It’s true: your time is your most valuable asset. It is the only thing each of us is given in equal amounts. We each get 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week, and 8,736 hours a year to use as we see fit. And yet, a few of us get a ton of stuff done, while too many of us waste time as if there were an endless supply of it. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, the way you spend your time, especially your idle time, can make the difference between success and failure.
Take a moment and think about how you spent your idle time yesterday. Did you read articles on your iPhone? Watch TV? Play your favorite video game? There’s nothing bad about any of these, since a good entrepreneur keeps up with today’s events and we all need a brain break now and then. However, most of us could spend our downtime better.
So, what could you do during your idle moments? Plenty. You could plan your workweek, read books and articles relevant to your business, learn a foreign language, or even write a book; the possibilities are endless. Yes, you can definitely better use your idle time between meetings, while riding planes or trains, or while relaxing in the evening. Still want to watch some tube? Fine, but bring something to read or take notes on while you’re watching, just in case an idea strikes. In fact, many successful people carry a notepad to jot down notes and ideas. Some even write down passages to put in their next book. Ever wake up with a great idea only to have that idea evaporate as your day progresses? Keep a notebook next to your bed and capture what your subconscious has come up with during the night.
I mentioned learning a new language, which can not only broaden your worldview, it can also open up new markets or business connections. With free phone apps that can teach you a new language, it’s even easier to brush up on a language you once studied or learn a new one.
Do you have a hobby or passion that you pursue during your off hours? If so, good for you. Your hobbies and passions are not a waste of time. They can energize you, replenish your tank, and teach you lessons that you can use in your business. Whether you rock climb, ski, restore vintage cars, paint, or cook, your passion helps make you a more complete person. Don’t have a passion? Find one and watch your workday productivity increase.
How you spend the time when you’re not being an entrepreneur matters; use it well and you can sharpen your skills, reenergize yourself, and broaden your horizons. Fail to capture those idle moments and you will never know what opportunities you have missed. In the end, our time is all we have, so remember to capture every moment you can!
Derek Rundell, is a successful business leader, operator, and serial entrepreneur. Derek has founded, managed and sold businesses in the technology, media and finance industries. He sits on several boards and serves as an advisor/investor to numerous established businesses and startups. Startups are Derek’s real passion, and in addition to building his own portfolio of technology, media and financial ventures, he invests in and mentors startups and entrepreneurs. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and helping other businesses succeed.