It’s tempting to think of time that did not result in what you wanted as a waste.
Wanted to write a chapter for your first novel, but instead you were daydreaming? Wasted time.
Got home and wanted to do the dishes and the laundry, but instead you watched Netflix? Wasted time.
Looking for a relationships, but you went on eight dates, and none of them resulted in anything lasting? Wasted time.
Success doesn’t work that way.
Maybe you needed the daydreaming to come up with a great idea. Maybe you needed to give your brain a rest so you can work productively in the future. Or maybe you’ve learned a lot from your “failed” dates, which will help you find an amazing significant other soon.
Don’t measure the results of your efforts over short periods of time. Don’t measure output for a given day or a given week. Instead, ask whether you’ve reached your goals (or: gotten what you wanted) this quarter or this year.
The periods where “nothing” is happening may turn out to be key to reaching your long-term goals.