“Wasting time learning things that don’t matter, deprives us from discovering interesting things.” – Carlos Drummond de Andrade

What interests each person is both a cause and an effect of personal fulfillment.

I think all time is precious. I only wish I had one or two extra hours each day. When I’m working I do what have to with enthusiasm and take every crumb of time that is given to me.

I noticed that one third of my time was wasted. It’s called “downtime”. Useless time.

This means that if I died at age 90, I would have only lived for 60 years.

It’s not a lot. So, I decided a few years ago, to transform my “downtime” in “uptime”. Usefull time.

Here’s what I do:

  • I have a book in the bathroom that I read one page at a time, when I go there. I read an average 7-8 books a year there.
  • I have another book in the car. If I have a meeting, and someone is late, I read.
  • I have another on my bedside table. I read when I’m not sleepy.
  • I always have my notebook, I take notes on everything. More recently I discovered that my phone has a voice recorder and record if I can’t write (if I am driving, for example).
  • My phone has an Mp3 player. I always have a dozen cds on personal development. At the moment I have two by Wayne Dyer, one by Jeff Olson, one by Joe Vitale, another by Tim Sales, two by Dr. Camilo Cruz, one by Geovanni Perotti, a lecture by Robin Sharma, an audio by Silvio Fortunato (“The Formula to Success”), one by José Carlos de Oliveira (“Unleash your Potential”) and one by me (“the Attitude Virus”). I hear them in the morning during my one hour workout and when I’m driving (about an hour and a half every day). I exchange about half of them every week for others.

If you do the math, I take advantage of least 3 to 4 hours per day. Can you imagine how much you can progress with 3 hours of personal improvement every day? 15 hours per working week (excluding weekends!), 780 hours per year?

After 5 years you are light years ahead of 99% of all the people you know, just because you have been diligent with the time that was given to you.

Does this mean I don’t enjoy myself? No. If you notice, I don’t replace any of my activities for reading or audio: I added. Leisure time is leisure time. It’s not because it’s not productive that it’s wasted. No. It meets a different role than that of professional productivity.

But don’t think that all your “free time”, outside of your working hours, is leisure time. It’s not. Your time is for you to develop yourself, to study, learn, better yourself. Don’t fall into the mistake of thinking that having free time is to be unoccupied 16 hours a day. That’a what all the people who don’t get anywhere think and do.

On the other hand, all the ones who succeed in work, relationships, health, personal fulfillment, they invest all 86,400 seconds of their day. And still, it’s not enough, in my opinion.

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