Common: Doing everything or nothing under the label of “student” – often leading to either burnout or dropout.
Uncommon: As I mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2, “This week marks an important milestone in my life. I am no longer a full time student of conventional education.”
In this final post of the 3 part series, I explore the last 3 uncommon tips I learned while marching through my conventional college education.
8. Do not waste downtime – and there is a lot of it.
Only on a few rare occasions did I do school work on weekends (and this was usually because of business commitments during the week). If time is used wisely, schoolwork need not dominate all areas of your life.
Common: Come the end of the day, little can be shown for hours of “work” at the office.
Uncommon: When asked the question, “Where do you go when you really need to get something done?” people do not respond in ways businesses expect. For a boss or company owner, the ideal answer would likely be “work.” But it seldom is.
This is a fascinating and important observation. There is no doubt about it: The world is changing and it is impacting all arenas of life – especially the way we approach one of our most consuming activities: Our occupation, career, and working life.
In a speech at the revered TED conferences, entrepreneur and author, Jason Fried explores how the idea of “work” and how we should go about it to be most effective and efficient. Below is his speech. I have outlined many of his main points for reference.
Common: Compromised productivity due to daily distractions and responsibilities.
Uncommon: When it comes to producing quality, creative, and inspired work, I consistently hear 3 common complaints: “I just can’t get uninterrupted, quality time,” and “I try to focus, but there are too many distractions,” and “I have too many daily chores and obligations to focus on what I really want to do.” … I wish I could just live in a hotel!
These are very real challenges for most for us in the modern the world so when expat-entrepreneur and friend, Darren Olstad, mentioned an unusual life-experiment he was about to undertake, it immediately caught my attention.
What would happen if you left your usual work environment behind and moved into a hotel?
Darren sought to answer this question by booking himself into a hotel for 60 days straight. Two months later, Darren has found the remote-hotel working experiment (a concept we have appropriately coined: “The Remotel Work Excursion”) so liberating, he has extended his stay for another 30 days. If you’re serious about drawing more from your time and creative faculties, this may be your solution. Here is Darren’s story…
Common: Squandering time due to underestimating its value… and yourself.
Uncommon:Assume you had to record all of your daily tasks and activities to include on an invoice. Tally the hours and imagine sending this invoice to yourself. Now ask yourself two indispensable questions:
- What is the grand total ($$)?
- What is the hourly rate?
If you’re like most people, you will likely struggle to answer these questions for two reasons. First, there is the common inability many face in recalling the numerous tasks they engage in on a typical day. And two, the majority has no idea what their time is worth–they simply allow their employer to decide for them. Together, these two conditions encourage mindless routine and feelings of servitude.
I find it intriguing how people direct more attention (albeit, still not much) to tracking their dollars and cents than they do accounting for their scarce and dissipating minutes of life. In the common exchange of time-for-income, a lack of clarity here can lead to substantial waste – a waste of personal time, money, energy and countless other resources. And any form of waste is costly, but a waste of time is vain and irreversible.