This is just a short article for today, but I want to talk briefly about what I call the Opportunity Cost of Wasted Time.

Let’s imagine you spend 3 hours a day on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. From my experience helping others overcome procrastination and time wasting, this would not be an unrealistic amount at all for many.

If you do the math it works out at:

  • 21 hours per week
  • 84 hours per month
  • 1008 hours per year

The opportunity cost is all the practical, useful things you could be doing with that time. Remember that each hour spent is an hour you will never get back.

For example, you could instead use that time to:

  • Learn a musical instrument (enriching your life through developing a meaningful hobby is NEVER a waste of time)
  • Give back to the community via charitable acts
  • Start a blog and improve your writing skills – which will, in turn, enhance your career prospects
  • Learn a new language using a free platform such as Duolingo
  • Make extra money by selling services on a website like Fiverr
  • Improve your physical fitness

Does the time you “waste” do anything to improve your life or make you a better person? No, it does not. And with the opportunity cost of wasting time you could instead be improving your health, wealth, or enriching your life and the lives of those around you.

When I first started trying to make a real effort with managing my time, it empowered me greatly when I began to understand the opportunity cost of all that time I was spending on doing nothing productive. I had a goal in mind (to read more books) but was struggling to find time. However, I was wasting at least an hour or two a day watching TV. So my opportunity cost of watching that TV was the time I could have spent reading and expanding my mind.

Once it dawned on me just how much time was vanishing into thin air like this, it became much easier to make a proactive choice to get stuck in with reading, and kick TV to the curb as much as possible. In other words, the time I spent watching TV was costing me the ability to read more, which was a more “valuable” option for me.

You know what the right choice is … now get out there and make it happen.