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Worth the Waste

I would love to Live My Best Life like Oprah tells me to, I really, really would, but when oh when am I going to find the time to watch all of those amazing shows she produces? Since my husband keeps the DVR running 24/7 with every sport known to man, plus poker and the LPGA, I have to resort to watching online in my office or live while he is out of town. Please don’t tell him that I deleted Extreme Log Home Makeovers so that I could record Super Soul Sunday.

What’s worth wasting our time on? Here are some of my not-so-guilty pleasures. Remember—these are just my personal favorites; the point is, “waste” your time on something with the potential to reinvigorate, educate or inspire you.

Pinterest: I don’t surf around on Pinterest that often, but since I’m interested in things like decorating ideas, organizing ideas and fashion, it’s a great way to see a lot of images other people have collected and add them to my own virtual inspiration boards. It’s fun, free and can spark new creative directions. www.pinterest.com on computer or download the app for your phone.

Social Media: I’m over Facebook for a host of reasons, and deactivated my account (although I admit it was extremely useful during the October fires for up to the minute news from friends). I like Instagram—less political, less advertising, less commenting—although it is owned by Facebook, heavy sigh. Catch up with your friends through pictures and keep it simple. www.instagram.com or download the app.

Reminder: Set a timer when you go onto Pinterest and social media sites. A pleasant, potentially positive diversion can quickly turn into an unhealthy time suck.

Reading: I attribute a huge chunk of any success I’ve had as a student or in my career to reading for pleasure. Some of the most useful bits of information I’ve learned has come from novels. At the least, when you finish a book you will have something to talk about at cocktail parties after you’ve exhausted discussing the last season of This is Us. My favorite book of the last couple years is Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

Magazines are another fairly low-cost method of staying current and inspired. From Backyard Poultry to Vogue, there’s a periodical for everyone and you can find a nugget of information in almost every one that is worth the cover price. Rip these tidbits out and file them, don’t stockpile whole issues.

Reminder: Don’t let a pile of unread magazines make you feel guilty. Like all news, they recycle information and can be repetitive. Lastly, if you’re an avid magazine reader, subscribe and save at least three or four bucks an issue, but only if you promise to recycle each issue before the next arrives. Magazines are vehicles for advertising; they are not your true friends.

Podcasts: I’m in my car or on the treadmill a lot and podcasts have changed my life. I love The Tim Ferriss Show because of its long format. Tim interviews peak performer athletes, entrepreneurs, actors and others who provide very useful information in a highly entertaining way. If you miss NPR’s Fresh Air you can catch up via its podcast. For art lovers, try The Artsy Podcast.

A good podcast will make the time fly and you’ll learn something effortlessly too, unlike with the Spanish Language CDs that have been in my car for the past twenty years. I’m still not past Section One. ¡Adios!