Stop Wasting Your Time


Jonathan Wong / April 11, 2019

2 min read––– views

Time Management

Studies show happiness is correlated to the amount of free time you have. Yet, if you ask someone how they're doing lately, more often than not you'll hear "I'm busy". We live in a work-obsessed culture.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics annual Time Use Survey, Americans have on average ~5 hours of free time per day.

It might not feel like you have 5 hours. The truth is - you must be thoughtful and intentional with how you spend your free time.

One approach for prioritizing time which has worked well for me was defining my hierarchy of needs. These are a guide for which aspects of my life require attention first. They also allow me to justify which items or services I'm willing to spend additional money on.

Hierarchy of Needs#

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Self-Care (food & diet, fitness, haircuts, massages)
  4. Work
  5. Freelance Work (development, videography)
  6. Housekeeping (laundry, dishes, etc)
  7. Professional Development
  8. Projects (, personal site, blog)
  9. Videography (travel videos)
  10. Music (listening, playing guitar)
  11. Relax (movies, reading, happy hour)


This guide isn't bulletproof - and it's certainly not set in stone. Occasionally, something will come up which will prompt a shift in priorities. 95% of the time, these rankings help me determine how to be intentional with my free time.

You probably have a mental list similar to this. I encourage you to write down your hierarchy of needs and use them as a reference when pondering "What should I do tonight?".

You might find you have more free time than you imagined.

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