9. Why are the important things in life fleeting and the unimportant things so time consuming?

I’ve been attempting to track my time lately, and in this attempt, I’ve noticed that moments that matter can take a very small portion of my life.

In 10 minutes, I can do something significant: help my children, connect with my spouse, or complete a project that has been on my to-do list for ages. I can say hi to a neighbor, read scriptures, and pick up the house. I can meditate, pray, or exercise.

But then I get stuck trying to buy home insurance or I sort through emails or go shopping or try to find the answer to a simple question on the internet. I can get lost for hours, and at the end of it, I’m not happy with how I spend my time.

There is something named the Pareto Principle that says that 80% of the consequences come from 20% of of the causes.

If I apply that to my life, 20% of what I do has meaningful results, and 80% of what I do doesn’t really matter. And that seems sort of accurate to me.

Is there a way around this? To have more of my actions be meaningful? Or do I just try to keep working the best I can, and try to savor the meaningful moments when they come?

(Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash)

2 comments

  1. Although I think the 80/20 thing isn’t a bad assumption, I also think it’s bad to assume that the large period of time you spend on less important things also means that you are wasting time. Sometimes you need time in that 80% that makes the 20% happen. Sometimes important moments will always be small and scattered, and something has to fill up the time…

    1. So the 80% is often needed, even though it doesn’t feel that way. I guess a lot of people have waited a long time for single significant moments that are worth the wait.

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