has an annoying habit of being right about these things.

And, don't you know it, about 15 miles into the ride - when I've completely stopped thinking about the problem - out of nowhere a solution suddenly materializes in my brain.

Of course, you can't spend your entire life doing things that seem like "wasting time," but you can make a deliberate effort to slow down, have some fun, and broaden your horizons.

Taking time out of your normal routine can help you become more productive in all areas of your life. And that's time well spent.