Time is a powerful tool for your life- Part II: From little things, big things grow!

Key takeaways:

  • Everyone has 24 hours, no more, no less;
  • We all ‘waste’ time on things, depending on how you see those ‘things’;
  • Adding up small things, then big things can grow!
  • So, use your time and do the right thing!

I always has a book in my backpack. Sometimes, this book can stay in my bag for a couple of weeks until I finish reading it. Sometimes, it’s longer; often months. The reason why I always have a book in my backpack is that I could bring it out and read when I have a bit ‘gap time’ in between activities. We all have a lot of gap times every day.

If I have 15 mins to read my book every day, then say, I could finish 3 pages of the book in 15 minutes. Then I could read 15 pages per week, assuming I only do this 15-min reading 5 times a week, for example during my morning commuting time. This is about 60 pages per month. Then in 3 months, I could finish a 180-page book. That’s about the average time I finish reading a book. Wow, how powerful time is!

A watch made from a real half-penny Australian dollar coin by the Federal Mint. So, you can see that ‘Time is Money’!

In last July, I went to China for a two-week research visit. I chose to live in a familiar hotel which was about 25-mins subway commuting away from the university campus. I brought a book with me during that trip and I finished the whole book in two weeks, simply by reading it during commuting time.

So, from little things, big things can grow! Adding the 15 minutes we all have each day, then we could do something substantial over 3 months! Who said that “I don’t have time”? Yes, you do! It’s just that you may have spent it somewhere else, and time slips away…

Do you have that 15-mins each day? You certain do: on the train, on the bus, driving your car (can’t read but can listen to audio books or podcasts!), waiting for an appointment, waiting for a meeting, waiting for a client in a cafe, or waiting for your kids to finish after-school sports. We all have that 15 minutes every day but how do we use it?

If you read a book like me, then you will stand out in the crowd. (Photo by Jens Johnsson on Unsplash)

While I was reading my book on the subway in China back in last July, I noticed that I was the only person in the carriage that was reading a book. All other fellow passengers were on their phones. I peeked a bit to see what others were doing on the phone. Not surprisingly, most watched some sorts of videos and others were on social network stuff.

There is nothing wrong with spending time on phone when ‘gap time’ is available. Sometimes I also do that to catch up some un-answered messages. However, I often find myself tired after doing that for 15 minutes in between activities and hard to focus on the following activity that matters more to me. So, I changed.

In stead of spending the gap time to catch up on messages or social media, I do two things: either write my blog (like what I’m doing right now while waiting for my son to finish his Jiu Jitsu) or read my book. Then, do I check social media and follow up on messages? Of course, I do! I only do it twice a day: after lunch and after dinner, unless I have something urgent that I need to follow up during the day. By concentrating the time you need to spend on your phone in a few chunks across a day, you don’t only improve your efficiency (on the phone) but also improve your focus on that activity. So, you don’t make mistakes.

Just finished “Leaders Eat Last” and moving on to “The Self-Driven Child”. Still a pile of news books waiting for me on my book shelf.

Can you finish reading 5 books a year? Yes, you can! You can start carrying your first book from today and in no time you will find that you’ve finished it. It doesn’t need to be a novel. It can be something you want to learn, say a new skill, or a hobby. You will be amazed by how much you could accomplish in 12 months.

I spend about 20 mins to write a blog article each week. Although I don’t publish every week (I try to!), on average I’ve published about 30 articles per year. So, since January 2017, I’ve published almost 100 articles in my blog by using my gap times! If each article has about 800 words, then by now I’ve almost done 80,000 words in my blog over 3 years. That’s enough for writing a book, isn’t it?

Farming is all about time and care. You can see how time works on crops. Of course, you need to be professional enough to have beautiful harvests.

We all have 24 hours on each day. It really depends on how we use that 24 hours. Do you have time to build a side business on the Internet while keeping a full-time job? Yes, you do, if you can find 15-mins per day. Big things can grow from little things and time is the key factor! Remember this.

Dr. C. Richard Wu @ REEAConsulting.com

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