In my previous post, I wrote about the “Make More Pyramid”. This concept is a system I came up with and stick to everyday as a method of achieving the long-term goals that I’ve set out to accomplish.

The bottom of the pyramid is in regards to making more time. Time is that precious necessity that we all wish we had more of. To most people, the day just doesn’t feel long enough. I hear people say this all the time — and I can relate too.

Here’s the question: if you had more time in your day, would you actually utilize it?

We Live Relatively to Our Means

The answer is no. And the reason is because as human beings, we live relatively to our means. Consider this example:

Imagine a billionaire. They live in a gigantic mansion and they have an unfathomable amount of money. This money is expendable and holds virtually no value to the billionaire.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, imagine a poor person living on the street. They have no home and no money. They live on change that they’re able to scrounge up day-to-day. Every cent is phenomenally more valuable to them than a dollar is to the billionaire because of how hard they have to struggle just to get by.

Now imagine someone in between the billionaire and the poor person. This person in the middle has an average house, a steady income, and is able to eat three meals a day.

These scenarios are all very different, but the common thread is that hey all want more money. Who wouldn’t?

Here’s the clencher; the more money someone has, the less a dollar is actually worth to them.

Think about it. The more money someone has at their disposal, the more the more they’re going to spend because they’re living relatively to their means.

If a poor person gets a job with a steady income and moves into a house, will they still be eating at a soup kitchen? Probably not. If that billionaire goes bankrupt, are they still going to be eating multi-course meals at expensive restaurants? Probably not. And if the person in between gets a big raise, they’ll probably spend more. They’ll go on vacation. They might even buy a new car or even a house.

Time is No Different

The point that I’m trying to make with the money analogy is that if people had more time in their days, most people would probably have the same amount of free time that they have now. They’d take longer to do things because they know that they have more time to do so. Likewise, if the day was shorter, they would still find a way to get things done because they know that they have less time to do so.

The more time we have, the value of each minute diminishes.

So instead of wishing we had more time, let’s talk about how we can better utilize our time to get the most value out of it.

Making “More” Time

The extra time in the day you have been wishing for is actually right under your nose. You just need to identify how and why it goes to waste, and put an end to it.

Think hard about your average day from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed. It might help to write this down as a list. Here’s an example of what my average day looked like before I started utilizing my time:

  • 08:00 – Wake up, get dressed, brush teeth
  • 08:15 – Leave, commute to work via train
  • 09:00 – Get to work
  • 12:00 – Eat lunch with coworkers
  • 13:00 – Back to work
  • 17:00 – Leave work, commute home via train
  • 17:45 – Get home and unwind, maybe browse the internet or play video games
  • 19:30 – Cook dinner
  • 20:00 – Eat dinner, watch TV
  • 22:30 – Get ready for bed
  • 23:15 – Lights out

So where does time get wasted? The answer will vary depending on what you do during the time you consider to be best-utilized. For me, I would ideally like to be spending that time getting organized, writing, hand-lettering, reading, or something else similar that I consider to be progressive and goal-oriented (more on this in the next post).

I identified wasted time in several areas, but the biggest of all was the fact that I was getting out of bed at 8:00AM. I generally snooze my alarm for an hour before that and lie and bed half-awake thinking about how I don’t want to get up. I adjusted my schedule and now get up between 6:00 and 7:00. That time is golden. My mind is fresh is focused.

Here’s what my average day looks like now;

  • 06:30 – Wake up, work on my goals
  • 08:00 – Get dressed, brush teeth
  • 08:15 – Leave, commute to work via train, utilizing time to read, manage to-do lists, brainstorm ideas
  • 09:00 – Get to work
  • 12:00 – Eat short lunch with coworkers
  • 12:20 – Read blog articles, manage to-do lists, elaborate on morning ideas
  • 13:00 – Back to work
  • 17:00 – Leave work, commute home via train, read
  • 17:45 – Get home, work on writing and lettering
  • 19:00 – Cook dinner
  • 20:00 – Eat dinner, watch TV
  • 22:00 – Read
  • 22:30 – Lights out

The revised schedule isn’t terribly different, but I’ve created 2 blocks of time that are each an hour or more to work on my personal endeavors. The unavoidable commutes and my break at work are filled with doing smaller things that don’t necessarily take a lot of time, but still require commitment and focus. Knocking these small bits off allows me to further utilize my bigger blocks of time. It might not seem like a lot, but trust me — it adds up.

Value Your Time

Identify the weaknesses in your day and flip them into something more valuable. This is an iterative process that you can continually refine. It requires commitment and diligence, but the payoff is extremely rewarding. You will feel accomplished knowing that you are proactively making the most of every minute.

Treat your time as a valuable commodity and prioritize it above the other aspects of your life. If there is something else going on that you’d rather not partake in, politely decline. You come first.

Next Steps

Let’s take advantage of this newly freed-up time and make goals. Making goals is the second part of the Make More Pyramid and I’ll be discussing this topic in depth in the following post.

Read part 2: Making More Goals