Use ALL the time!

Everyone is always short on time.

“I’m so busy!”, “I don’t have time for that!” and “My schedule is so full!” and so on and so forth. The cliche is definitely true: Time flies.

Your time will leave you quicker than you will ever want it to.

What most people fail to notice though, that all time is valuable. Even the half hour between appointments, the hour you have between work and going out for dinner, the times you wait, the times you travel: All that time matters too. All that time should matter too.

Because life is made of time. Your days are made of time. And so much of your time, so many of your minutes are wasted on stuff like waiting, on sloshing through tasks you may not like, on procrastinating and the “I’ll do that later”-attitude.

That adds up to so much wasted time Such a shame. So I decided that I would try out a little experiment I call ‘Use ALL the Time’ in my head (loosely based on Hyperbole And A Half’s: Clean ALL The Things!): I am now trying to do as much as I can in whatever time is available to me at that particular point during the day. Whether it’s productive stuff or relaxing stuff, I’m just going to use the time I have at that moment to my maximum ability.

For instance, I was at work and my class finished early. I would normally have a two-hour long break until the next one, that I would fill with talking to my colleagues and browsing the Internet. But let’s be serious, I could do so much more with that time. Changing it up, I now had a 15-minute lunch in our breakroom with said colleagues, then I printed out assignments for me to grade, got a cup of tea and went downstairs to my classroom. Without the distractions of fun co-workers and the Interwebz, I graded the assignments in half an hour and used the rest of the time to write. By using the time I had at hand immediately, I automatically freed up my evening for other activities.

Similarly, when I came home from work I still had 45 minutes until I was supposed to meet a friend for dinner downtown. I could have ploffed down on the couch and browsed Tumblr until it was time to leave (and believe me, I usually do). Now I cleaned some dishes left from breakfast with the boyfriend, folded some laundry and sent a few important emails.

I now use this technique all the time when I have breaks between classes at work. I sit in my classroom and I write or I read a book on my iPad. I drink tea and occasionally do a few yoga poses or stretch my legs in the hallway. By using all this time I manage to crank out 6 blog posts, read a third of a Game of Thrones and drink a liter of Jasmine Tea.

It’s my new favorite time effectivity technique. I am simply going to use all the time I have available to me during my day, no matter what. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I will use my time. I believe that it’s the best technique to live you life fully: use all your time. 

(Psssh: If you need ideas on how to fill time, click here!) 

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  1. Amen! It feels like there’s never enough time, yet still: we’re given 24 hours a day. 24. Imagine what you could possibly do in 24 hours. It’s the time it takes you to fly around the world. Run 6 marathons. Read Tolstoy’s War & Peace from cover to cover. You could write half a book in 24 hours (unless you’re James Joyce of course) and if you’re Jack Bauer, it’s just enough time to save the world.

    I try to remind myself of that whenever I catch myself saying I don’t have enough time. Cause if I don’t, then no one does since we’re all given the exact same amount. And that includes Einstein, Mother Theresa and Ernest Hemingway.

  2. Heel goed advies! En heel erg waar! Voor mij een valkuil: ik mag wel eens wat minder effectief zijn;) Zelf als ik van mezelf lekker op de bank mag liggen en tv kijken, sta ik vaak nog elk reclameblok op om even te strijken, af te wassen, wat stukken doorlezen voor werk, etc. Ik kan hier goed in door draven met als resultaat dat m’n hoofd soms overuren maakt, dus misschien voor mensen als mijzelf een ook een advies over jezelf niet te druk maken? 🙂

    1. Zeker! Ik denk dat je die tijd tussen dingen door (en alle tijd trouwens) ook goed moet gebruiken voor ontspanning!

  3. Just what I needed! I spend way too much time procrastinating while I could be doing other stuff instead, so thanks 🙂

  4. I used to live like that, using all my time, but I got really stressed out. Or maybe I was being stressed out and did usefull stuff all the time because of that. Anyway, I (still) like the idea of using your time well, but for me it’s just better not to, because in the end I get burned out. Hope you can do this in a relaxed way 🙂

    1. Ik gebruik die tijd ook om te ontspannen en leuke dingen te doen, dus niet alleen maar uberproductiviteitsdingen – op die manier blijkt het leuk!