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6 Ways We Waste Hours of Our Lives

6 Ways We Waste Hours of Our Lives

Sage Romano | DivineCaroline

March 07, 2011

The first of my many, many time-wasting activities takes place each morning with repeated manipulations of the snooze button on my alarm clock, followed by a dilly-dallying shower and an untoward amount of time spent perusing the offerings of my closet. The snooze button alone gains me (according to my rudimentary math skills) roughly 106 more hours of sleep per year, which is great. But I’m also usually late for work and wearing an outfit that, despite the fifteen minutes I spent ruminating about it, is not really all that cute.

And that’s just the morning. If I add up all the time I spend doing one semi-useless thing or another, I’m sure I would be horrified that I have blithely let slip away precious hour upon precious hour of my one and only earthly life. Seize the day, indeed. I’m sure if I had spent that time more constructively, I would have cured cancer, written the great American novel, negotiated peace in the Middle East, and finally gotten caught up on reading my New Yorkers — or at least figured out how Lost will end. Alas, life is simply too full of tantalizing time-sucks.

The Closet Vortex

What girl doesn’t long for a Carrie Bradshaw–style closet, replete with the most fashionable offerings her budget will allow (and then some)? Such closets, and even smaller, simpler ones, are major culprits in terms of lost time. The average American woman spends sixty-one minutes contemplating her outfits during the course of a week. An hour, ladies. An hour. Just think of what you could accomplish if you got even half of those 3,172 minutes per year back. Where would the human race be if we were even slightly more decisive about what to wear?

Fantasy Land

For the average person, daydreaming consumes 15 to 50 percent of each day. My aforementioned rudimentary math skills prevent me from breaking that down into actual hours and minutes, but even at the lower, 15–20 percent range, we’re still talking about a good chunk of our days’ being spent woolgathering —fantasizing about how we’d spend our imaginary lottery winnings, envisioning the moment when our boyfriends are finally going to pop the long-awaited question. Happily, some studies have suggested that daydreaming is actually a sign of creativity and intelligence, and many psychologists regard it as a healthy mental exercise, much like meditation, so it would seem to be a worthy undertaking. However, that doesn’t remove the necessity of greeting the grindstone for at least part of each day.

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