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Today's Insight - Mar. 18, 2015

  • 2015 Mar 18

How to Waste Time
by Charles R. Swindoll

James 4:13–17

Have you noticed how many day-planners are available these days? And then there are the time-management self-help books: how to increase your efficiency, how to make every moment count, how to invest your time wisely and productively.

While all those voices and handy products scream for your attention, I'd like to play devil's advocate and tell you how to waste your time. Five proven ideas come immediately to mind:

First, worry a lot. Start worrying early in the morning and intensify your anxiety as the day passes. Worry about your own failures and mistakes—about what you should or could have done but didn't. To add variety, worry about things you should not have done but did. Hanging around negative people is another secret you won't want to forget. Remember: Potential ulcers need fresh acid.

Second, make hard-and-fast predictions. Of course, you'll need to ignore that little throwaway line in the fourth chapter of James: "you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow." But forget that comment and set your expectations in motion. Be as specific as you can. For example, one month before his July 1975 disappearance, Jimmy Hoffa announced: "I don't need bodyguards."

Third, fix your attention on getting rich. You'll get a lot of innovative ideas from the secular bookshelves (I counted fourteen books on the subject last time I was in a bookstore), plus you'll fit right in with most of the hype that's pouring out of entrepreneurial seminars and high-pressure sales meetings.

Fourth, compare yourself with others. Not only will you ricochet between the extremes of arrogance and discouragement, you will also spend the time not knowing who you are.

Fifth, lengthen your list of enemies. If there's one thing above all others that will keep your wheels spinning, it's perfecting your skill at the Blame Game. With a full arsenal of suspicion, paranoia, and resentment, you can waste endless evenings stewing over those folks who have made your life miserable.

Put these five surefire suggestions in motion, and you can forget about all the hassles connected with being happy, efficient, productive, and contented. Within a couple of months, those things won't even be on your agenda.

All this sounds like foolish exaggeration, doesn't it? But just stop and think: How much time are you already wasting on some of these things?

 You won’t find out who you are if you’re always comparing yourself with others. —Chuck Swindoll Tweet This

Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

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