We have 1,440 minutes in a day. If we take out 440 minutes for sleep (just over seven hours), we’re still left with 1,000 minutes.
What are you doing with your 1,000 minutes every day? I’m not talking about the minutes you spend in meetings, preparing meals, working out, or responding to emails. I’m talking about all the little in-between minutes that get discounted as real minutes.
These are the minutes you spend idling in traffic or riding the train or standing in line at the checkout or waiting for the TSA agent to pat you down or sitting in the carpool lane or watching the pasta water come to a boil.
What are you waiting for?
We live in a society where waiting is customary. According to the New York Times, Americans spend about 37 billion hours each year waiting in line.
In a perfect world, our systems would be more efficient, traffic jams would never occur, and we’d never have to wait for anything. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and the truth is we waste a lot of time—a lot of our precious 1,000 daily minutes—waiting.
When I was just getting started as a speaker, I listened to an audiobook every time I got in the car. I listened to everything and anything that could help educate me on the business of public speaking. I’ve spent hundreds of hours listening to audiobooks while traveling to different appearances, and I’ve learned so much about business, marketing, and speaking, and I continue to learn as I feed my brain with this content.
What are you getting out of surfing Facebook while waiting for your kids to get out of soccer practice? What are you getting out of the trashy magazines at the doctor’s office while you wait to hear your name called? What are you getting out of fuming at the other drivers and semis clogging up the fast lane on your commute home?
Hint: Frustration, low self-esteem, and high blood pressure are all possible candidates.
So, what are you waiting for?
Here are a few things you could stop waiting for and start doing:
Create the to-do list of all the lower priority things that just aren’t getting done at home and at work
Jot down notes for a book or business idea
Download and listen to audiobooks (Check and see if your local library has an app that you can use to download books and audio straight to your phone—I know mine does.)
Make your grocery list
Call that friend who you keep promising that you will “catch up soon”
Listen good content that can inspire and teach you—like my new podcast, The Next 24 Hours!
Whatever you choose to do with your 1,000 minutes, make sure it’s something that you’re choosing to do. None of us choose to wait, but we can choose how we spend that time waiting.
By the way, thank you for spending a couple of your 1,000 minutes here with me. Now go do everything else!
As a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over one million people with his life-changing messages and award-winning programs. Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their lives at performance level.
Want to be inspired? Check out his podcast The Next 24 Hours.