A Better Use of Time (Minimalist Challenges Part 5)

Don't you think it's interesting that we can spend an afternoon and evening binge-watching an entire season of The Big Bang Theory, but we "don't have time" to make something just for the fun of it?  We can lose an hour scrolling on social media, but we "don't have time" to write our closest friends and loved ones more than a few texts.

Maybe we need to think more carefully about how we use the precious gift of our time.

handwritten personal letters

Love, Grandma

One of my favorite possessions is a letter my grandmother wrote to me when she was in her 80's about how she became a Christian and what her faith meant to her.  This lovely passage is in the middle of a four-page missive in which she also discusses what she took to a potluck dinner at her church and how her garden was progressing that season.  This letter captures the essence of Grandma in her own writing and her own words.

Some of the great literature of the world is contained in personal letters of the past.*  Not only do we generally fail to say much that is memorable in a text or an email, but none of it will last.  No one could read a compilation of our collected texts and feel that they have much insight into our personality or character.

Our society is time-poor, but I don't think it's because most of us fill our calendars with quality pursuits.  I have the same 24-hour days as Mozart, Dickens, Stephen Hawking, and Stephen Curry.  I could probably use the time more profitably than I do.

* This blog is reader-supported.  If you buy through my links, I may earn a small commission.

Thirty-minute Minimalist Challenges #13-15

13.  Write a real old-fashioned letter.

I'm not suggesting that you should use snail mail for everything – we live in the 21st century and email is fine for most things.  But a handwritten letter to someone who has been important to you might become a treasure.  Go ahead and make someone's day.

Related post:  How to Strengthen Your Connections and Put Magic in Your Mailbox

14.  Make something.

Instead of cramming in ever more tasks and appointments, or spending all of your free time passively consuming entertainment created by someone else, take 30 minutes to work on a creative project of your own.  Imagine something and use your time and skills to make it a reality.  After all, working with our hands gives us meaning.

Related post:  6 Reasons to Make Things Yourself

15.  Do good.

Studies show that when we're kind to others we feel useful and worthwhile.  Give your happiness a boost by behaving like the person you really want to be.

Related post:  20 Ways to Increase Your Happiness by Being Kind


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