Time is worth more than money. It took me years to understand that life-changing idea.
There are so many demands on our time and we foolishly opt into BS all the time without necessarily realizing it. These brain drain activities serve no tangible benefit and only leave us with less time than we had before.
With less time, we make worse and worse decisions, separate ourselves from our loved ones, do less work we enjoy and have less time to do whatever the hell we want to do — even if that means staring out the window.
Here’s what is not worth your time.
Not every person is going to love you. Sorry to break it to you brah.
I offend people all the time when it’s not my intent. People can take an article written about a popular investor and turn it into a hate speech that was apparently inspired by Jack the Ripper. Seriously.
It’s not worth your time getting offended. If you’re making even 10% of people happy then you’re doing okay. Go small and deep for likability. Build a network of people around you that is tiny and awesome. Make 1000 true fans your absolute ceiling if you can.
Thinking Your Ideas Are Unique
Writers are the worst offenders.
We write something slightly obscure and then think we were the first to ever come up with it as though our idea was a true once-off revelation like Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
Your ideas are probably not as original as Einstein’s. If they are, stop reading this and go create a formula to save the world from humans.
It’s not worth spending time thinking your ideas — via writing, video, podcast, book, blog post, social media status update — are unique and therefore special with magical powers. We’re all repeating the same shit.
It’s context and storytelling that gives immense power to ideas — not your ego and sense of specialness for sharing the idea.
Letting Work Occupy Your Brain All the Time
I rang one of my closest older friends the other day. I asked a simple question: “How’s business?”
He then went on to tell me how he has been working until 2 AM each night, and how everybody else at his company was doing similar crazy hours.
It’s not worth dedicating every minute of your time to work.
It’s definitely not worth dedicating 100% of your time to doing work that somebody else owns.
You need time to enjoy your work and spend the fruits of your labor on completely dumb stuff like gifts from the souvenir shop at Disneyland. Take a holiday from your work phone, ignore the email from your boss until tomorrow, and be proud when you miss a work meeting.
There’s more to life than doing work — like enjoying it.
Horrendous Social Media Comments
There are angry people everywhere, especially on the internet.
It’s not worth dedicating huge amounts of your time to arguing with people about something trivial. Nobody is right all the time, and ideas and quality are subjective anyway.
Leonardo DiCaprio is a douchebag and a legend all in the same sentence. You can argue both points and you’d be right. His movies are awesome and sometimes his ego makes us want to vomit, or the age of his Oscar dates can be obnoxiously young.
Using your time to be publicly right is a war you will never win. The people you’re arguing within the comments are never going to let you win. And when one gets tired, a new person spawns to take the baton in the Olympic relay to destroy your credibility.
Save your time and win the comments battle with silence.
People Who Will Never Be Impressed by You
There are some people that are always going to think you suck. Even if you win a noble prize or get 30M followers on social media, they’ll still see you as a failure. I had a former boss like this once before.
No matter what I did, I’d never be good enough. If I didn’t threaten people with my power then I wasn’t a wartime leader and that made me weak, according to him.
There’s an easy solution: focus on impressing yourself.
Do the small things that make you feel fulfilled. Celebrate them too.
You will never have the best job title or be the most powerful leader in business. Do you know why? Because you can be fired at any moment.
Whatever you build in the corporate world can be taken away by a simple tool known as a redundancy. The key is not to seek power; it’s to use whatever influence you have to build others up.
It’s not worth using your time to climb some infinitely high corporate ladder.
Use that time to be useful and lead others to find their own version of success. Or go and start your own thing one day and take it to level two in the business world — where you risk your own money and start from scratch.
A Luxury Car You Have to Think About All the Time
A luxury car is not worth your time. These are the thoughts of a luxury car owner:
- Where is a safe place to park the car?
- Did I scratch the alloy wheels?
- Should I put the window down so people can see me?
- How much will the next service cost?
- There is a new model of my car — holy crap!Do you know an awesome car? A five-year-old Honda Civic. You don’t have to think about it and all of this stuff that wastes your time. Scratch the wheel, dint the bumper, break a windscreen — who cares? It’s just a chunk of metal at the end of the day that gets you from A to B.
Even better — ride in someone else’s moderately priced car while you read a book in the backseat and save time controlling an automobile.
Both the Airbnb CEO and Elon Musk came out in the last year and said basically the exact same thing: love is the answer. It blew my mind.
Wasting your time hating people robs you of your potential.
Every minute you spend disliking someone and making it into a sport, is time that could be spent being creative. Love sets you free, whereas hate locks you in the prison chamber of your mind to suffer.
A simple trick that has worked for me is to show someone love when they show me hate. If someone says something hateful, give them the thumbs up.
If someone doesn’t like you and says so, give them a big fat smile.
If you get a hateful email then send back an email saying that reflects understanding and compassion for what that person might be going through.
Show love, not hate.
Waiting for the Right Time
It’s almost never the right time to do anything.
You may not feel like it but just get started. You’ll be surprised how quickly your brain can turn on and get started. Some of the best creative ideas are killed because they are not acted upon when they’re thought of.
An idea has power and emotion when it is created. That’s the time you want to put it to good use — not when the idea’s energy has dissipated and you’ve told yourself “I’ll do it later” fifty times in a row while watching an episode of Friends.
When would now be a good time? Now is as good a time as any. Thank you for that one Beethoven.
Blaming Dating Apps
Dating is hard for everybody. But there are good people out there. One thing that screwed me over when I was single was myself and this little insight:
Your dating profile might be leading the wolves to you.
What you show as your life online might be attracting all the attention-loving, fame jocks, who say rude things and don’t reply after three messages and then ghost ya, Mexican style.
It’s not the app. It might be you.
Where do I get started with this one. There is no perfect candidate; they all have skeletons in their Malibu Holiday Home closet.
Trying to look for a Jesus-like political candidate is impossible. They’re all guilty of something — even Jesus committed sins.
You can just choose the lesser of two evils or the best of a bad bunch. Politicians don’t control your world; you do. Spend your time there.
Partying Every Night
If this is you then what else are you trying to escape from. You can’t escape life by partying every night and pretending everything is okay in the morning.
Let your hair down by all means, but if your life ends up being one Hangover Movie party after another, you might have better uses of your time.
Try this: Work hard and occasionally party hard.
Your life’s work looks terrible after a hangover.
Try allocating some more time into these areas:
- Learning a new skill
- Loving something other than yourself (puppies perhaps)
- Mundane activities that help you think clearly (showers, dishes)
- Reading fiction to relieve stress
- Being kind to someone for the hell of it
- Giving away a part of yourself because you can
- Publishing one thought online
- Exploring parks in your area
- Unleashing your creative juices in the kitchen
- Watching documentaries about other people’s lives, as possibilities for your ownThere is a lot of nonsense that is not worth your time.
Save your energy and channel it into something that will give you a tangible benefit or help you relax.
This article originally appeared on Medium.