March, 2015

5 ways to spend time on valuable things

In 2014 I read 10 Stuff Magazines, read over 100 articles online and I finished reading 2 books John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life and Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers. I designed and launched 2 websites, watched over 50 Ted Talks videos and learned 5 programming & design technologies. I also worked on a few projects under Animate Crew. I know this may sound like nothing or easily achievable. But it can be a bit challenging if you have a full time Job or school to attend. When you have tasks to complete, a number of reasons not to complete the tasks or distractions will come up. For me the distractions include Video Games, Movies or Series & Sports or TV. The point is, last year I did a number of things with value, and I did it all on my spare time. On this articles I will share a few strategies I have developed that helped me in accomplishing things outside of a normal day Job.

I am still using these strategies this year and I'm on a different level. The year has started but I have already accomplished a few things. In the past 2 months I published a blog animateblog & I am working on 3 other websites simultaneously, I have read and finished one book Malcolm Gladwell's David & Goliath, read 2 Stuff magazines and I already watched over 20 Ted Talks Videos. If you look closely you will notice that I have already done almost half of the stuff I did last year.

Here are some strategies to help spend your time on valuable things:
Make it a lifestyle to invest your time on valuable things. Start thinking of this as a lifestyle rather than something that requires extra efforts. That way it will come easier for you.
Some tasks will require some discipline. In my case, learning new technologies will require more concentration. This means I will have to be more disciplined. If I set the next 2 hours to learn something new, I will have to do just that and nothing else.
Set targets
Create a to do list of what you want to achieve. If you want to read a book for example, set a date that you would like to finish the book. Add some reminders on your calender too, maybe one reminder a week.
Have fun
Spending your time on valuable things does not mean you should not enjoy living. Add some fun on your tasks, you can reward yourself with a movie if you meet your targets. I like to listen to some good music while working on stuff. If you feel tired don't push yourself too hard, rather relax and refresh. Visit friends or take yourself out for lunch. Integrate some of these tasks, for example I would watch Ted every Sunday evening while preparing for the week ahead. I also read 1 or 2 articles every morning while having coffee. What I am saying here is instead of doing one thing you can actually merge some of the things you do. Just ensure the tasks complement each other, like coffee + reading/writing/designing.
Never underestimate the power of sleep. Lack of sleep often result in low creativity. Get some rest when you need to. This will help you refresh and come up with fresh ideas.

Bill gates said something like "Very few employers will help you find yourself, you will have to do that on your own time". Doing extra activities can help you find yourself and develop spiritually & mentally. I learn a lot of things from books/articles I read & stuff I watch. And sometimes those lessons add value on my career . You need to find activities outside of what you are given at school or work, extra activities can help enhance yourself as a human-being. Once you've found them, you can use some of the strategies I've shared above to help make them practical.

And finally whatever you do you should not miss out on your living. I still see friends, family. I still go out for lunch, go to the movies and catch up on my video games.

Thank you for reading!
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