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Have you ever regret not having enough time to do things? I would like to learn Italian but I do not have enough time; I would like to do exercise but…; I would like to play the piano; I would like to be more creative; I would like to draw, paint, sing, etc.; and many other things. We postpone all these things to be done in an uncertain future that probably will never come.

Time is our most prized possession (How many times have we heard that?!) We all agree with that, don´t we? Then why do we continue to waste it?

24 hours should be enough to satisfy all our needs and objectives because we cannot borrow more time. Our success in life will depend on our use of these 24 hours. We have to optimize the use of time making it productive, and this way we may be close to fulfilling our needs.

If everyday we would make a note of every period of time that we waste we would realize the incredible amount of time we lost and, therefore, remains unproductive.

I propose to you to make the most of the periods of “dead time” doing productive activities to your objectives, that is, it is about to make profitable those by-products of time. Don´t kill your “dead times” doing unproductive activities because who kills his time is killing his opportunities to succeed in life. You have to spend your time in useful and productive way on those tasks that bring you closer to your objectives and dreams.

By way of an example, imagine the following case: Peter, a young university student who has a part time evening job, wants to learn Italian. Furthermore, he spends most of his spare time to do exercise and to write a blog about bodybuilding. Anyone would say that Peter does not have enough material time to learn a new language, because it requires a lot of effort and time. Nevertheless, despite his tight agenda, he could make the most of all these moments between two tasks, the “dead times”, to do activities related to the learning of Italian. For instance, when he takes the subway from his home to the university, instead of listening to music and see the faces of the people, he could read an Italian grammar book. Likewise, when he goes to work he could be listening to a podcast of Italian vocabulary. But also in the evening, before he gets the dinner ready instead of watching tv he could watch some videos on youtube in Italian. This is only an example.

Here is my advice:

1- Be conscious of your “dead times”. If you make a note of every “dead times” you have through the day, since you wake up until you go to sleep, and indicates its duration, you will realize the amount of time you waste every day.

2- Turn those useless and unproductive times into productive ones. In order to do this it will be necessary:

  • You have to decide what objective you want to achieve using the new time you will get: to learn another language, to review the lesson of the University, to draw, to improve our creativity, etc. It is not indispensable to spend all the new time in only one objective, you may divide that time in several objectives. However, I suggest you not to use your new time in more than two objectives.
  • You have to decide which activities you will do to achieve that objective or objectives. For instance, reading a book about the topic, listening to a podcast, thinking, drawing, etc.
  • You have to be prepared with all the material needed to do those activities. For instance, if you will listen to a podcast you will have to bring with you a mp3 player; if you want to draw you have to carry a notebook or papers and a pencil; if you have to read obviously you will have to carry the book; etc.

Those useless and unproductive moments may seem insignificant due to its short duration, but if you add them all up throughout the days, the weeks and the months, it will turn into an incredible amount of time. It is just like if you suddenly got twenty more days per year to do whatever you always wanted to do but you never had time to do. To use that new time will give you an advantage with respect to most people who not even realize the value of the “dead times” and it will enable you to take a step forward to be successful in your study, career and life.

Written by: David Cantone

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