Time. The greatest equalizer of all. Everyone has the same 24 hours a day. So how come some people manage to do more with their time? How can you find the time to work full time, raise kids, workout and raise a side business all at the same time?
When I was younger, before I had children, I used to think that I was extremely busy. I worked full time (9-10 hours), commuted about 40 minutes each way. Came back home exhausted. Walked my dog. Ordered pizza because I was too tired to prepare anything and ate it in-front of the T.V, went to sleep, woke up for work, repeat.
Life becomes a mess
Then, our first son was born, and I realized that there are more hours to the day(night) than I thought. I slept a LOT less, woke up 2-3 times in the middle of the night to take care of him (at least 15-20 minutes each time), then went to work (with red eyes), came back, took care of him till he went to sleep, I dozed off not long after. Repeat.
After 8 months of no life at all things started to relax, we all started to sleep better and I found some free time. Then, not long after (a little surprise), our second son was born! This time it took a whole year till we started to sleep better (more on that possibly in another post)
Like the Phoenix I rise
Now, when the sleep is continuous, I started to become a person again. I started to dream about bigger and better things. Most important of all, I started taking action towards those dreams, even though my time is still very limited, much more than it was before the kids. I work full-time, I take care of the kids till they fall asleep, I prepare a healthy dinner, I walk my dog, I workout, I read, I write, I start small businesses.
Time is a constant
What you have to realize first, is that time is a constant, you can’t really make more time. The only thing you can really ever do is replace one activity with another. For example, in my case I replaced 1-2 hours of sleep with working on my side business. I found out that I can function fine with only 6 hours of sleep. The 2 hours each day give me about 40 hours each month which is worth a whole work week!
Cheat: Try to combine mindless work with something productive. For example, I listen to books on audible while commuting or washing the dishes.
Challenge: Sleep 30 minutes less each day for a week. Use this time to do something productive (meaning don’t waste it on f*cken T.V)
Use the compounding interest effect
Compounding interest is one of the most important things you should learn in life. It’s the basis for all good economic decisions. Usually, we talk about CI with regards to money, but I want to speak about it in regards to time.
The idea is simple, ask yourself what can I do today that will save me time tomorrow. For example, if you usually commute to work during rush hour but can arrange it so that you can come earlier to work (maybe start/finish at home) you can save yourself a LOT of time. Lets say, you saved 30 minutes on commute time, the compounding effect of this small optimization means that you saved 2.5 hours each week! 10 hours each month! Over 32 years (remaining time till the pension kicks in on my case) that’s 3,840 free hours!!! almost half a year back, Just by rearranging your calendar.
Compounding interest can also work against you, if you waste an hour daily on social media, every 9 days you lose a day of work that you could have used to build your side business.
Cheat: Wash the dishes while something is cooking.
Challenge: Save 30 minutes each day, find a way to optimize your commute, your chores, your computer (learn keyboard shortcuts). Anything that you can do that will save you even 5 minutes a day (for example, don’t read your Facebook feed)
Be the tortoise not the hare
This story is one of Aesop’s Fables, about a Hare who ridicules a slow-moving Tortoise. Tired of the Hare’s arrogant behavior, the Tortoise challenges him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the race. When the Hare awakes however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.
My own interpretation to this story is that it’s better to go slowly but steadily towards your goals instead of going all in and then losing.
I started to workout many times in my life, always to stop not long after. Usually it started with a big plan and a big goal which was not long after forgotten. I noticed that if you start slow, and just keep going, it’s easier to achieve great things.
I started to run according to an EXTREMELY slow program. You start with 5 minutes 4 times a week, and increase it very slowly every couple of weeks. This way I was able to build a routine into my life that was acceptable by me and my family. When I was tired, I said to myself “it’s only 5 minutes”, when my wife said, “we must do X and Y and Z”, I said, “no problem, it’ll only take me 5 minutes and I’m back”.
Now it’s so part of my routine that I feel bad if I missed a workout and I MUST complete it in another day of the week.
Cheat: Having an extremely low goal like putting on your running clothes can greatly increase your chances or running.
Challenge: Choose any area in your life that you wish to improve and set the goal to work on it for just 2 minutes a day. Mark your successful days. Don’t work on it for more than 2 minutes (at least not before completing a full month). Don’t ever quit or break the chain – it’s only 2 minutes a day, even Trump can find 2 minutes a day.
Go After It!
I hope that you found something new and useful out of this article and I wish you a great life. Go reach your potential!