Yesterday’s post explained why time is your biggest commodity. It focused on how to best allocate your time so you spend more time doing the things that give you value while reducing or eliminating things that don’t give you much value.
At the end of the post I gave you an exercise to do that examines how you spend your time during your typical week. If you did the exercise you probably noticed that there were a few activities that don’t give you much value, yet you spend huge chunks of time doing them e.g. commuting and surfing internet. You probably also noticed that there were a few things that give you tremendous value, yet you do them rarely e.g. hang out with friends, write.
Why do the time wasting activities outweigh the activities that give you value?
Sometimes it’s unavoidable. For example, most people hate their jobs. The typical person spends at least 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week working. Work may not give you much value other than a paycheck. It’s a tradeoff. The hours slogging away hopefully give you enough money to enjoy your life outside work.
But how about the other time waisting activities? What time waisting activities do you have control over? It’s probably a lot more control than you think.
I’ll give you an example in my life. After going over how I spend my time during the typical week I noticed that there were a quite a few time activities that gave me little value but I did often – surfing the web, watching sports, current job.
I also noticed that I spent very little time on something that’s been a goal of mine for a while now. I’ve been wanting to reteach myself graphic design and eventually land some freelance jobs. For whatever reason I kept putting it off. I found ways to distract myself with time waisting activities instead. Steven Pressfield author of the War of Art would call this resistance (if you haven’t read War of Art do yourself a favor and buy it).
Even after identifying that I was purposely distracting myself with bullshit I still wasted time. It took up until a few hours ago for me to sit down and start doing tutorials on Illustrator. I fought it, but once I started doing it I was locked in. It’s like this for most activities that give me true value. There is usually resistance.
What are the things in your life that give you tremendous value that you spend little time doing?
Why aren’t you doing these things?
Key in on them. The more resistance you feels towards those things probably means the more you should be doing them.