A Whole Life Wasted. The 5 Principles to Keep It From Happening

James J. Davis
4 min readJan 29, 2021


How to live your life for a reason? A question that has tormented each of you at least once. And me, too.

#1 Realistically assess your capabilities for the day
#2 Get your priorities right.
#3 Plan no more than 60% of your time per day
#4 Have a list of things not to do
#5 Celebrate!

My goal in this article is to help you understand how you can get rid of the fear of living your life in vain.

Therefore, I will share five principles which, if followed daily, will help you create a fulfilled life without any doubts that your time is wasted.


Only you can determine whether or not your life has been wasted. No one else, only you. Therefore, 100% of the responsibility for managing your time lies with you.

Why people begin to think negatively about themselves and think they have wasted their lives is most often determined by how they plan their time and set themselves up for the day.

At the end of the day you may say to yourself, “I didn’t waste my day today!” or “I wasted my day again today. And tomorrow I will probably do the same. And what if my whole life goes like that…?”

The reason for negative self-evaluation at the end of the day is that most people, wanting to achieve a lot in their life, plan too much for the day. And more often than not, the result is that they don’t achieve anything truly meaningful.

How can you feel guaranteed to be a successful and fulfilled person at the end of each day? Use the five principles below.


#1 Realistically assess your capabilities for the day

Don’t try to plan too much for the day, because at the end of the day you’ll realize that there wasn’t enough time for the most important things, and the petty fuss ate up all your time.

You may have heard: “Aim for the stars. Even if you don’t hit a star, at least you’ll make it to the moon”. I am opposed to this and similar statements. If you hit the moon, by definition, you haven’t reached your original goal. And at the end of the day, you will be dejected and have a negative evaluation of yourself.

#2 Get your priorities right.

Remember the Pareto Principle: 20 percent of actions produce 80 percent of results. Successful people know to do first what will have the greatest impact on their results in the future. So start first with the most important tasks that will have the most impact on your future.

#3 Plan no more than 60% of your time per day

If you schedule more than 60% of your time per day, something is guaranteed to go wrong, and you’ll have to spend time planned for other important tasks to solve the problem at hand.

To prevent this from happening, make it a habit to plan no more than 60% in advance, leaving room for flexibility and dealing with unforeseen issues.

You should always have about 3–4 hours of backup time. That way you’ll be sure that a sudden urgent task won’t overwhelm your plans for the day.

#4 Have a list of things not to do

You’ve probably heard of so-called “to-do lists”. In English they are called To-Do Lists.

But what many people don’t know is that along with To-Do Lists, it’s great to have a Not To-Do List — a list of things not to do. For example, watching TV for more than 30–60 minutes a day, talking on the phone about nothing, drinking beer in the evenings in front of the TV, etc.

Having a list like this will help you stop using your time unproductively. Your self-esteem grows if you realize at the end of the day that you haven’t done a single item from your Not To-Do List.

#5 Celebrate!

Summarize the day and celebrate every victory, even the smallest one. You may have signed a contract with a client today, drank two liters of water during the day, taken another class in some online training course.

No matter how small your accomplishment, the important thing is to celebrate it.

By celebrating our victories, we signal to the Universe that we are happy with ourselves and our results. And the Universe will respond with new opportunities for success.


Remember that you can come to great success only by small consecutive steps.

There is no need to compare yourself with more successful people. It makes sense to compare yourself with yourself yesterday, the day before yesterday. Compare yourself today and yourself a month ago, a year ago. So you will observe your progress and understand what important actions you need to take to get the most results.

And now let’s summarize and make a checklist of 5 principles, so that life does not seem to have been lived in vain:

● Make a realistic assessment of your capabilities for the day

Do only the things that will have the greatest impact on your success

● Plan no more than 60% of your time per day

● Have a list of things you don’t need to do (Not To-Do List)

● Celebrate your accomplishments

After implementing these 5 daily rules, you will notice an increase in the productivity and efficiency of your day. Accordingly, all of your life results will change as well!

Tell us in the comments how valuable these principles have been to you. Also, please like and share these five rules for a day well spent with your friends on social media!