Last week I went to listen to a speech organized by a local association. I thought it would be interesting. But after started listening to it, I realized that I wasted my time. I have noticed myself that this feeling of “waste of time” is stressful. I realized that this feeling of wasting time is the real cause of the waste. None of the other external factors contribute to that.
Let me try to explain that with some examples.
Suppose you have the habit of spending a lot of time watching a TV. That becomes a waste of time, as soon as you start thinking that it is a waste of time. Otherwise, you are relaxing, engaging in some entertainment. You may counter-argue saying it is a waste of time. The reason could be that nowadays TV does not provide any valuable information. Even television channels mislead you to be anti-social, etc. In that case here is my suggestion. Please watch only that much TV, which will not induce this feeling of “waste of time” inside you at a later stage.
Another example is a traffic jam. We get stressed out easily by thinking about the waste of time. But I will tell you there are too many interesting things we can do while we are stuck in traffic. Starting from listening to your favorite audiobook to enjoying the jam around you.
I will tell you another story. I had this habit when I was in school and college. As soon as the exams get announced, I will spend one day to prepare a detailed plan on how to study for the exam. After a couple of days, I realize that nothing worked as per the scheme. Then I redo the planning. Many Times, this action repeated. Just One day before the exam I would throw all these plans and study whatever is possible. After the exam, I feel stressed about wasting a lot of time planning. This waste of time in planning, in turn, impacts the second exam too.
We cannot avoid these kinds of situations in life. But it up to us to learn to handle them. The interesting thing to observe in each of these scenarios is the presence of a third party agent. No one purposefully wastes their time own their own.
So who is the third party agent? If you spend a lot of time in front of the TV, It could be your favorite anchor. It could be that sofa manufacturer if you watch TV because you like to sit on the couch. If it is a traffic jam, it could be another reckless driver out there. If I had spent a lot of time planning for the exam, it could be someone who taught me those planning techniques.
How to escape time traps?
Time traps are there everywhere. But it is up to us to feel stressed about it or handle it. It is up to us to see if we can use that time for something useful or creative.. it is important for us to find out who is eating our time. Who is that predator hiding behind the bush? It is important to find out and then escape or ignore him. Do not become preys for those predators out there. Most important, please do not become a predator yourself.. !!! In other words, don’t become a prey by wasting your time or don’t waste others time by becoming a predator.