Why you shouldn’t waste your time in life


Kevin Mangelschots

Do you know that feeling of being young, full of energy, and looking forward to all the exciting things that the future holds such as getting our driver’s license, our place, and maybe even getting children? Do you feel like you have all the time in the world you’ll ever need?

Most of us do. But the reality is often bittersweet. The future can indeed hold great things for us, and we can certainly influence our future. Yet, time isn’t unlimited. Before long, we will all be gone from this planet.

That doesn’t mean that life holds no meaning, since there are the people we hold dear like our family and close friends who are worth living for. But it does mean that time is precious and that you shouldn’t squander your time.

Let me explain why you shouldn’t squander your time.

Why you shouldn't squander your time in life

A woman looking at her watch.

Time is limited

Don’t squander your time because we only have a finite period on this earth. Thus, we must accomplish all the things we want to achieve during this one lifetime we get to experience.

On that same note, because our time alive is so short, it also makes it our most precious commodity. There’s nothing more valuable on earth, together with our health. We can always make money, but we can never get time back. So time is precious, don’t waste it.

Less energy the older we get

Not only that but when we get older, we typically possess less energy than when we are still young. That’s why it’s easier to achieve challenging things when we’re still young and full of vigor.

When we’re young, we tend to feel like we’re invincible, and like we got all the time in the world. We’re looking forward to being done with school, earning our driver’s license, and living on our own away from our sometimes meddling parents.

But this is mostly a lie. We’re not invincible, we don’t have all the time in the world, school is usually not all that bad, and our parents typically want the best for us and have a lot more lived experience than we do. That’s also why they’re often right.

Use your short amount of time available to do something meaningful that you love

Time is precious, waste it wisely.

Spend your time doing things that you love. Build something that you value, and that you’re willing to suffer for. Strive for excellence instead of being mediocre.

Does that mean that you should compare yourself to all your peers? No. But it does mean that you should attempt to be the best possible version of yourself. That will benefit you personally, and everyone else around you.

But thinking about the short and limited amount of time we have on this planet can make us feel anxious, and can even trigger a primal fear of death. Yet, there are also good things that can come forth from it.

It can motivate us, and serve as an incentive to actively work toward achieving our dreams. Furthermore, thinking about our finite time and mortality can reduce anxiety, and make us less afraid of dying in the process.

The quote, “don't waste your time on things that only hurt you, and remember to forget those who forgot you”, written on a brownish background.

Don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t value you

Don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t value you. Why would you even spend energy on the folks who don’t care for you, and who wouldn’t help you in times of need? These aren’t what I consider good friends.

There are billions of people walking this earth. Each with their a unique personality and ethics. Thus, it’s only normal that some don’t align with our beliefs and ethics, while others do.

Don’t even consider wasting your precious time on those who don’t value you for the person you are. If they don’t, then it’s their loss. Make it a point to search for people who do appreciate you and try to improve your life.

Don’t waste time trying to get people to like you

If people don’t like you for the person who you truly are, then is it worth trying to desperately keep such folks in your life?

In my eyes, you’re better off without them. If you stay true to yourself, then the right people will automatically flock to you, while the wrong ones will walk out of your life on their own accord.

Not to mention that trying to get people to like you will never work out in the long run. It’s impossible to keep up a mask for your entire life. Eventually, the cracks in the armor would start to show.

There will always be those who would still dislike you for the simple fact that you’re trying to impress others and trying to get them to like you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does don’t waste your time mean?

Red sand running through an hourglass.
If we take this sentence literally, then don’t waste your time means doing things instantly and speedily instead of delaying taking that opportunity to handle immediately. It also conveys that it’s useless to spend time doing things that don’t bring forth any benefits at all.
But it has a hidden, deeper message and meaning.

It also conveys that life is short and that our time on this earth is limited. Because it’s such a limited resource, it means that time is precious. Thus, it motivates us to do things that are priceless and essential to us instead of fretting over things we can’t change, or don’t have.

Synonyms of don’t waste your time

Popular synonyms include don’t squander your time, and time is precious, don’t waste it.

The wording might be slightly different, but the meaning remains the same.

Time is precious, waste it wisely explained

A piece of paper with the word “time” written on it being burned by fire.

Time is precious, waste it wisely conveys that everything we do during our lives is consuming time. And since our time is limited, we should waste it wisely, which means we should pick something we care about and find valuable enough to spend that time on.

Since time is such a valuable good, we should think thoroughly about what we find important enough in life to ‘waste’ it on. It isn’t wasting, since we find value and importance in what we’re doing. But time is continually passing by, stopping for no one. And we don’t have that much time to spend during our lifetimes.

That doesn’t mean that everything needs to be fun since we will have to do some things we don’t necessarily enjoy to reap the fruits of success. You don’t get to choose not to suffer, but you get to choose what you suffer for.

Why is time called precious?

Illustration of a man scratching their head while holding a yellow question mark.

Time is precious because we can never get it back once it’s gone. It’s also something we never have enough of since there’s so much to do, learn, and explore in life.

A lot of things that we consider valuable in existence can be recovered. Money can be regained, bonds can be rebuilt, trust can be restored, and most injuries can be recovered from, for example.

But the time that’s passed by is effectively gone forever. Time keeps going forward, never backward.

Furthermore, precious time doesn’t last forever. It’s only an enjoyable speck in time and space that we should value since good times aren’t everlasting, and we will all return to the dust one day.

Why is time so special?

Time is an essential factor that influences everybody’s life.
Our time is finite. And thus, it’s up to all of us personally to achieve what we set out to do during just one, short lifetime.
Time is special since it allows us to structure our days the way we want to. Thus, we create habits and routines to organize our lives in a way that we deem to be beneficial for ourselves.
When time is used efficiently, then it can allow us to become more competent over time due to learning new abilities. This permits us to forge a better future for ourselves during our lifetimes.

Who said, “Time is precious, so waste it wisely?”

A person holding a question mark in front of their face.

K Bromberg said, “Time is precious. Waste it wisely.” She did so in her romance called ‘Slow Burn’.

She’s a writer who was born in the United States.

Is money or time more important?

Both are important in modern society. But depending on your lifestyle and your needs, money becomes much less significant.

Money can ‘always’ be regained through working hard and making many hours. I’m not saying that it isn’t hard, or more difficult than if you still had some money left, but it can be done.

However, time can’t be recovered, no matter what we do. This holds true for both the rich and poor individuals in society.

Nevertheless, money allows us to buy many things we consider valuable and essential, such as a house and a cell phone.


Time is a valuable and limited resource. As such, we should make it a point to fill our days doing things we find important and enjoy doing.

Time is precious, and that’s why you should waste it wisely. Technically, all we do is wasting time. That’s why we should think very carefully about what we ‘waste’ that time on.

Better on things that will benefit us in the future, such as working out, and eating healthy, rather than doing stuff that will be detrimental in the future. Think of things such as drinking too much alcohol and eating a lot of junk food.

Remember that close friends and family will always make life worth living for. But without people we care about, life is just something to get over with.

Call to action

Goal, plan, action text on light box on desk table in home office. Business motivation or inspiration, performance of human concepts ideas.

Figure out what you find critical and worth pursuing in life. Make sure to have a good social network consisting of close friends and a caring family to have something to live for other than yourself.

Chase your dreams and goals, since we typically experience the most guilt and regret about the things we didn’t do, rather than the mistakes we made in the process.

Know that time is limited, but rather than feeling the dread and anxiety of our looming death, we should use that knowledge to motivate us to apply ourselves to reach our noble goals.

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