Time cannot be created. It can only be used or wasted. Is doing “nothing” a waste of time? Is doing the “wrong” activity a waste of time? Is working in a job, that doesn’t fulfill us a waste of time?
There is no formula describing “waste of time” as a specific thing we do or don’t do. It is what we perceive as a “waste of time”. Everyone has their own standard. I feel content when I am studying, playing or talking with my children and would classify waiting for someone who is late for an appointment as a waste of time.
What we perceive as a waste of time is probably strongly influenced by the culture we grew up in. Before I finally got my PR-status in Malaysia I had to go to my yearly visits to the immigration. My time spent there became progressively shorter over the years, as the immigration became more efficient. In the early years I and my fellow applicants had to wait hours to have our visas processed. I spent my time feeling “useful” by bringing my study materials or books to read, while the majority of other applicants were happy to stare at the counter. Mind you I do not want to be judgmental and I’d say I was the only one thinking “what a waste of time”.
So what happens, if I am “caught unprepared”? After the initial fidgeting and attacks of (not very positive) thoughts I cease the opportunity and start watching my breath and thoughts. In other words I meditate or “clean up the mind” how Swami Rama from the Himalayan Yoga Meditation mentioned in one of his books. And perhaps that is what all these people in the immigration did as well….?