On wasting time that is not wasting time

Reading time: 3 minutes

I’ve had this thought almost a year ago: some things in your daily life that waste time are actually good and some things that save time actually waste more time.

This thought popped up in my head when I talked with some people about something much more unrelated; Walking and commuting. Some people take the tram or bus inside the city when walking is an actual viable option. For me everything that is reachable with around 30-40 minutes of walking is within walking distance and taking the some public transport or the car seems completely unnecessary, unless you know that you’ll carry something heavy like when shopping.

I deliberately choose a commute where I have to walk more even though I could a different route with a different bus and walk only a total of 5 minutes instead of 15. But this walkin in morning and when I come back from work is enjoyable for me, it frees my head and allows me to wake up or ‘mentally’ leave my workplace. Moreover, walking is healthy, an investment in your mental and physical health.

This also applies to cooking. I don’t like oven-ready meals and I usually don’t eat out unless on rare occasions with friends or family for special occasions. Cooking time isn’t time wasted (some people advertise these food boxes that send the ingredients, and easy and quick recipes to your house as a method to save time for shopping or thinking about what to cook…).

Its fun for me, though that’s subjective of course. You can cook the food however you want, you can add whatever ingredients you want, change recipes you found online, have the option to choose from so many recipes online or cook books, expand your culiniary horizons, and much more and all while also saving money in many cases.
Plus, depening on what you cook it’s generally healthier than oven-ready food.

When I talk to some people and ask them what they did, in some cases people who argued that doing x and y such as cooking on your own or walking instead of using public transport is, they often said something like… watching Youtube videos, being on 4chan or reddit, or whatever… i.e. literally wasting time, falling victim to some sort of algorithm created to keep you on a website or rage-baits. In the end they might have wasted even more time.

You might learn some things here and there (though I doubt from personal experience that falling into some loop of ’edutainment’ content the actual didactic value of these videos and articles) but if I could choose between healthy and good food, v.s. shallow information, I’d choose the former.
The great thing is; you don’t have to choose. You can often still add 15-30 minutes of walking here and there on a daily basis, spend an hour cooking on your free days and get 30 minute recipes for your work days on the evening and so on.

So in short; Some choices that supposedly save time don’t actually lead to more time. ‘Wasting’ time to improve your quality of time often enough isn’t actual wasting time.

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