How to decide what’s worth your time (and what isn’t)

Sands of time

“Life is too short to stuff a mushroom,” quoth Shirley Conran, to which I’ve always replied, “Have you ever HAD a stuffed mushroom?” Because please: pancetta and pecorino in a mushroom truly make this short life worth living. (I note, by the way, that Ms Conran didn’t think life was too short to write Lace and Lace 2, but maybe that’s just being a tad catty.)

Life is full of people who say what is and isn’t worth the time. Your time, that is.

“Someone’s got nothing better to do!”

“Someone’s got too much time on their hands!”

Ach – I hate it. The implied judgment, the Puritan overtones – thou shalt spend every nanosecond doing something virtuous – and the fact that sometimes these statements are often aimed at quirky, unique endeavours like these.

According to a friend of a friend, someone had nothing better to do than create this amazing optical feat. For that matter, someone else thought that because I spent a whole weekday at the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs, I had too much time on my hands. And I’m putting down good money, right now, that someone somewhere thinks the same thing about something you are doing.

They think it. They might even say it. But whose call actually is it?


Deciding what’s a worthwhile thing to do in your own time is strictly your call. Simple.

How to decide what’s worthwhile is also simple.

When most people think about using their time, they think about doing more stuff in the given time they’ve got each day: there’s a lot written and said about how to get more time in your life. But fitting more and more stuff in doesn’t necessarily give you what we all really need: more life in our time. Adding more life to our time is a simple matter of choosing how we spend our time. Because how we spend our time is a reflection of our beliefs and values, you can apply the same measuring sticks to time that you have for the best beliefs and values.

The four measuring sticks are serving, supporting, nurturing, and challenging.

Is how you are spending time serving you in some way? Does it have a purpose? (A purpose to you, that is.)

Is it supporting you? Does it help you in what you are trying to do or be?

Is it nurturing you? Is it growing you as a person either physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually?

And finally, is it challenging you? Is it stretching you to new ways of being and doing?

If what you’re spending time doing isn’t serving, supporting, nurturing or challenging you, stop doing it, or fix it so that it does.

Spending time on things that serve, support, nurture and challenge is like being in a time warp: it will seem like you have endless time, and every second will mean so much more. In short, you’ll have more life. A life which will, hopefully, include the occasional yummy stuffed mushroom.



Photo credit: © stocksnapper via DepositPhotos