Presuming, of course, you actually know of something better to do

“If you don’t dedicate your time and attention to working with this roto-mill,” the clerk warns, “you might miss out on some benefit that we’re not thinking of now. I don’t see how you could afford such a risk in today’s age of modern yard tools.”

~ Cal Newport from,

Maybe I’m going about this all wrong? We—me, Newport, everyone that I’m following and reading—keep saying things like this. (Read the article, it’s super short.) I keep talking about how engaging in certain things is a waste of one’s precious time. But it occurs to me that maybe for some people it is not a waste of time. Maybe for some people, playing Nimecraft, scrolling through Bacefook or Twettir is actually the best thing they’ve yet found to do with their time. (Data point: I do remember when that was the case for myself!)

Today, I have a list of things that I want to do—that I enjoy doing, that yield benefits, and which make me and the world a better place. I also have a list of things which I find pointless which I do not want to do. Maybe it would be far more useful for me to be asking, rhetorically, of the world at large:

What do you want to be doing with your limited time here?