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The Biggest Waste of Time in Your Life Uncovered

The Biggest Waste of Time in Your Life Uncovered

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Featured photo credit:  picture of pensive businesswoman via Shutterstock

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Royale Scuderi

A creative strategist, consultant and writer who specializes in cultivating human potential for happiness, health and fulfillment.

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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The leap happens when we realize two things:

  1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

“Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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