I’ve been thinking lately about how I spend my time. As my days seem to be filled to the max, and deadlines loom, how do I get everything done that needs to be done? I had to stop and acknowledge some time wasters and evaluate how I’m spending my time.
Some of the time wasters in my life are:
1. Social media – predominantly Facebook
However, let me preface that by saying I see the value in Facebook. I fought it for years and said I’d never have a Facebook account, but I succumbed to the temptation, and I’m glad I did. Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with special friends from my past, disciples, disciplers, coworkers in ministry, people I grew up with, people I served overseas with, extended family. I had lost touch with many of these people, and Facebook has allowed me to reconnect and have a glimpse into their lives. I cherish that and love knowing how to pray for people, and what is going on in their lives. I have prayed for them as they’ve lost loved ones and celebrated babies being born. So I see the value in Facebook.
But, I also see how it can consume my time when I allow it to. For instance, I can spend an hour without realizing it looking at the news feed and watching numerous shared videos or reading blogs that get my interest. These are not bad things in and of themselves, but when they begin to dominate my time and take me away from things of higher priority, then it becomes a time waster. The key is to limit my time on social media and not let it take me away from more important things.
I don’t watch much TV, but I do enjoy certain shows: 24, the Food Network, HGTV, competition shows, and of course, LSU football. Again, I don’t think it’s wrong to watch TV. I sometimes need to turn my brain off at night and just enjoy watching how to cook gourmet meals or remodel a home. But where it becomes a time waster is when I choose to watch TV instead of getting higher priority tasks done. I consider getting to watch a program as a reward for getting my important things done first. (That’s why I love having a DVR so I can record and watch later.)
I admit I love to play games. Sudoku, Words with Friends, Jumbline 2. I like to rationalize that this is valuable time spent exercising my brain, and it is. But before I know it, I am caught up in the “just one more game” cycle. It’s not bad to relax and enjoy using my brain in a fun way, but again, when it begins to consume my time and take me away from accomplishing tasks of higher priority, then it’s a hindrance and time waster.
I have to make sure that my priorities are in order and that these time wasters don’t prevent me from getting my priorities done each day. I can enjoy these things, but I need to be on guard against letting them dominate my time and distracting me from what’s most important.
Now it’s your turn. What do you consider to be some time-wasters? How have you handled them?