Okay, maybe not that scary. Not all of them anyway.
The point of this list/post isn’t to judge, catastrophize, or create unnecessary drama.
We all engage in some of the behaviors/habits listed below, and as far as we control them, that’s fine.
The issue arises when these unhealthy, time-wasting habits start to control us and we start doing things on autopilot.
To avoid that, it’s important to become more aware of what these time wasters (or life wasters) are… and stop doing them.
I hope the following points will make you reflect on the amount of time we can end up wasting if we are not conscious about our daily routine.
Most importantly, I hope you’ll be inspired to find better alternatives and actually live to the fullest… because you deserve it!
Without further ado…
Main signs you are wasting your life
1. Suboptimal health
If you are not serious about your health, and don’t approach your health holistically, you’re doing something wrong. Health is what allows everything in life. Too many find out too late — don’t make the same mistake.
Whether you look for reasons you can’t, or reasons you will, you’ll always find plenty. So you may as well choose to assume responsibility and say goodbye to excuses that do nothing but hinder your growth (and happiness).
Big one. Is the occasional drink with friends going to kill you, or turn you into an unmotivated person? No. Again, the key is to be in control; and to never ever rely on alcohol or any other substance (other than food) to change your emotions.
4. Victim mentality
I get it. Life is unfair. I don’t think there’s any of us who have never experienced any type of unfairness in life. However, we still have a choice. Do we decide to play victim, and essentially allow that unfairness to be bigger than us? Or move on?
5. Copying others
Very hard not to — parts of our brain are literally programmed, through evolution, to copy others as a way to save time as well as feel like we belong. But you can learn to live your own life and be as independent as possible (entire article here).
Why wait for the right time when the time will never be right? Or even worse, why procrastinate as if what you’re supposed to do wasn’t important? Chances are, it’s actually important. Replace “later” with “ASAP”.
I’m not even going to go into why gossip is toxic to you and everybody else. The point is: focus on your own life, not someone else’s. I don’t care what they did or who they are. You are the most important person in your life.
When every little thing becomes a big thing, it’s easy to waste time and energy. You have one life — you can’t afford to let anger control you. Learn to be okay with making mistakes and feeling disappointed or frustrated. Anger won’t do anything for you.
Other signs you are wasting your life
9. Social media addiction
This will be at best a colossal waste of time, and at worst a threat to your self-image and even happiness. How do you know if social media is an addiction? You take a break and then evaluate your mood. Do you feel calmer? Happier? Freer?
Digestion requires energy. Living to the fullest also requires energy. Which do you pick? Some of us eat more calories than we would ever need, and what we don’t necessarily realize is, it doesn’t just affect our body but our productivity as well.
11. Having no goals
No need to have an endless list of goals. No need to have the same goals of Olympic medalists or super successful entrepreneurs. It could be as simple as something you’re working toward that can be measured or tracked in some way.
12. Having no priorities
It turns out, the way you prioritize things in life determines life itself. Have messed up priorities — or no priorities at all — and naturally you’ll end up chasing the shiniest new thing. Have clear priorities (including your own wellbeing) and you’ll do the right things.
Yes, there is someone out there who lives in a totally cluttered home and yet is happy and excels at what he/she does. I don’t care. That’s the exception. The rule is, clutter is bad for creativity, enthusiasm, and productivity. Learn to love minimalism.
Complaining is draining. The only reason we complain is, it’s easier, and doesn’t require any type of change. It’s easy to complain, it’s much harder to work toward a solution of the problem — or even better, reach a position where the problem doesn’t affect you.
15. Dwelling on the past
To live in the present moment and to be the present moment truly is an art, one we should all cultivate. Because no matter how unfair, negative, or embarrassing your past may be — focusing a single second of your time on it won’t help you in any way.
Signs you are wasting your time
16. Games/video games
They aren’t designed randomly. They all have rewards and challenges that mimic those in the real world, only, your brain will perceive them to be better to the point where the real world won’t be as interesting. No, thanks.
17. The wrong friends
Loneliness sucks. We all need to be surrounded by others; it’s one of our needs as humans. However, imagine being lonely because you have friends — that is, the wrong ones. This is why it pays to be a bit more selective.
18. Too many apps
I’ve already mentioned social media and video games, but think of apps in general. Perhaps you have installed too many, and only about half of them are actually useful? Be a digital minimalist — get rid of all those useless apps.
19. False responsibility
We shouldn’t be busy for the sake of being busy. Responsibility is a good thing, but when it turns into a self-imposed burden, especially if out of feelings of guilt, then it may be time to stop and reevaluate what you do and why.
“I won’t do anything unless I can excel at it… It’s good, but not good enough”… This is perfectionism talking, not you. Know that perfectionism and ambition are two very different things, and that time is too precious to aim for perfection (it doesn’t exist anyway).
21. No to-do lists
No, seriously. I’ve been using to-do lists for over a decade now, and I know I’ll never go back. It only takes me a minute or so every night before I go to bed. To-do lists skyrocket your productivity and it just feels great to cross off those items.
For those not aware: fear of missing out. But missing out is okay as long as you are living the best life (or working toward it). Those who live the dream don’t care if they miss out — their own life is too important to focus on someone else’s!