Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Musings: Wasted Time

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When do you fall into the bottomless pit of wasted time? Because I don't own a television or play video games, my wasted time generally happens online. I start out visiting favorite sites and checking news and information that is relevant to me or my business. I know there's a problem when I'm done with those sites but I stay online, watching or reading things that are not that important or even that entertaining to me.

What's the harm? Well, not much in the short term. The problem comes when you pretend that the filler activity is truly relaxing instead of an entertainment choice with a beginning, middle, and end. The problem comes when you aren't interacting with real people or completing real projects. The problem comes when it's keeping you up late or causing you to not eat as healthy as you could.

I am not against television, video games, or the internet as a whole. Sometimes each medium can be helpful, necessary, or downright entertaining. What I'm against is not making an active choice about it. When we passively fall into these activities we are no longer active agents in our lives. We are half-participating in something that does not benefit us or anyone around us. Sometimes we are also sacrificing actual, restful rejuvenation for an activity that actually keeps our brains quite active. Sometimes we are avoiding a real-life situation by distracting ourselves with someone else's story.

Step 1: Set a boundary on your entertainment, your media and anything else where it's necessary. You may be surprised at how much time you have.

Step 2: Choose something to do instead.
  • Need to relax? Take a short nap, go to sleep for the night, sit outside, walk a dog, do yoga, pray, draw.
  • Need to interact with people? Call someone, visit someone, go to a coffee shop and see who's there, join a club.
  • Need to do something that you've been avoiding? Get it done, so that you don't spend more time remembering to do it. 
  • Need a good story? Read a book, write a story, ask someone about their childhood, see a live performance.
  •  Caught up on everything and still have time? I believe that every person was created to change the world. If you're not sure how you'll do that, I''ll help you devise a plan. 
For something to read when you shut off the television, check out my new book, "Urban Nomad USA: Travel Sized Life Coaching for Journeys of All Sorts" now available for purchase! Better yet, contact Dawn to arrange for a live book release cabaret with your organization in August, 2012.

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Do you know an intelligent, creative, spiritually-minded person who might be interested in this blog post? Please forward it in its entirety, compliments of Dawn Trautman, Urban Nomad. Copyright, 2012.

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