Why Your Time Really Isn’t Ever Wasted 

“Well, that was a waste of time…” Image of people waiting on line in a large empty pool, photography by R. Isip

Have you ever muttered that phrase after working on a project, attending a meeting or waiting for something that just didn’t pan out?

In this post I offer a few pointers as to why our time really isn’t ever wasted…as much as we might like to believe it!

You found out what didn’t work.

Ok, so that massive highway detour actually add more minutes than you thought it would, but you still learned something valuable. There’s always something to be gained from whatever you do, or experience. What didn’t work for you during your “wasted time?”

What wasn’t clear earlier that is now so very clear now? Do you need to be schedule more travel time to your daily commute, be more specific when asking a question to a colleague or client, or get all your papers in order before going to an office to renew a license or certificate?

You’re more focused.

In case it wasn’t entirely clear before you began, you’re now more focused and exacting in your work after a perceived “waste of time.” All of a sudden you know what needs to get done and the exact steps you need to take to get there. You might even be more excited and ready to attack the problem or solve the issue than before. This can be a blessing in disguise, especially if you were procrastinating or taking your sweet time while working on something. This new focus might just be the motivation or inspiration you were looking for!

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You get a break.

Ok, perhaps it wasn’t entirely what you set out to do, but time passed and you did get a break from whatever it was you were doing previously. Many times we grind our teeth at what we think we could be doing with our time, but then again, how many times do we say we wish we had a break from whatever it is we were doing in the first place? It’s not that radical of a thought, but what if you just accepted this momentary blink in history in stride? There will always be things we don’t want to do or sit through in life. Things won’t always go as planned, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take and enjoy a much-needed breather.

How about you? What’s your approach to “wasted time?” Is there such a thing as “wasted time” or not? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.