20 Things You’ll Regret Wasting Your Time On in 10 Years

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By Jonathan Trent

Time is one of the most precious commodities in the world, but we can often forget that when we’re doom-scrolling on social media or having an extra-long lie-in. Here are the 20 things you’re most likely to regret wasting your time on ten years down the line.

Overworking Yourself in a Job You Don’t Like

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It’s a sad fact that, sometimes, you have to work in a job you don’t like to pay the bills. However, while fulfilling your required hours is necessary, burning yourself out for overtime is something you’ll likely regret, thanks to the stress. Don’t forget to give yourself a break!

Worrying About Things Out of Your Control

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Worrying about things is a natural part of life, but most people are guilty of spending too much time worrying about situations they simply can’t change. The eventual toll on the mind and body from excessive worrying, along with significant time wasted for no different outcome, means most people regret doing this.

Watching Too Much TV

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Watching too much TV is always considered negative, but in recent years, it’s become considerably worse thanks to mindless streaming and even scrolling on phones simultaneously. The U.S. News reports that watching television is the most popular leisure activity in the U.S., but trust us–you’ll live to regret it!

Chasing the Idea of Perfection

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Everyone wants their life to be as perfect as possible, but chasing impossible standards only wastes time. A better path can be to accept imperfection and make the best of what you have, but many people struggle with that mentality until it’s too late.

Holding Grudges

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Long-term resentment can often damage emotional and even physical health, sometimes resulting in relationships breaking down that could otherwise be healed. So much time can be lost dwelling on negative feelings instead of spending that time creating positive relationships, so let that grudge go. 

Consuming Too Much Negative News

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The news is awash with negativity and heartbreaking revelations, so consuming too much of it can have a negative impact on your life. You can feel increasingly helpless due to the world around you, so while it’s important to stay up to date with world news, you shouldn’t forget to pursue uplifting activities.

Trying to Please Everyone

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You can’t please everyone in life, and many people regret ever trying. Psychology Today explains that many people-pleasers “confuse people-pleasing with kindness” because they’re trying to be a good person. However, people-pleasing only leads to burnout and neglect of personal boundaries, so don’t go overboard.

Spending Money on Things You Don’t Need

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Treating yourself every once in a while isn’t a bad thing, but most people will admit they’ve spent far too much money on clutter they don’t need. Impulsive shopping can also lead to financial strain that can impact you down the line. Therefore, many look back and wish they’d saved money instead.


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How many times have you put off a task only to wish you’d got it over and done with sooner once you’ve finished? Often, tasks can be done quicker than you think, so just get them done! Worse still, you’ll certainly regret procrastinating on large life goals as you grow older.

Investing in Unhealthy Relationships

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Hindsight is a wonderful thing in relationships, as we often don’t know they’re bad for us at the moment. Many people regret how much time they wasted on the wrong people and how much they let toxic situations negatively impact their health.

Mindless Social Media Scrolling

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Americans spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media a day, reports Forbes; that’s shocking! If you only have a few hours in the evening free after work, that’s a significant amount of time wasted on mindless scrolling, one that you’ll likely regret in the future.

Failing to Prioritize Sleep

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The daunting fact about sleep deprivation is that people often don’t realize its impact until later in life. Many younger people neglect sleep in favor of social activities or overwork themselves, but the long-term health consequences of chronic sleep loss mean many people wish they had prioritized sleep.

Following Too Many Trends

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If you focus on following too many trends in life, you can lose your personal identity. Many people waste so much money and effort on trends that will only be replaced the following week, making blindly following the masses something that people often regret.

Focusing Too Much on Money

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It’s understandable why most people want to work hard and earn as much as possible to pay their bills and protect their future. However, focusing too much on money throughout life can lead to relationship and health neglect and, ultimately, unfulfillment. Remember: money can’t buy you happiness!

Neglecting Your Health

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It’s so easy to ignore health and fitness when you’re younger, but the sooner you begin taking care of yourself, the better. Long-term consequences of ignoring health issues are often irreversible, and it can also lead to financial impacts with higher medical costs in the long term.

Not Spending Enough Time with Loved Ones

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Although it might seem that there will never be enough time with those you love even if you spend every day with them, many people prioritize long working hours over spending time with family and friends. A healthy balance is needed to avoid regrets over the loss of support networks.

Comparing Yourself to Others

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Constantly comparing yourself to others only leads to long-term feelings of inadequacy. You won’t be able to lead a fulfilling life if you force yourself to feel dissatisfied with it! Focusing too much on other people also means you’ll be distracted from your personal goals, which you’ll inevitably regret later down the line.

Living in the Past

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Too many people dwell on the past instead of living in the moment. While Psych Central points out that it’s natural to use past experiences to make more sense of the present, it’s important not to let that consume you. Chronic nostalgia can prevent growth and result in missed opportunities for the future.

Failing to Learn New Skills

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Thanks to the fast pace of the world, the sooner you learn new skills, the better, as you can then easily apply them to professional and personal development. Often, people regret not learning new skills when they could, resulting in missed opportunities or unfulfilled personal dreams.

Not Taking Risks

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Last on our list, people commonly regret not taking an occasional risk. Caution is always warranted, but sometimes, never taking risks can be just as bad as always taking them. It can result in stunted personal growth, missed job opportunities, and the dark side of staying in your comfort zone, so take the plunge once in a while!