Stop Wasting Time

Selfie – Dan Steven Erickson

In a couple of days we’ll be into a new year. Everybody is making resolutions. You might be going back to the gym like me. Or maybe you’re going to start eating more healthy. There are lots of things you could do on January 1 that you didn’t do today. But here’s the strongest resolution you could make.

Stop wasting time.

I don’t care who you are or what you do, chances are good that you waste your share of time. I know I do. Before we go any further, what constitutes as a waste of time and what doesn’t? Fair question. The answer might be different for each one of us. It depends on our priorities.

My biggest time wasters are doing non-productive things like staring at screens, using social media, and watching TV or YouTube. You might think with the amount of work I produce that I wouldn’t have the time to waste time. I do. And I waste much more time than I’m happy with.

But what else is a waste of time?

What about things we do that never make much of a difference in the world? For instance, I write books, poetry, and music. But what difference does it make to others? And if it makes little difference, is it the best use of my time? Those are questions I struggle with.

Throughout 2023, something has become clear to me.

The best thing we can do with our time is to love and serve others. Period.

I’m a teacher. That, and being a parent, have probably been the best use of my time in life. So here’s the big question.

How can I use my creative work to serve others on a larger scale?

Because otherwise, I’m beginning to think all of the creative work I do serves no purpose other than being a form of self care. And for all the hype about self care, too much is too much.

I’ve often said that I stay clear of resolutions and goals, and I do. None of us know what life’s going to throw at us in any given year, week, or day. So, what I’m about to proclaim is not a goal or a resolution but more of an ultimatum to myself.

In 2024, I’m going to stop wasting time.

That means two things. First, doing less meaningless stuff. Second, I’ll be doing more work to take my creative projects to the next level. To reach more people. To love and serve others.

And if I can’t do that this year, I’m going to revisit whether it might be time for a total change of focus in 2025. – dse

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Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.