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Win the Next Minute

What is the opposite of losing time?

Most people would answer, gaining time. That makes sense. When we feel like we’ve lost time, we wish we could just add a couple more hours to the day to make up for it. If only there were 36 hours in the day, then we would be able to accomplish all that we want to…

Wrong. The opposite of losing time is not gaining time. The opposite of losing time is winning time.

We all know what a good minute or two of work looks like. If we read a book for five, ten, maybe fifteen minutes straight, without putting the book down to tend to the world’s tempting and appetizing distractions, then we’ve won ourselves a fair bit of time. Similarly, we recognize time spent around positive influences or mentors as time well spent. Any time spent in pursuit of our goals and our purpose in life is winning time. Time spent writing the book we’ve always wanted to write is also a win. Hours spent creating art is also time won. All of our pursuits that we know are conducive to our success, to our fulfillment of purpose, to the giving of our gift to the world—these pursuits are all great ways to win time.

Simple enough? Good. Now, how much time have we spent reading, or writing, or drawing, or talking to positive influences in the past week? Chances are, we have won only meager amounts of time, and this is not just a problem, it’s a war that has to be waged. It’s perfectly straightforward to think of what is a good use of our time. That’s only half the battle. The other half comes in the execution of those ideas. In that case, we will look to eliminate the things that are not winning us any time, and avoid those at all costs.

How will you stop losing time? How are you going to start winning time?

Start by winning the next 60 seconds. That is it. Just the next 60 seconds. If you should spend time writing today, then set a timer on your phone and spend 60 seconds writing—nothing more. Win that 60 seconds; it’s not nearly as difficult as you think it is, and all of the sudden, you’ve won an entire minute.

What about after that? Win another minute. Set the timer again, and win another 60 seconds. Do that until you start to win more than just a minute each day, but many minutes. Hours. Even entire days. And when the going gets tough, return to winning just one single minute.