Thirty seconds to save your life

Thirty seconds to save your life

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30 secondsThirty seconds.. It’s not a large amount of time. But the way you use your “thirty seconds” can change your life. I guarantee that this one simple technique will turn thirty seconds into a life saver.

There are moments during every day that, for most people, go under utilised. Mostly, we accept these gaps as just being part of the status quo, the unavoidable side-effect of living in a busy society. Where queuing is a way of life. One day, however, I was standing in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil for a cup of coffee, and I realised I was blindly and thoughtlessly just squandering that time. Watching the kettle didn’t make the water boiling process faster or more efficient. And then waiting for the coffee to brew in the French Press (hopefully soon an Aeropress) didn’t make the coffee any better either. It got me thinking about other gaps in my day that I could efficiently capture and harness.

Hurry up and wait

Capturing these thirty second blocks, otherwise un-used, will make a marked difference in your day. I’m not talking about e-mail or web surfing but actions that will make a marked difference in your week. Take a moment to think about some of these moments and some ways that I use that time:

  • waiting for water jug to boil – grab a cloth and wipe down the bench, pack (or unpack) the dishwasher, refill canister, check pantry for items needing to be replaced, throw out leftovers from the fridge.
  • brushing your teeth – put away dirty clothes, pull out your clothes for the next day, replace the toilet paper.
  • TV ads – put away bags, clear away papers and the debris of the day, get bags ready for next day, plan and prepare tomorrow’s meals, open and sort mail, write down my “empty the brain” lists, do a “cleaning ninja” run through the house.

These are just a few examples, but here’s where you get the payback: the block of time you used to allocate for these chores is now a solid block of time you can use for whatever you want. Go to bed earlier, or get out of bed later. Read a book for ten extra minutes. Call a friend or family member to catch up and stay connected. Read a story to your kids. Prayer or meditation time, depending on your beliefs. You know, the QUALITY things that are most often sacrificed at the altar of busy-ness. These are the “life” savers, the moments in life that improve our health, re-focus our passions, and re-connect with others.

How many “Thirty Seconds” can you claw back in your day? What kind of things did you pack into a “Thirty Second” window?

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