What a waste of time
I hate wasting my time. I almost react physically to the concept. Time wasted is progress lost. That's how I see it. However, I very recently realised two things:
1. I'm not totally sure what I consider a waste of time anymore
I realised that I define "time wasted" as time with nothing to show for it. Perhaps this is way of thinking born out of the typical work situation; you exchange your time for evidence of that time (projects completed, a salary etc.) The problem with this way of thinking is that I would spend a few hours working on a project and, ultimately, not be a big fan of what I'd done; whether that's time spent writing a song, composing, practising, filming etc. And I'd be really hard on myself for this. But even though I had nothing to show for it, I'd have developed concepts, eliminated ideas and improved my skills. I couldn't show you the evidence of this but my time invested was not progress lost. I was just defining progress incorrectly.
2. Things that may seem a waste of time might actually pay off
I love and have always loved TV shows and films. I loved the craftsmanship, particularly in comedy: the nuances, the timing, the tiny details that turned something from mundane to achingly funny. It's an art and I consumed and quoted and laughed and loved and had entire friendships based on them. And now I make YouTube videos. The years I spent watching other people's creations have informed my own and I would never have seen that coming.
The difference is being mindful in the situation. I always watched shows and films analytically. I listen to music analytically. I scroll through Instagram analytically. There is something to learn through every action; every experience. You just have to look for it.
So what does this mean for you? Am I encouraging you to waste more of your time?
No, definitely not. But whatever it is you "waste" your time doing is obviously something that you enjoy. Waste time scrolling through Instagram? Maybe look into photography. Waste time building houses on the Sims? Maybe look into architecture or interior design. Waste time playing games? Start a Twitch account.
"Progress" is a term that we too easily confuse with "success". You don't have to be sat at a desk or making loads of money to be making progress. You just need the right mindset.