Time-Wasted, or Well-Spent? A Lesson Learned on Priorities

Posted: July 18, 2011 in Entertainment/Media, Youth Culture & Trends

I want to apologize for the absence of ‘activity’ to those faithful followers of Here and There who check in from time-to-time to see what’s going onWe finished our move and trek from Abbotsford, BC across western/central Canada and central/mid-eastern US, all the way to Goderich, On last week.  But as you would have noticed, the posts stopped after Day 2 & 3.  It also didn’t help that WordPress mysteriously de-activated my blog, then sent a ‘we’re sorry for the mistake’ message today!  **there will be further posts, pics and vids uploaded during the week!)**

But I also want to ‘not apologize’ at the same time, because I learned a valuable lesson in the midst of trying to be tech savvy and keep current with daily posts, vids and pics.  Although I spent many hours with the family travelling in a 2004 Mazda MPV, many of those hours were spent with myself driving, and the family sleeping or watching movies.  When we did get settled into hotels and friends homes, I found myself neglecting the precious quality and quantity time that was available to play and chill with the family, and instead buried myself on the laptop sorting through pics, video and spending mucho time trying to learn a new video editing program until 1am! 

It’s one of the reasons I was hesitant to start blogging in the first place…I was already busy and to devote more time to another ‘hobby’ seemed destined to further tip my ‘time scale’ in the wrong direction.  In saying that, there are many benefits to blogging (sharing ideas/experiences, relaying info, networking, staying connected with culture and friends, exercising creative and artistic expression…and finding funny videos!).  There’s also drawbacks to blogging (time-consuming, tech frustration with videos/editing, always trying yo come up with fresh ideas/topics, the need to want to be heard, etc…).  It all comes down to two questions…is it;

  1. Time Well Spent?
  2. Time Wasted?

I think in assessing those two questions, that most bloggers find it time-well-spent…otherwise they likely wouldn’t be doing it.  But I also think many people blog because they feel they have to (and Tweet) in order to feel validated that their life has some kind of meaning and relevance…for some…simply because people want to hear what they have to say.  For many, blogging is a passive hobby that provides an avenue to share a few stories and transfer some shared knowledge.  For others it’s a time and life consuming passion to get their words/thoughts out ‘there’ so the world can hear them (can you say narcissism!).

So back to my own dilemma…I spent more time with my laptop during the quality and quantity time opportunities, than I did just enjoying life outside of the van and off the highway with the family.  Was that time well spent…or wasted?  One of the ways I can find an answer to that question, is to look at what my priorities are.  Whatever you set as your priorities will generally determine where you devote a large chunk of your time.  And based on that, if anything you devote time towards fuels and benefits your priorities, you would surely consider that to be time well spent.  Likewise, if your time consumers detract from and hinder the pursuit of your priorities, you would likely consider them to be time-wasters.  So if I set my family as my highest priority, behind my relationship with God, and my main time consumers detract from either of those priorities…it should be an easy assessment as to which of the two categories my time falls into (well-spent vs. wasted).

As a Christian, God makes it pretty clear to His people on what things are worth elevating on the priority scale, and which ones are worthy to find their place at the back of the line.  I wish I could say that I only felt the need to reflect on this during my vacation time, but it’s something I struggle with a great deal…saying yes and no to the right things, and making sure my time-well-spent account is much fuller than the wasted one.

So will I continue to blog and engage in other hobbies?  Absolutely…but not at the expense of ignoring the promptings and priorities that my relationship with God and my family require.  There’ll always be times where a project, work committment, etc…will take precedence in time allotment…but it should ALWAYS be a temporary thing.  What it likely means is clearing something else of my schedule to make room, but again, keeping the above two priorities in sequence.  For me it likely means watching sports a little less, getting up a little earlier, less web surfing, and working a little harder at finding more ways to engage my relationship with the Lord, and my family. 

Will it be hard?  Absolutely.  Will it be worth it in the long haul?  You figure it out!!

For further reflection on this topic, especially in the area of social media, check out a quick little article by Carey Nieuwhof – Is Facebook Killing Your Family?

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