“All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that.”
While the amount of things we want to see, do, smell, taste and touch exceeds all but our imagination there are still just 24 hours in each day.
Time flies by and many times people find themselves at the end of the journey known as life without enough stories to say it was all worth while. I’m here to give you 730 hours back per year so that you can make some beautiful memories.
Our enemy — ‘Prime Time’. That’s the time of the day, usually 8:00pm to 10:00pm where the world watches their favorite sitcom, reality show, or news channel. The amount of value that we get out of these shows is negligible, if not negative, next to the amount of time we are wasting. Wasted time meaning the time that we are not either being super productive or enjoying and loving life.
I do not count watching TV as a good way to relax and enjoy life. Sitcoms may be funny, reality shows may be sexy, and news may be captivating, but none of the benefits of such things outweigh the fact that TV is turning your brain into a rotting vegetable.
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
20 Smart Ways To Increase Productivity During Prime Time
- Exercise. Exercising every day will get you feeling young, reduce the risk of serious diseases, and have your mind be sharp as a tack. On days that I run I feel my metabolism speed up, my mood enlightened, and my productivity soaring.
With 2 hours of prime time you have the opportunity to do cardio and lift. If you’re tactful you’ll use the time to do an outdoor activity such as cycling, hiking, or playing a sport with friends.
- Sleep early. Since prime time is about 8:00pm – 10:00pm the sun is usually setting. Use the opportunity to get to bed early, and wake up early when the sun is coming up. Early morning is an excellent time to get things done — and it’s light.
- Read. No matter what you’re reading speed, if you read for 2 hours a day you’ll get a lot of reading done. Break your year into reading categories and become an expert in subjects that will improve your career, health, or relationships.
During the time I got my master’s degree I spent an equal amount of time studying personal development — I would say I have a master’s in PD as well!
- Cook ahead. You can save a lot of money by cooking your own meals. During two hour cooking sessions every day you can really increase your culinary skills and impress your friends and family with your awesome abilities.
Combine cooking with listening to some light music, or listen to personal development audio tapes while your in the kitchen. It will keep things fresh, fun, and educational all at the same time.
- Learn a language. Two hours a day, for one full year, will allow you to become very good at a language of your choice. You can read language books, listen to language audio tapes, or take an evening course at a local university.
There are some major languages that can help you in your career or for your traveling pleasures. At the same time you’ll literally increase your brain capacity to learn — all while becoming a well rounded individual.
“If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.”
- Get a degree. By taking 1-2 classes a week during the evening, you can accumulate enough credits to get a degree within a few years. You can do this while you work (actually it isn’t uncommon for a company to pay for an advanced degree while you work), and be able to earn a much better living once your done.
Friends of mine have done this very thing and have doubled their incomes by getting promotions. Not bad for giving the tube a rest.
- Draw and Paint. You might want to build a collection on the side while working a day job, or simply paint for pleasure when you can. No matter the case, you’ll get there much quicker, and be much better in the process when you’re devoting your prime time to your passion.
- Blog Your Passion. My passion is personal development and it is the muse of this blog you are reading. Since December 15, 2006 it has grown to peak at 60,000 hits a month as of today (May 2008). By devoting 2 hours a day, like I have done, you can have a huge audience and share your passion with the world as well.
You may want to blog about whatever topic interests you. It is your passion that will set you apart and keeping you coming back. Your passion will captivate your audience, and your audience will become your reason to continue. The audience of this site are one of the biggest passions in my life — I’d love for you to experience this too. (For help on starting a site, check out Site Built It!)
- Write a Novel. After conducting the Gotta Get Goals project last year I learned that many people have a passion to write a New York Times #1 Bestseller. If you could write relatively quickly, you should be able to dish out 4 pages a day.
At 1,000-2,000 words per day, you can create a 50,000 word (or 200 page) novel within one month. That’s 12 novels each year… with such quantity you’re bound to create something good!
- Join Toastmasters. Toastmasters international is an organization that helps people improve their public speaking skills. I just learned and I see a lot of potential and possibility within this program. They say the top 2 things that people are scared of are death and public speaking. I’m not afraid of death, it’s going to happen, so might as well get this public speaking thing squared away.
“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Organize. Take the time to clean your environment and mind. Clean your home, plan out your day, week, month, year and life. Look over your mission statement so that you know exactly who you are and who you want to be being.
What they say is true, planning is a time investment that earns huge dividends. Without it, you might not even realize that your life is average and mediocre. Planning, organizing, and thinking can give you access to everything you ever wanted. Remember Napoleon Hill – Think and Grow Rich.
- Join a Hobby Club. There are many enthusiast clubs with people that have the same interests as you, no matter what those interests are. An easy way to locate such a club is by visiting meetup.com and browsing the different categories. If that doesn’t work — start your own.
- Play Piano. Every time I hear someone play the piano I’m highly impressed. That’s because I know the amount of practice and dedication it takes. The payoff is great and at 2 hours a day you could get pretty good within a year.
- Master Chess. Chess is a game of cunning intellect. It’s very easy to learn the basics and very difficult to master. While you’re learning you’re actively using your brain and improving your concentration skills. Not only will this decrease the risk of debilitating brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s but you will also notice mental performance improving in other areas.
- Meditation/Yoga. Relax your mind with meditation or tone up your body with yoga. The two are not mutually exclusive and you know that there is a dichotomy between our mind and body — that’s why it is important to push both.
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
- Extra funds. You can use the little extra time you save each day to make more money. Here’s the catch. If you aren’t in love with your job you can use this opportunity to make more money doing something you really love. You can do this by earning money through your hobby. As for myself, I use the time to write articles for online publications, and earn cash on the side.
- Volunteer. Volunteering can be a very fulfilling opportunity. I feel that the more you give, and the less you expect in return, the more you will get in terms of building your character. All of our goals are, or should be, a chiseled character — what good is it if we don’t use it to help others?
- Friends Time. Many cell phone plans let you talk for free in the evenings, so use this freed up time, and the free minutes, to catch up with a different friend each day of the week. We strengthen the relationships that we deem most important, and the best way to do that is invest our time and love into them.
- Family Time. Many people say that family is important to them, but they don’t necessarily take time to set aside for family time. Family time does not have to be a chore, you can combine all the other activities above, and do them together as a family.
It doesn’t have to be all about productivity, you can use the time to just talk, make fun plans, or just do some proactive relaxation.
- Live. Forget everything I just said. Your time doesn’t belong to me, and my self-improvement fanatical thoughts — it belongs to you. Do whatever brings you pleasure, and take pleasure in whatever you’re doing. It’s your life and it’s your time — enjoy it!
“Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.“
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