Biggest ‘wastes of time’ regrets we have when we get older:
- Not asking for help when you needed it
- Trying to make bad relationships work
- Dwelling on your mistakes and shortcomings
- Worrying too much about other people
Regret is another big waste of time. Most of us are probably guilty of all of these at some point, and really, they’re human nature., so there’s no point in beating yourself up. The sooner you learn from them, the sooner you can free up your time and energy to live the life you want.
We spend a lot of energy looking for shortcuts to save time, and those shortcuts add up. But when I look back, my biggest time regrets aren’t spending too much time on Twitter or Facebook!
If You’re Not Seeking Help, You’re Probably Not Challenging Yourself
Ever wish you asked fo help when you needed it? Asking for help, talking to colleagues and friends and networking are hugely valuable. If you feel stuck in your career or need to learn new skills and have no idea how to get started, talking to other people in your field will go a long way.
If you’re not asking for help, you’re probably not challenging yourself enough. If you have all the answers (and you can’t ever have all the answers), you’re not learning new skills, trying new things, or moving forward and out of your comfort zone. There are a handful of reasons we don’t ask for help, but it’s usually because we’re too proud or scared, and that’s a huge waste of time, because it prevents you moving forward.
Trying to make bad relationships work
Relationships require maintenance and effort, but there’s a difference between maintaining a good relationship and trying to force a bad one that doesn’t make much sense to begin with.
There’s a lot of emotion in romance and friendships, so sometimes it’s hard to tell when you should keep trying or you should just call it quits. Like a lot of people, I made some pretty bad decisions that wasted both my time, and the time of the person I was with.
At the same time, it’s hard to say all bad relationships are a total waste of time, because you learn a lot about yourself from them. That’s a valid silver lining, but still, the sooner you learn those lessons, the better.
Similarly, not dealing with the emotional impact of a breakup is also a big waste of time. When a relationship ends, we usually go through the typical stages of grief associated with loss. It’s easy to get comfortable with denial and convince ourselves we don’t really care and we’re fine. In reality, ignoring the pain only prolongs it.
Dwelling on your mistakes and shortcomings
Learning from your mistakes is one thing. Dwelling on them wastes your time, diminishes your confidence, and keeps you from getting on with your life. Dwelling also makes you more likely to repeat your mistakes. Dwelling makes you feel like a failure. When you feel like a failure, it’s easy to tell yourself there’s no point in trying.
Failure is actually good for you. Failures are far more interesting, because you’ll learn more from your failures than your successes. It turns out that learning how to bounce back from failure is an invaluable skill to possess if you want to succeed. Your failures will not define you and the more often you try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, the more resilient you will become.
It is the people who spend their lives trying to avoid failure that never truly realise their full potential, because they treated their first failed attempt at something as the end all be all. Don’t let that be you.
If you think like an imposter, you’ll be an imposter
Most of us have a tendency to compare our talents and abilities to others, and get down on ourselves.
Worrying too much about other people
It’s easy to waste time worrying about other people, too. Obviously, your friends and loved ones mean a lot to you, and you want to spend time nurturing them. But we also spend a lot of time fretting over problems that don’t matter in the long run.
Emotions like jealousy and inadequacy are negative, destructive feelings. The first (and biggest) step to overcoming these, is to understand them.
Once you understand why you feel jealous or envious, you can take action to take care of the problem, whether that means processing the emotions or coming up with goals for yourself. Either way, that’s a lot more productive. Most of us are probably guilty of all of these at some point, and really, they’re human nature.
But remember that regret is another big waste of time, so there’s no point in beating yourself up. The sooner you learn from your past, the sooner you can free up your time and energy to live the life you want.