“Wasting” time meaningfully

We are all perennially caught up in the rat race. And in this fast-paced, dog-eat-dog world we live in I find that many people are preoccupied with making the most of that which, when gone, can never be captured again — TIME.

Ever since I got back to the corporate world, things changed in my life. As a homemaker and budding yogini, I learned to slow down, breathe deeply, become aware of my surroundings, meditate deeply. Going back to a corporate environment meant adjustments. Time well spent in the office spelled productivity. What mattered was what you could produce in the least amount of time. Wake up early. Move quickly. Think on your feet. Eat your meals faster. Walk more briskly. Take the quickest route in any situation. Move it, move it, move it!!!

Sometimes I wonder what people caught up in the corporate whirlwind think about pausing, taking stock of life passing by, and learning to “waste” time meaningfully?  Aren’t those two ideas opposing ones?

Can wasted time ever be meaningful?

YES, YES, YES — because it really depends on your view of WASTE.

I can think of thousands of time wasters. But from my perspective, anything that adds value to others, most specially to loved ones or to people around my spheres of influence is NOT a waste. Time away from my own task, though considered wasted, is channeled to making someone else feel better, feel more loved, feel supported and understood. Actually, anything that also adds value TO MY OWN LIFE is definitely not a waste of time.

A parent who stops work to play with his child just lost productive hours but added meaning to his child’s;

A long phone chat with a friend in need is a time waster but has comforted someone;

A long chess game with your kid could make you think of “better” things to do but that precious time can be one of the greatest bonding moments.

Two Saturdays ago, I was at work. I was planning on staying till 5pm to get some work done on a quiet day. Around 3pm, Chona called me. She was free to meet up at Shang. I was initially torn. There went my plans to be work productive. But the next moment, I decided that if a friend I missed wanted to see me, that was more important for us both.  Though I did get some work done, it was not as much as I would have wanted. But there were no regrets because I got to spend a wonderful afternoon with an even more wonderful friend and that time cemented our friendship even more.

In a few weeks, I will adjust once again to a slower life as a project comes to an end. There will be time for yoga, time for myself, time to waste with friends and family, time for introspection, time for my bucket list. I think I am looking forward to “wasting” my time. Because by wasting it, I know my life will become even more meaningful.

Looking forward to wasting time with all of you!!!! 🙂

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karmi
    Dec 15, 2008 @ 21:28:31

    Hi! Happy wasting then! Just saying hello from Chile. I’d have to check where you are; I just happened to drop by.

    Jane: Hi, Karmi. You’re in Chile? Oohh haven’t been there and would love to visit sometime. Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply

  2. Ella
    Dec 16, 2008 @ 04:15:21

    Great post. i Can very much relate to this. I work from home as a virtual assistant and though i feel that I have more time with my family because I work right next to our sala, I still feel I need more time. I have a 2 year old daughter and at times I find myself unproductive because I have to go out and spend time playing with her. Definitely a time waster. But you’re right, a time wasted in mine is definitely a memory added and will be cherished by her.

    Jane: Hi Ella! Good for you, you will reap a harvest from these time wasters when your daughter is older. It makes a difference for her when you spend quality time with her.

    Reply

  3. mixednuts
    Dec 19, 2008 @ 08:20:13

    I love your post and your insight on time not actually wasted. It is true that if you spent time to make yourself happy and a better person at that, then you’re on the right path.

    Reply

  4. Ced
    Dec 28, 2008 @ 17:52:11

    You hit the bull’s eye on this, Jane! There’s more to life than generating more money (generally understood as the result of ‘productivity’). The sooner all of us realize that it’s the “little” things that count the most, the shorter our travel is towards true happiness. 😉

    Jane: So glad you’re one of those who “get it”, Ced! 🙂

    Reply

  5. Leather Wristbands
    Nov 22, 2010 @ 15:49:40

    working from home is the best job that you can get, you will always find comfort in your home while working ;..

    Reply

  6. Manoj Mahyavanshi
    Feb 25, 2011 @ 13:16:00

    “Dont Waste Your Time, Keep Moving With Your Aim”

    Reply

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