The search for lost time

A study reported that the average English person spends 10 minutes a day looking for misplaced things. Over a 60 year period this equates to 3650 hours. To put this in perspective, 3650 hours is just over 456 work days or nearly two work years!

There are many reasons why people lose or misplace things including untidiness and bad memory but another reason is undoubtedly that we live in much bigger houses with much more stuff in them than ever before. For example, the average American house has 300,000 items in it. The most lost items are phone, keys, paperwork, glasses, and purse/wallet. Read more about too much stuff here »

Lost time

Modern goods and services are designed to provide convenience and ease and of course this is true in many cases. However, in many other situations goods and services can be inconvenient in the sense that they are counter-productive. The economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen defined conspicuous consumption as any consumption that isn’t worth it.

The more things you have the more time you have to work to pay for them. You spend time shopping for them. You spend time cleaning and maintaining them. You spend time making more money so that you can pay for the house where you store them. Add up all that lost time and ask yourself is it really worth it? 

Wasted time

Time is very precious and yet we waste it in so many ways. Every life is finite and once time has gone you can’t get it back.

For the record, watching TV, playing computer games, window shopping, social media and the like are not a waste of time per se. Any sort of downtime is important for relaxing, recharging and refreshing yourself. You are only wasting time when you do these things too much, it is up to one’s critical sense to know what is too much.

Only the individual can decide what is a worthy use of their time. The crucial word here is ‘decide’, too often people use their time automatically without making that critical decision.

The demands of modern life robs people of the time for more meaningful pursuits. People who choose to live simply do so because it means spending less time on things that don’t really matter to them and more time on things that do.

It is good to make a living and provide valued service but we should not inure ourselves to unworthy and undignified self-sacrifice.

Well-being stems from, amongst other things, an optimal balance of the way you use your time. The time spent with family, working, learning, relaxing, socialising, being entertained, sleeping, exercising, and so on must be balanced. Inner conflict will occur if there is not enough balance.