Thursday, March 11, 2010

INSPIRATION | The Value of a Minute

Do you have a dream? Do you have time to pursue it?

Bill Gates has 24 hours a day just like we do. So how does he accomplish so much more in his 24 hours than many of us do? My best guess: He’s discovered the value of a minute.

For years I tucked long-term dreams in my heart—only to find, year after year, despite all the time I spent dreaming, it didn’t result in a tangible end product. My biggest dream was to write novels, a significant time commitment. My biggest excuse for why I couldn’t accomplish it: “I don’t have time!”

Most who read this post probably have a job or go to school. In my case, I worked a full-time job, which consumed 1/3 of each day. At the end of each day, I had to sleep. And in between came the daily routine: exercise, dinner, laundry, Bible time, and the list went on. Where’s a guy supposed to find the hours to write a book?

Somehow it hit me: I didn’t need hours. I needed minutes.

And minutes add up to hours.

So I looked for areas in my day where I could cut the fat—sections of wasted time and minutes I could reinvest. For example, I’m a walker, and I walked an hour a day. By cutting that in half—a sacrifice, but still—I gained 30 minutes to write. Rather than cooking a meal each night, I cooked one meal that would last three days—that provided an extra 10 minutes a day. (Hey, trust me, when you’re a bachelor, it only takes 10 minutes to cook—or more precisely, to “cook.”)

For a few months, I spent my lunch writing on the laptop. I also had to say “no” to TV and other options. Actually, it meant saying “no” to TV permanently. But by the time I’d cut the fat, I’d discovered two or three hours a day to invest in writing. Five months later, I completed the first draft of a book.

So what’s your dream? If you can find the minutes, you can place yourself on the road to achieve them. Are you a working mom or a high-level manager with only 30 minutes a day to spare for your dream? After four days, you’d have two hours. That’s eight hours a month—an entire workday. And once you get into a routine, you’ll probably make more progress in less time.

Are you ready to discover the value of a minute? If so, then once again …

Do you have a dream? Do you have time to pursue it?

Never give up!


  1. I really liked the From The Dead book from the pages you made available. Thanks for letting us read after The Landing.

  2. This is so simple, but true. What's amazing, is that it pertains to everyone, for whatever they may need extra time for in their day. It would work for those wanting to get on an exercise routine to get their health on track, for the stressed out workaholic who believes they can't find time for relaxation, and the list goes on and on. Thank you for such great insight! I feel motivated to wring out more time in my day for all those things I have been "meaning to do" and haven't gotten around to!

  3. What an inspiring testimony of committment and tenacity! You can cover a lot of ground if you keep peddling! Rita stated it succinctly ... simple, but true. Keep encouraging us, John!

  4. Thanks everybody. Keep pressing on!