I gave a speech to a large group of High School students at an event a few weeks back about Time Management. Time Management is something I sucked at for a long time, but I’ve gotten a lot better over the years in my adult life. I was really bad with time management in High School as I was mentality distracted by adolescent fun and games and not focused on the things that added true value my life (typical immature kid). During the presentation I gave, I had a slide that showed an average calculation of how many approximate hours I spent watching T.V., playing video games and hanging out with friends. I’m embarrassed to say that it was roughly 20,000 hours for the entire 4 years of high school. That’s more than half of my high school career spent wasting time. It really showed in my grades. I barely graduated and it was sad because I was a super bright kid with a lot of potential, but I didn’t maximize it.

The sad part about today’s world, is that many adults are falling into the same poor habits I had as a teenager just not as severe. Sure, you have a 9-5 job and you take care your major responsibilities, but you still waste precious free time watching T.V., shopping (with money you don’t have), spending too much time on social media, i.e. wasting hours and hours of time that you can’t get back. How many hours a year do you waste adding absolutely no value to your life? Yea I get it, you need a break from the hustle of life, but how long should that break be and when are you going to repay yourself for all that hard work you have done? Maybe you are not as bad as you were as a kid, that’s great, but you that alone should not be enough to convince yourself that wasting hours upon hours every week on activity that adds no value to you or to others is useful or meaningful in anyway.

Let’s try a quick exercise. Below is a grid that I would like you to fill out for perspective:

Calculate how many hours on average you spend a day participating in the following? Then Calculate how many hours that adds up to in a week, a month and a year. Then calculate the total for a year. Then calculate how the hours over a 20-year period. How many hours, days, weeks, months, and years do you waste doing things that don’t help you achieve your goals? Are you shocked by the results?

Moral of the Story

Stop wasting your precious time on activities that don’t add value to your life, STOP! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a break and unwind with a little mindless entertainment here or there but when it becomes a habit of continuous distraction, you are taking time away from your opportunity to build success in your life.  I know this sounds “preachy”, but many of us are not where we want to be in life and for most of us it’s as simple wasting time that can be used towards real life goals. With the extra time you waste, how much of that can be used towards helping your community, starting a business, writing a novel, working on your marriage, etc.? Make your dreams become a reality and stop giving away things of value like time in exchange for nothing in return.

Go win!

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