What’s the biggest waste of time in your life? I’m sure for some it’s watching too much television, for many it’s spending too much time on the internet, but though those are significant time wasters for sure they’re not mine. The biggest waste of time in my life is worrying. If you’re not a worrier, you can’t possibly understand, but if you are, you’re out there nodding your head as you read this.

Time spent worrying, is time spent not living. Worrying by its very nature takes us out of the present moment and into the past, ruminating over what has already happened or into the future, projecting what might possibly come to pass. Worry keeps us trapped in our heads and keeps us from truly enjoying our life, as it’s unfolding. Some planning is necessary, taking action mandatory, but worrying…optional.

Why are we wasting so much time worrying?

We spend time worrying about losing our jobs, or not being able to find one, instead of enjoying the job we do have or calmly contemplating how we could improve our work life or exploring better career options, or spending our time furthering our education and improving our skills.

We spend time wringing our hands about not having enough money, not being able to pay our bills and not being able to buy the things we need and enjoy, instead of being grateful for what money we do have and enjoying the things that are already in our lives.

We worry about never finding true love or losing the love we have, instead of learning to love ourselves more and nurturing our relationships so that they are deep, lasting, and fulfilling. If we’re wasting time lamenting over a lack of love, or loss of love, then we’re not spending time paying attention to the people who are already present in our lives.

We waste a considerable amount of time worrying about what the rest of the world thinks about us. We spend precious time courting favorable opinions, comparing ourselves to others, pursuing approval and worrying that we will never get it. How much better if this time were spent actually doing the things we want, rather than thinking about what other people’s reactions will be?

We needlessly spend time worrying about unimportant things. We get bent out of shape over tiny insults; we agonize over decisions that won’t matter next week. We often spend more time worrying about what we’re going to wear, where we want to eat or what we’re going to say, than we do enjoying our meal, experiencing what we’re doing or having the conversations.

I can’t speak for everyone else, not even all of the other worriers out there, but I know that I spend a considerable amount of time worrying, ruminating, and anxiously projecting. That time would be much better spent focusing on the work at hand, paying attention to the people around me now, and reveling in the experiences that are happening in this very moment. As I said before, time spent worrying, is time spent not living in the life we have at this very moment in time. That is truly the biggest time waster of all.

Featured photo credit:  picture of pensive businesswoman via Shutterstock

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