10 Things in Life That Just Aren’t Worth Your Time, Effort, or Money

People often justify their decisions with the phrase “it’s worth it.” Product X is worth its price. That new project is worth my time. And those difficult relationships demand a lot of effort, but they’re worth it. Some difficult endeavors require investment, and they’re totally worth it. Others, however, are not. And investing in futile, toxic, and negative habits is the main reason why people don’t advance in life. On this basis, here are 10 things in life that just aren’t worth your time, energy, or effort. 

Many people ask themselves how they can take their lives to the next level. 

Some want to become fitter, healthier, and better-looking. Others seek a more enticing profession. And finally, many of us struggle to make the right decisions. 

Certain habits improve our lives while others drain our energy, time, and financial resources. 

If you want to build a foundation for productive habits, start by eschewing the bad ones.

10 things in life that just aren’t worth your time, effort, or money

The following are some of the most common detrimental habits that hold people back. 

These are the activities, thinking patterns, and financial behaviors that stop people from succeeding in life. 

10 Things in Life That Just Aren't Worth Your Time, Effort, or Money - man standing in Swiss mountains in front of lake
Picture by Joshua Earle / Unsplash

1. Unleashing your anger on social media

Social media rants have one simple consequence. They will embarrass your future self. 

You might feel emotional today. You’re deeply unsatisfied with the state of your country’s politics. And you want to share your thoughts with people. 

All well and good, but there’s a catch. Because your emotions run high, you won’t analyze the situation properly. You’ll fill your post with anger and frustration, not rational arguments. 

Your social media rant will gather attention and please some people.

It will, nonetheless, remain a rant, not a serious base for debate. And in the future, you’ll look back on it and cringe. 

Why didn’t I wait a few days and assess the situation with more emotional sobriety? 

Don’t waste your time and energy on emotional social media rants. 

If you’re passionate about a hot topic, wait until your emotions are in check and write a thorough, prudent, and well-considered post. 

Be critical, but don’t rant. Think about what your post will look like in a few weeks, months, and years. Always keep in mind that the internet doesn’t forget. 

2. Luxury goods that don’t add value to your life 

There are many ways to spend your money badly, but luxury goods are the champions.

Don’t get me wrong. Mechanical watches, jewelry, tailored suits, and all those other high-end purchases make sense for some people. 

Some are collectors, some have a passion for certain products, and some find joy in style, craftsmanship, and expensive quality. 

As such, they all have one thing in common: luxury goods add value to their lives. 

They know why they spend their hard-earned money on specific products, and they make informed decisions. In short, they buy those products intentionally

However, many people nowadays buy watches, cars, and expensive fashion for the wrong reasons. 

They want to look good on social media. They want to impress their friends. And some even believe that high-end products will make them better human beings. 

If you’re struggling with credit card debt, budgeting woes, or other financial problems, start with a reduction in luxury purchases. 

If you don’t instantly know how an expensive product will add value to your life, you’re wasting cash. 

3. Getting drunk 

In our late teens and early twenties, we all love to test our boundaries in terms of partying, alcohol, and in some cases, other substances. 

Nevertheless, at one point, you’ll realize that intoxication is not a desirable state. 

If you’re wondering whether getting drunk is worth it, take a trip down memory lane. How many great long-term decisions did you make in a drunken state? 

If you’re still not convinced, continue your trip in the following manner. 

How many bad, embarrassing, and stupid decisions did you make while being intoxicated? 

The bad ones will certainly outnumber the good ones. That’s why getting drunk is simply not a good use of your time, energy, and money. 

A little alcohol can foster your sociability and ensure a fun time, but too much will almost always cause bad choices. As with many things in life, moderation is key. 

4. Getting a degree because you’re expected to 

There are many good reasons to go to college. And there is one that doesn’t make it worthwhile. 

In today’s world, university degrees have incredibly high social status. Many families expect their children to get a degree because “your chances on the job market will be much higher.” 

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with that statement, but it also creates pressure and stigmatization. And this pressure causes a priority shift. 

For many aspiring students, fulfilling society’s expectations becomes the top priority. 

They want an expensive, difficult, and time-consuming degree to please their families, friends, and society, but not because they have a genuine plan. 

Such a conformist mentality has one main consequence: debt

I studied in countries where higher education is free, but I feel for my American friends. 

Then, on the other hand, I find it surprising how many of them didn’t know why they wanted these degrees. 

Of course, they’ll come up with standard job-related answers, but those are not the real reasons. Many of them get a degree because they’re expected to

In this context, I believe that unless you know why you’re loaning tens of thousands of dollars, it’s not worth your money. 

Take an alternative approach: if you were guaranteed the same job opportunities with online courses that cost a few hundred dollars and take up less time, would you still go to college? 

If not, you’re probably committing your time and money to a degree for the wrong reasons.

5. Staying in a job that you hate over long periods 

If you are not doing what you love, you’re wasting your time.” – Billy Joel

This quote might sound banal, but it reflects a simple truth. Over long stretches, there is no point in working a job that you hate. 

There are undoubtedly short-term arguments for toiling your life away in an unpleasant job. 

Many people cite financial reasons. Others highlight a certain career path. And finally, some see their hated job as a necessary evil. 

What do all of these reasons have in common? They are short-term.

At some point, working a job that you hate, no matter how much it pays or promises, will become a waste of time. If those early promises never materialize, it’s time to move on. 

Otherwise, you’ll become stuck in a negative cycle. 

You hate your job without having a clear vision for your life. That’s when your life will fly by in front of your eyes, and you’ll waste precious time, energy, and resources. 

6. Dating people who don’t share your cardinal values 

Dating is often a game of compromises. We know that we have faults, and so does our significant other. 

The challenge resides in building a joint-venture that will create a long-lasting, passionate, and life-changing bond. 

Notwithstanding compromises, there are also certain non-negotiables. 

We all have cardinal values, and dating someone who doesn’t adhere to those core principles is a waste of time, energy, and emotional attachment. 

Of course, you don’t want a partner who agrees with all of your opinions and never incites debate. 

Nevertheless, you shouldn’t try to date someone who shares none of your priorities. 

As an example, some people build their lifestyles around travel, entrepreneurship, and adventure. Others favor stable routines, family life, and job security. 

Those two poles rarely merge into a healthy relationship. 

You might think that the battle is worth it. 

However, there will not be one battle, but recurring incompatibilities. And the more you try to combine oil and water, the more time, energy, and resources you lose. 

Find someone similar but not alike. The best partners are usually the ones who challenge each other while sharing the same outlook on life. 

7. Caving in to external pressure of any kind 

Much like getting a degree because you’re expected to, making decisions as a result of external pressure is generally a bad idea. 

No matter the decision, if you don’t have purposeful reasons to make it, you’ll never give it your best shot. And when you take on half-hearted endeavors, you run the risk of wasting your time, energy, and money. 

Let’s take the example of gym memberships. If you sign up because your friends are all gym rats and pressure you into joining, you won’t have a personal driving force. 

You’ll work out for a few weeks to please your friends, but you’ll never build a long-lasting gym routine.

10 Things in Life That Just Aren't Worth Your Time, Effort, or Money - man standing in mountains - rock pyramid in Norway
Picture by Andreas Wagner / Unsplash

8. Blindly chasing entertainment 

When it comes to things in life that just aren’t worth your time, cheap entertainment is certainly one of them. 

Ask yourself: how often did you procrastinate as a result of aimless social media scrolling? How much time did you lose by binge-watching Netflix shows? And how much family time was interrupted by futile notifications? 

Cheap entertainment is the ultimate 21st-century trap and one of the worst ways to lose your time, energy, and money. 

9. Getting up late when you have no reason to 

Akin to cheap entertainment, getting up late without a clear-cut reason – like intimacy with your partner – is one of the things in life that just aren’t worth your time. 

There are many effective techniques to become an early riser. Morning routines can work wonders in this regard, but first, you need to get out of bed. 

For years, I was a snooze button aficionado. I used to set three alarms, and even though I was never a late riser, I had to fight my snooze addiction. 

In this context, I nowadays use a three-question approach. Upon registering my alarm at 6.30 am, I ask myself the following: 

  • Are you more tired than you were yesterday when you managed to get up at 6.30 am? 
  • Do you have a good reason not to get up right now? 
  • Are you looking forward to what today has in store? 

With very few exceptions, these questions do the trick. 

They help me gain valuable time that I can spend on worthwhile activities like working out, meditating, breakfast, and quality time with loved ones. 

10. Living someone else’s life while ignoring your own potential 

Finally, the most important things in life that just aren’t worth your time, effort, or money are all the decisions you make for someone else while ignoring your potential. 

The conclusion is straightforward: identify your strengths, weaknesses, and values. Act according to them and don’t live someone else’s life. 

Consequently, the best antidote against time-, energy-, and money-wasting decisions is to further your potential. 

It may take years to unlock your potential, but once you know in which areas you can progress while staying true to yourself, you’ll stop wasting time. 

Whether it’s work, education, health, personal growth, or relationships, you certainly have potential. 

The challenge is to set the right objectives and work towards them without losing your time living someone else’s life. 

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