Today has been a bit odd.
Usually, specially lately I’ve been getting up out of bed at about ten to 6 in the morning, and working solidly all day on my businesses only stopping really to eat, workout or go for a quick walk.. But today was different.
Today I managed to oversleep, (As I often do when I’ve been working hard the previous day) and I just woke up at half 9. Now although this is still fairly early.. I mean.. It’s before 12! Something interesting happened.
I felt so bad for oversleeping that I worked extra hard to ‘gain back’ those lost hours. It just got me thinking about things.. Like how much I would have got done already if I HAD got up at 6.. And that sort of pushed me to work faster.
As a result, I got three YouTube videos filmed and learned how to create custom thumbnails for them (I understand this increases clicks to the video) and changed the theme for this site (Transcend Your Limits). I got more done than I probably would have if I’d got up at 6 and it made me see something that wasn’t really on my mind before..
Productivity has different levels.
You can get up at 6, and do NOTHING all day, or you could get up at half 1 in the afternoon and get more done in two hours than you do in most days.. It all depends on HOW you use your time.
And this I feel is crucial to being productive and getting things done, WHATEVER your particular filed of interest is.. Whatever you normally do with your day. Learning how to use the time better will give you the power to do so much more.
I was struck by a thought the other day as I was painting a room (I sometimes work a day or two with my fathers painting and decorating business) that we usually have an opportunity to multi-task or at least to be more efficient.
For example, as I was painting I was listening to a business podcast teaching me how to use Linked In properly and the best practices for sharing blog posts on Facebook.. So I was doing two things at once.. Painting and learning about business.
If I wasn’t doing that, I would have just spent those hours painting and painting alone.. But we can usually leverage our time a little better if we think about it.
That bus journey that you take every day to get to university for example.. What do you spend that time doing? Because when you add it up over the course of a year you’re probably spending hundreds of hours (depending on how far away you live from uni) just sitting in traffic.
That time could just as easily be spent doing something else as well, like listening to a great podcast, for example. Improving your mind by learning things in your spare time is a great way to be productive when you would usually be.. Lazy.
This is why I’ve called this post lazy productivity, because although there are times like when you’re sitting on a bus, that you think there’s nothing else to do, there are ways you can be productive. Not only are these chances there, but they’re moments you can’t afford to lose out on.
If you could zoom out for a second, and see things from a higher perspective, you’d understand this even more. Let’s explain it quickly..
Situation 1) You don’t take advantage of those moments when you’re not doing anything
In about a years time, you’ll be exactly where you set out to be. If you didn’t have a plan, you will be where you are in life right now. If you did have a plan, with hard work you may just have got to where you want to be.. BUT!..
Situation 2) – You made the most of every minute on that bus, or wherever you had spare time
This is where things are different.. If you have made the most of every minute, and if you’ve spent those ‘bus minutes’ listening to, for example, a personal development podcast, a language series, or a business podcast you could very well be MILES ahead of the other version of you.. The version that just sat there.
Over the course of a year that’s a lot of time! What else are you going to use it for.. Looking around at the scenery out of the window? You could STILL do that as well as listening to a podcast. I know it seems like I’m basically preaching that you should listen to podcasts but I’m not..
It’s not just podcasts, and I’m not just talking about while you’re on the bus. I’m saying that there are lots of things you will need to learn if you want to be a success. When I started this website, I learned everything by myself and didn’t really ask or any help from anyone.
I just read a lot online and built up my knowledge from nothing. I did this by listening to and watching HOURS or videos.
Didn’t know how to set up a WordPress site? I Googled it..
Didn’t know how to remove the annoying sidebar widget? Google.
Didn’t know how to use email marketing? YouTube.
I used the vast source of information that is on the internet to learn these things and as a result I’ve created a business and made money. How much money is not the point here.. But I know that by absorbing as much information as I can whenever I can, I’ll make a lot more.
The same can be applied to you. Let’s say you want to become a wedding photographer, and I’m using this as an example because my friend wants this particular thing.
If you think about all the times in your day when you’re not doing anything, like.. While you’re waiting for your dinner to cook.. Or while you’re on the bus.. Walking to uni.. To work.. All those minutes which add up to HOURS over a year..
That’s a lot of time. It’s clear to see that if everything else was the same, and one person used that time to listen to information and the other didn’t… The one who used the time would be miles ahead.
What information I hear you ask.. Well.. Anything. Interviews with successful wedding photographers (to use this as an example).. read a blog post from a famous photographer.. Read tips, Tricks.. Advice and forum posts. Whatever it is, just absorb the information as quickly as you can.
Hopefully this makes sense.. I’ll use a little example from my own life.
My experience shelf filling
When I used to work at a popular home retail store, I developed two skills..
1 – The work was so mind numbingly boring that I could tell the time to within 3 minutes accuracy
2 – I learned (through pod casts in my headphones) how to Lucid Dream.
That skill, I’ve now turned into an online business and it’s become a passion of mine. The TIME that I learned it in would have otherwise been spent only putting various packets of screws onto a shelf while enduring the menacing stare of my supervisor every few minutes.
It would have been dead time, but I utilized it and you can do the same.
I know some of you will not see the point to doing this and would rather just sit on a bus without doing anything but if you could get those hours back, would you?
If you could look back and see how many HOURS you’ve spent doing fuck all, would you take them back? Maybe some of you still wouldn’t, but ask yourself the same question in 10, 20, 30 years time and you’d do anything to get that time back.
You can’t go back in time yet, (sadly) but you can change how you spend your time from now on..
Hopefully this has inspired at least some of you to spend your time a little more wisely.