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The following article was taken from my upcoming book, titled What They Won’t Teach You. It has been repurposed for this article on Thrive Global. Enjoy!
Yea I get it, I hear it all the time. You are busy! So am I, and so is everyone else. Optimizing your time is so very important for people like me who are college or high school students and at the same time, entrepreneurs trying to start or run a business. My friends always asked me how I had time to do both, and not just do them, but do them successfully. In high school I made high honors roll every year and finished with a GPA of over 100. I had 32 college credits after graduating from high school. I got good grades, but by looking at the time I spent on school compared to my classmates, I surely did not deserve those kinds of grades.
But what people don’t realize is that you have to optimize your time, not just extend it. Just because Sally studied for the AP Calculus test for three hours last night and I only studied for 30 minutes, it doesn’t mean Sally knows more and is more prepared. What does Sally do in those three hours? Maybe reads the textbook (useless), checks her phone every now and then (useless), takes a snack break (useless), reads some more (useless) and so on. But during my 30 minutes, I don’t have to read, or check my phone, or even take a snack break. I simply do. I would do a practice or a mock test. See, if you were to optimize your time at all times than you wouldn’t need to read the textbook. You’d already be familiarized with its content by paying attention during the classes leading up to the exam.
Most students struggle in school because they are not present. What do I mean by this? When they are in class, they aren’t focused there. They are checking their phones, thinking about the basketball game that’s scheduled for later that day, what the weather is like, what the homework is for other classes, etc. They aren’t consuming all the time during that class and dedicating it to that specific class. So, when they go to study for an exam, they have to make up for that time.
By living in the moment and in the present, you will capitalize and consume all information needed when it is shared. If you start to lose focus and check out to the outside world, for example, social media, then you are not optimizing your time. Think about it, for every minute or so you spend unfocused in the classroom or elsewhere in life, you will eventually need to revisit that time, later on, to make up for it. So why not get it out of the way right now?
Optimizing your time applies to all aspects of life. Some people don’t perform well at their job. Why, they ask? Because when they are at their job, they aren’t even focused on their job and what is going on in that environment. They are focused on what they will get for food after, or how they are getting to the football game, or what friends they are hanging out with after work, etc. By not living in the moment, they lose focus and their quality of work output is dramatically lower. Grades will be lower, work performance will be lower, and revenue from business will be lower.
In high school, everyone always asked me how I was able to find time for school, two companies, a part-time job, and free time. Well, there are 24 hours in a day. Most people sleep for eight of them. Most people use the other eight for work. Now you have eight hours left. What do you do with those eight remaining hours? That is what you have to ask yourself.
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