The Illusion of Optimization

Time is one of the most valuable commodities we have as temporary inhabitants of this world. We devote so much thought and so many resources to saving time, including — perhaps ironically — time itself. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to save a little time here and there, I feel like I need to constantly remind myself not to stress over a little wasted time.

Getting caught at a red light or making a wrong turn, in the moment, feels like such a huge inconvenience. But does two minutes of “wasted” time have any affect at all on my final destination? Sure, I’ll have to wait a little longer to order my large fries at the McDonald’s drive through, but are the fries that come out a couple minutes later lower in quality? Maybe, but probably not. Or maybe they are actually better.

There are time-sensitive cases in which seconds or minutes makes a difference in the ultimate outcome, but even then, what’s the point in stressing about my lapse in judgement after it’s already occurred? It’s true time is one of the most precious things we have, so I should try to enjoy every minute of it, or at least not waste it on worrying about wasting it.

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