Why Wasting Time is Unethical

Consider that your time is limited, and the impact you make on the world - positive or negative - depends on how you spend your time.

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“Do you ever feel like a plastic bag. Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?”

Katy Perry

You’ve probably said to yourself: “One more drink is harmless,” or “watching one more show on Netflix is fine.” But if you knew that you would die today, would you spend any time drinking or watching TV?

I’m not saying that I’m some perfect machine — never wasting time, always focused. No one is, we’re all human. We all desire things that we know aren’t good for us, whether it’s sweets, saturated fats, an unhealthy relationship, or mindless consumption.

But would we still have these “addictions” if we knew that they weren’t just bad, but unethical? When we give in to unhealthy desires, we know that we are harming ourselves, and thus will have a lesser positive impact on the world, and more of a negative impact on the world.

It’s not binary, where one misstep means you’re a bad person or one good deed means you’re a good person — but every minute of time you spend wasting moves you closer to failure, and every minute you spend productively moves to you success.

And your minutes are highly limited. In the cosmic blink of an eye, your time will have run out, and you’ll have no more steps to take, so isn’t the best course of action to take as many “good” steps as possible? To use your time wisely, to the best of your ability?

The Essence of Entrepreneurship

This is the core of entrepreneurship. Using your time and resources wisely to, step-by-step, move in a positive direction. You might complain that you lack experience or resources, or that some difficulty has arose, but remember that these thoughts and actions move you in a negative direction.

With every action and every thought, ask yourself, what direction does this move me in? If that action is not moving you in a positive direction, is it ethical?

1 Percent Daily Improvement

This idea is similar to the concept of “constant improvement,” where the goal is not to quickly reach some arbitrary level of success, but to simply get better at it, always.

Wasting time is the opposite of continuous improvement. Every minute you waste now is not just one minute gone – it’s one minute that could have accelerated you, but instead has decelerated you.

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