The Idea of Wasting Time

Coming from a capitalist country, if there’s one thing I know more by the day, it’s that our society is driven by the need to be productive at work, and to keep up a lifestyle of efficiency, and high standard.

From my childhood, it was engraved in me that in order to fit in, I needed to keep up with school, be social, and join after school clubs. This I did until my teens, where my erratic PMT, bullying from one specific cow, and extreme family drama involving substance abuse left me with depression, anxiety, and self-esteem as rock bottom as the basement of a house.

Despite this, I always looked for ways to fill the void, whether that be

  • Learning the keyboard
  • Joining a band (or two)
  • Learning guitar
  • Attempting to strengthen the Christian beliefs I had at the time
  • Write novels
  • Draw manga.

This list goes on, but the point is that these weren’t just interests- they were fixations and phases I had to 1. Escape reality, and 2. Feel like I’m actually a useful person in society. To this day, I struggle with these internalised thoughts.

If I reflect on what’s on my agenda in life, as of today they are.

  • My full time job in Payroll.
  • My volunteering in the mental health sector (2-4 hours a week).
  • Keeping up with this blog.
  • Ensure the house is maintained (clean, we have food, and supplies in the house)
  • Maintain my relationship with my boyfriend, my family, and friends.
  • Keep up with my social media accounts (e.g. Twitter & Instagram).

Even with all the above that are on my agenda, I often sit on my sofa, feeling as though if I have a movie night, or I’m playing a video game, that I’m wasting valuable time. This obsessive aspect of my brain I understand comes from my Generalised Anxiety Disorder- which likes to focus on the biggest fear I have – failure. Failure to hit the goals that I have set myself, the fear that when I am old- that my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be, and the failure to be as good at the rest of society (I 99% blame social media for this train of thought).

It’s a very strange way of thinking, but I see this more commonplace with my friends. If I look at what I have from a completely objective lens, and if I even think about my own life satisfaction, I am happy, and I have good things. This is what matters at the end of the day, and not the fact that “Oh I wasted 2 hours playing a video game”, because actually- I had a lot of fun. What I realise more and more by the day (although it is taking a lot of learning), is that being “lazy” is perfectly fine. If I want to spend my Sunday relaxing rather than worry for 3 hours where we’re going to buy our first home, or whether I should do a masters degree, then I am perfectly entitled to that.

So if you’re reading this, and you also worry about how often you procrastinate on what you need to do, or you worry that you’ve been a bit more laidback than usual, think of the following questions:

  • Is what you’re worrying about something you need to do, or want to do?
    • If it is something you want to do, why aren’t you doing it right now? Are you currently happier at this time not doing that task? If yes- then that’s perfectly fine. If no, question what is it that is stopping you from doing the task, but also- don’t put pressure on yourself that because there is an obstacle, that this can’t be thought through. Write down what you want to do, and make a plan of when this can be done on a to-do list or set a reminder. For example if you want to rearrange the socks drawer, tell Alexa, or set an alarm on your phone that you’ll do this at 19:00 on Saturday for example. When this is done- reward yourself with a treat of choice.
    • If it is something you need to do, why aren’t you doing it right now? If it is something you are putting off- I recommend you get a to-do list, and write down each step in the task you’re doing. When you’ve completed each task, reward yourself with a little break, or a treat of choice. For example if you have a university assignment to do that is 2000 words, for every 500 words completed, give yourself a 30 minute break.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know your thoughts as I’d be interested in your opinion on this too.

One thought on “The Idea of Wasting Time

  1. Austin says:

    It’s important to find a balance. Nothing is normal about life right now, and people need to take that into consideration when setting goals and making a schedule. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and to adjust accordingly…

    Like

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