I didn’t realize, until very recently, how much of my time I was wasting on things like Facebook, Youtube, Forums, Reading Books (unscheduled) and Joke sites.
It would start as a harmless way to power up your computer. You open up Gmail in one tab, and Facebook in the next. And while they are loading, why not open up Quora, Youtube, and all the forums you made a post on yesterday?
And before you know it… you see some funny image on Facebook that redirects to another site with “God knows how many million” images like that.
I habitually spent the first 45 minutes of my day doing absolutely nothing. I wouldn’t even touch my email because I would still be in my bed. I always had this email rule that I adhere to even now… That I only open an email once. It either gets worked on, replied to, archived, marked as spam or deleted. Every email in my inbox. But since I was still lying in my bed, the only rational thing I could do was to read. I couldn’t take any productive steps, and could not reply to the emails either.
So I ended up watching videos, checking out images, and liking friends’ posts on Facebook.
That’s what I call a leak!
It was a leak. A huge gigantic leak that drained me of some of my best time. Time that could have been used to write three entire Volumes on topics that I expect to write about.
Another seemingly harmless leak is the cell phone.
Anyone can reach out to you at any time, right?
That’s the worst thing you can do to yourself. I once saw myself talking to someone while attending to the nature’s call, and that’s when I knew I had become a slave. I mean what kind of a man can’t even take a leak in peace?
So now I am totally unreachable at all times, except to some of my friends and family members. These days, owing to special circumstances I have, admittedly, made myself available to a bunch of people, but this is only temporary.
I routinely tell a person to email me about anything that’s important, but not urgent now. See, I regularly go out with my friends… and I have quite a few. I have made a lot of new friends over the past three months. I go out once or twice a week with them. I also talk to my distant friends once every couple of weeks over Skype. I have time dedicated to my family scheduled in my weekly calendar.
So my friends and family have no real reason to call me at any time.
The only time they call me is when they have something urgent to talk about.
My clients… well, right now, some of my clients can call me whenever they want. However, this will change as soon as I build a front line in my company. A few people to handle incoming calls from our existing clients. So this is just temporary. Of course, there are times when I can’t take anyone’s calls… Like when I am in a meeting, or when I am having sex, or when I am with friends… and that’s when I prefer to keep my phone on silent mode.
I call people, but usually between 7 PM and 8 PM only. If someone sends me an email, and it’s about something that needs to be discussed over phone, I schedule a phone call formally over email. It works best.
There will be more written about time management on this website in the context of office and leading a business. Most business managers and leaders are “Got-A-Minute” managers. Anyone can walk upto them at any time, and say, “Got-A-Minute” and a meeting starts out then and there.
The proper way of handling that is to have regular meetings with your team… Preferably once a week with everyone who reports to you directly, and to everyone who reports to them. I’ll write more about this later.
Another big leak for me was movies…
You see I’d just download tons of movies at night… And then I always felt compelled to watch them all.
I guess it was just a rite of passage because now I don’t like watching movies anymore. I feel bored… even when I am watching any of the “very entertaining” movies. It’s like my own life has become so exciting that watching movies feels like such a waste of time.
Also, since I am doing something almost all the time (albeit with a purpose) sitting down to watch a movie or TV feels like breaking momentum. It’s just so much more exciting to go out in the real world, and make money, or talk to people.
As far as Internet is concerned, I only visit Gmail twice a day… Once in the morning when I am ready to take action, and once in the evening.
I also visit the Forums and Facebook, and other accounts every day, but always with a strict 15 minute deadline. So for example, if I start browsing at 7:15 in the P.M., I will also stop browsing at 7:30. No matter where I am at.
Just cutting down on these time wasters seems to have given me so much time to do things that I really want to do. I listen to all these morons talk about how they have no time to join a gym, or to write a book, or to start a blog, or to build a business, or to get another job, or to become good at dating and seduction… and then at the same time they can be seen chatting on Facebook for hours at a time. Merely gossiping about other people, and basically just “staying connected”.
I don’t understand the whole deal… I mean why would you want to get clicked everytime you are in Starbucks and post it on Facebook when you can actually savor the aroma of coffee? Why would you want to proclaim your affection for your partner on a social network when you could actually make love? Why bother with gossiping when you can write your own story?
It just doesn’t make sense.
Here’s a tip: Whatever you are about to do, ask yourself this question… If I were to do what I am about to do now every day for an entire year, will it take me closer to my goals, or away from them?
So if you are about to sit and watch a 2 hour movie… ask yourself this… Would you be closer to your dreams and goals if you watched a 2 hour movie every day for the next 365 days? That’s 730 hours! If you wrote just two pages in an hour, you’d be able to write five books with 280 pages each in that much time!
If you have spent 4 hours or more on social networks (and Youtube) this week, that’s 208 hours. That’s enough time to learn the basics of piano if you’ve never played. That’s enough time to get in relatively good shape working out… even if you look like a Sumo Wrestler right now. That’s more time than you will spend on sex over the next three years, if you have an above-average sex life!
Really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
Don’t eat that chocolate if you are not ready to eat it every day for the next 365.
Until next time
P.S. Anything is doable… Almost any skill is acquirable… Everything’s obtainable… if you just focus and stay disciplined.