Wasting Time Deliberately

I read a quote today from author and entrepreneur Seth Godin that is a useful one to take to heart. Godin writes,

Wasting time is not a waste. In fact, wasting time is a key part of our lives. Wasting time poorly is a sin, because not only are you forgoing the productivity, generosity and art that comes from work, but you’re also giving up the downtime, experimentation and joy that comes from wasting time.

I think we often fail to distinguish between wasting time poorly and time we necessarily spend being “nonproductive.” Sitting in Facebook for extensive periods of time might be a poor waste of time, whereas taking a timeout from our work to refresh ourselves is necessary.

As one author put it, “Wasting time deliberately through leisure, prayer, silence, and service cultivates joy, creativity, presence, and availability.” We need time away from our work.

The question to ask yourself is: are you wasting time deliberately? Or are you simply allowing hours to fritter away by wasting time poorly?

I wish I could say that for me it was always the former. But I know that there are times when it is the latter.