“This is a waste of time” is one of the most unhealthy mentalities I’ve heard. What’s worse is that there are people around me who say this almost all the time. They say they are not going to waste time from now on. They are going to be productive all the time. Yeah, okay. Good luck with that, because I have yet to see one person who is productive all the time.
Usually when we think of time-wasting activities, we think of activities like playing video games, or watching the television, but it has come to my attention that there are also people who think reading novels is a waste of time. Now that is just sad, which inspired me to rant and ramble about this.
The common trend I see is that if someone sees one thing as a waste of time, he/she will start viewing other things as a waste of time as well:
Playing video games is a waste of time because you are immersed in a virtual world that won’t be of use to you in real life.
Watching the television is a waste of time because it does not help you put food on the table.
Reading novels is a waste of time because how will knowing fake stories ever going to help you pass your exam? (unless you are taking English)
School is a waste of time because by the time you graduate, most of the stuff you learned will be outdated.
Going to the doctors is a waste of time because you are just going to get sick again.
Living is a waste of time because you are just going to die so why bother.
Anything can be a waste of time if you really think about it. But how is anything a waste of time if you enjoy doing it? I think that time spent doing something I like is hardly wasting time at all. Happiness, in my opinion, should be the top priority in life. If you hate your job, you are wasting your time going to work everyday because you probably have very little motivation to do your job well anyways. Listening to a lecture you don’t enjoy is a waste of time because chances are, you aren’t even paying much attention to it.
Then there are times when you have to do something you don’t enjoy because you have no other choice. But instead of seeing them as activities we don’t enjoy, I think that we should see them as activities that will help us enjoy other activities better. For example, if you keep on doing chores, you can do them better and faster, so that you will have more time for activities you like later on.
Studies have shown that video games improve hand-eye co-ordination, watching television can make us become more aware of different things, and reading fiction increases your ability to feel empathy towards others. So if there are two sides to everything, then why always pick the negative side?
I do think there should be a limit though. If an activity starts to take over your desire for self-improvement and goal-setting, then it is not time well spent.
What do you think? Where should the line between wasting time and being productive be drawn?