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There Are No Refunds On Time Poorly Spent

The universe is set up so that every day is a do-over. All you have to do is decide to change, and you can change in that instant. That’s an extraordinarily powerful idea. It’s extraordinary in that it empowers you to become whatever you wish to be in that very second, as long as you are willing to act in accordance with that decision.

And it’s a dangerous idea, too. The missed opportunities can never be recovered.

I’ll Stop Procrastinating Tomorrow

The danger in the great power of starting over is that you have lost time, time that can never be recovered. You can change. You can improve. You can be whatever it is you decide to be going forward. And, you can leave your past behind.

But there is no logic in postponing the actions that would change you, improve you, or transform you into the best you that you could possibly be. If you would do it tomorrow, then you are better off doing it today. If it’s important enough that you will commit to taking the action tomorrow, then it is important enough to go ahead and start now.

Would’ve, Should’ve, Could’ve

There are no refunds on the time that you spend. You have to instead invest your time wisely and on the things that really matter to you. You can’t ever recover the time you procrastinated. The time spent on meaningless distractions is time that would be better invested elsewhere.

The time you spend poorly will haunt you later. You will recall what you would have done, had things gone differently. You will regret what you should have done, but didn’t. You’ll suffer with your remembered dreams, what you could have done, what you could have been.

Even though you can choose to do whatever you want to do at any time, by not doing it today, you will have one fewer days in which to do what you would do, to be who you would be.

Get Around to It

We all fall prey to present bias. What we want now is very different from what we believe we will want in the future. We are all distracted by today’s novelties and distractions. We all believe we will get around to what we really want to do at some point in the future. But our future selves don’t often turn out to be a whole lot more convicted with any more will power than we possess right now.

There are no refunds on the time you wasted. If you are going to get around to doing something in the future, get around to doing it now and save your future self fromthe pain of your future regrets.


What is the one thing that you know you should do today that you continually put off?

What are the trade-offs that you are making?

Is the future you going to regret those trade-offs later?

What is putting off the actions and decisions you need to take costing you?

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  • Bruce Sallan

    I’ll read this later…

    I took a Time Management class decades ago – those lessons are INVALUABLE. The irony is that I took that class prior to the advent of the PC AND cell-phones. We thought we were too busy, too overwhelmed then. Feels like a quaint memory of the “old days” in contrast to the intense speed of life these days!

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      No doubt you are correct. Things aren’t only moving faster; they’re moving exponentially faster. And, we have more distractions than ever. That means, you have to zero in on what’s really important and make a go of it! 

  • Janet Callaway

    Well said, Tony.  Though the author is unknown, here is a quote that puts in perfect perspective:

    “What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.”

    • S. Anthony Iannarino

      I love that quote, Janet! 

  • Tim Mushey

    Very motivating post Anthony! Thank you. I think most of us have struggled with this at some point. For me, it is an ongoing battle. But making goals and sticking to them going forward is a promise that I made to myself two years ago, and I will not break those promises again!

  • Patrice Garrick

    This is always an excellent reminder. Time is one of those things we can’t get back.  The sooner we learn the costliness of wasted time, the better.