Recently a blog post I read made me think about the phrase 'a waste of time'. What is a waste of time to one person often isn't to another. On the other hand if an excessive amount of time is spent on some of the 'worthwhile activities' that may involve a degree of time wasting. For example if the car is already clean and you spend another two hours fiddling around with cotton buds to clean out every tiny space, perhaps that's a waste of time. However, if you find paying that much attention to detail is relaxing, well then it's not.
Definition According to Vocabulary.com 'waste of time' means 'the devotion of time to a useless activity'. The Merriam-Webster website says, 'a bad use of time.'
Time These days many people spend a lot of time rushing around and we often hear the term 'time poor'. People don't want to waste time and they may feel others will judge them negatively if they do.
However, is just being busy the opposite of wasting time? Is being idle necessarily a waste of time? Each person has their own view of what activities are a waste of time.
Sleep Medical experts advise us to get enough sleep every night. Individuals vary in how much sleep they need but we are often advised to get between seven and eight hours of sleep. I have also read that the number of hours sleep needed changes somewhat with age. However, if you don't get enough sleep and spend the day feeling groggy you aren't going to be efficient and may even be a danger to yourself and others.
Some people resent time spent asleep and feel it is a waste of time. Margherita Missoni, heiress to the Missoni fashion house says, 'I'm not a big sleeper. It just feels like wasting time. If I wake up and it's after 5am I stay up.'
Dave Grohl is another famous person who feels sleeping is wasting time. Dave, leader of the rock group, Foo Fighters, says, 'It's tough to go to sleep at night, and I wake up after five hours because I feel like I'm wasting time. I just sit up at night and think about what I can do next.'
Some people feel sleeping is time wasted, but it isn't. We need to get sufficient sleep to be healthy in body and mind.
Image:Alexas-Fotos from Pixabay
Making money For some people, making money is perhaps the most important thing in their life. They may not be content with simply earning enough to live on but want to earn more and more. If an activity is making them money they feel it is valid and worthwhile. On the other hand, they are likely to judge activities that don't bring in financial rewards or return only a small amount of money as a waste of time.
A couple of months ago I attended an antiques and vintage fair and got talking to one of the stallholders. She said she and her husband travelled around the country to different fairs. They made enough money to cover petrol, accommodation and meals and had little over. However she didn't feel it was a waste of time (and effort) because they got to see the country, met interesting people and it gave them something they enjoyed doing together in their retirement.
Employment Most people feel being employed is making good use of time. They may not always enjoy it but the wage pays the bills and puts food on the table. Employment is the way most people make their money.
Sport Exercise is needed to maintain a healthy body and playing sport provides exercise. Some feel spending 'too much' time playing sport is a waste of time but others don't.
Some people love to watch sport and it can have social rewards. Others aren't interested and say they can find better ways to spend their time.
Image:Keith Johnston from Pixabay
Volunteering Being a volunteer won't make money so those who value making money over everything else are likely to dismiss it as a 'waste of time'. However, volunteers are very important in our society and volunteering has numerous social and health benefits to the person donating their time. Many see volunteering as a good and valid use of time.
Creative endeavours Artists, crafts people, writers and the like may make little or no money from what they create. A few become famous and prosper financially but many, although talented and hardworking, don't. Some have a day job and do their creative work as a sideline. They may try to make money from their creative work or they may just do it for the enjoyment they get from being creative.
Inventors are similar. Yes, some sell the patent for their invention, but many don't and never make money from their hours of research, tinkering and experimentation.
Playing video games There is a wide range of video games. Some involve a variety of skills and the player can learn much from playing. That said, a person needs balance and to do other activities as well.
Some players end up making an online career of reviewing games or streaming themselves playing games. Perhaps all the time they spent playing video games when they started out has paid off financially.
Image:Anton Porsche from Pixabay
Social media I believe social media has its place and I enjoy spending a bit of time reading, sharing and laughing. However, again it's about getting a balance in life and not letting it take over.
Relaxing There are many activities different people consider to be relaxing. For some it is social media, video games or playing golf. What is work to one person may be relaxation to another and vice versa.
Some people are uncomfortable about even the thought of relaxing because they feel they should always be busy. In their mind, relaxing is wasting time.
However, relaxing is important for a person's mental and physical health. Even 'doing nothing' has it's place. Spending time doing nothing allows the brain time to reset. Surprisingly it is sometimes when you are doing nothing that the answer to a problem pops into your brain.
The important thing is to get balance in one's life. Too much doing nothing leads to boredom and a feeling of pointlessness, perhaps depression. If a person already suffers Depression that can also result in a lack of motivation and 'doing nothing' most of the time. Perhaps professional help is needed to treat the Depression.
The answer to the question I haven't answered the question, 'Is that really a waste of time?' because it depends on the individual.