Whether it’s your parents, employer, or the daily fifty reminders on your calendar, it seems the world keeps telling you that if you want to be somebody important, you need to DO something important. I beg to differ. Here are some forms of time wasting that are in fact not wasteful at all:
1. Sleep. It is worth it.
It is impossible to function as a normal human being on 3 hours of sleep per night, so stop trying. Scientific research shows most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. You want to be smarter, physically fit, and not look like something straight out of the Walking Dead? Studying can wait; go to bed.
2. Eat slower.
Food can be an amazing thing, if you let it be. Instead of inhaling the pasta you just paid good money for, try taking smaller bites, and try really tasting each bite. Maybe that lump of noodle in your mouth actually tastes like heaven, and you are missing out.
3. Pursue your hobbies.
If you enjoy painting, make time for painting. If you enjoy badminton, make time for badminton. Diversify your talents, even if it’s something weird like playing the harmonica along to Queen B’s new album. Now that’s cool.
4. Learn to wait.
The barista is making your coffee at the speed of a sloth, and you are already late for work. No, the solution does not involve imagining yourself strangling her. But rather, learn to wait. Waiting for a drink, waiting in long lines, and waiting for the dentist to call your name are all experiences that strengthen your patience. This patience is a handy characteristic to have in the long run. It might even save your relationships.
5. Go out of your way for others.
Doing a favor for somebody does not necessarily mean they will do you one in return. And you shouldn’t always expect them to. If you see an old lady having trouble carrying her groceries, go help her! The same goes for the friend who needs help running an errand, or the kid who could use some tutoring with a math problem. These small acts of undeserved kindness will only make your heart bigger and bigger.
6. Know that it’s OK to fail multiple times.
Sometimes it’ll feel like you’re getting nowhere in life. The truth is, sometimes it is OK to be getting nowhere in life. In the time it takes for your life to move forward career-wise or relationship-wise, you’re still breathing, learning, growing, and discovering yourself. The most successful people spent a lot of time failing, running in circles, and feeling like all is lost. They simply always found the courage to try again.
7. Smell the roses.
If you only focus on chasing after tomorrow, you’ll miss out on today. Notice what you have right now, notice the sun and the fresh air, and notice that you are wonderfully alive. Go out for a walk. Spend time with family. Catch a movie with friends. Do more things that make you happy. Sometimes we all just need to breath, breathe, breathe, and take a break.