Nice article! I’ve always been puzzled by people who envy my life and then say, “But I just don’t have enough time to do what you do!” Which is odd, as I doubt I’ve been uniquely gifted by the laws of physics with more than the 168 hours per week you note are constant to us all.

I grew up without TV in developing-world nations so it was easy to forgo altogether more than 30 years ago. I take 20 minutes each morning to get ready (shave, ablutions, shower, dress). I don’t have any “must-watch” social media or streamed shows. This frees up an amazing amount of time to be with my children, to be outside enjoying my life, and to do things like write comments on Medium articles. Which, as I type at around 100wpm, doesn’t take much time out of my day either.

I’ve noted that most people seem to resist prioritizing because they don’t want to engage with their lives (though I don’t understand why not). By maintaining self-distracting routines they somehow insulate themselves from more fundamental fears, perhaps of failure. As US citizens seem further down this path than any other nation I’ve ever experienced I suspect that’s why so many US movies and TV series and religionist beliefs all stress a magical afterlife where one’s lack of living in reality can somehow be compensated for (painlessly….) after one’s demise. And this nonsense only enables people to avoid their lives even more.

So while time-boxing is essential in order to really live, I suspect the first step is to find a willingness to face up to the very real difficulties of one’s life, the challenges, and the discomforts, rather than trying to anesthetize oneself with a constant barrage of empty distractions.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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