Let me give you a hint: it doesn’t involve Time-Turners.
300+ hours. That’s how much time you’re killing each year. Time you could be saving. Time is our most valuable asset, almost undisputedly. If you could trade time for any currency, the price would be astronomical. Billions if not trillions of dollars for conversions of time into measurements of seconds, minutes, days…
But even if you you could trade time for money would you? How much is your time worth to you? Are the hours, minutes, or even seconds of your day worth that dress hanging in the shop window, those earrings you saw in the department store, the tools in your shed you never use?
No? Then why do we waste that which is most valuable for the things that contribute the least amount of value to our lives? Why do we let the jobs we hate drain such a priceless currency as time in exchange for the almighty dollar, which can only purchase things that will rust and wither and decay? Is your car really worth years of debt, stress, and car payments? Are the items in your wardrobe adding as much value to your life as the time you traded for the money to purchase them? We clearly don’t understand time’s value, a testament that we don’t value ourselves since we so willingly give up the hours in our limited number of days for shiny trinkets.
This is a guide: How to turn time into your bitch like Hermoine Granger.
How can you save the time you’re killing?
It isn’t as complicated as stretching units or shifting the seconds or reversing the minute hands of a clock. Then how, you might be wondering, does this essay propose I gain 300 hours in a year? Well, it’s actually very simple. Start your day 1 hour earlier. *All the night owls collectively groan.* What? Did you think I was going to offer you a packet of magical powder or beans that you mix with coffee and cream to extend your days into 25 hours? That would be beautiful magic of the highest degree, but sadly I am no magician, though time conforms to no such illusions, unable to be fooled by cheap hacks or parlor tricks. Time ticks regardless of what we do with it.
It begins with 1 hour. Day ONE.
Your journey to adding 300+ hours to your life begins with 1 hour. The first morning that you decide you’re done being time’s slave, you wake up, same as always, only this time precisely one hour before your typical start. Stretch out the soreness and rub the sleep from your weary eyes. This is going to suck. There’s no way around this. Waking up early — is — going — to — suck. But only at first.
You start by starting. By putting one cold, bare foot beyond the comfort of the sheets and setting it firmly on the ground. You brew yourself a cup of green tea or coffee — not the bitter goop your corporate overlord procured from sewer companies, the dark water they serve in the corporate cage in Styrofoam cups, free and lukewarm, devoid of any savory flavors. Then you simply begin.
It’s tough at first. Your brain is begging you for that extra hour of sleep. Your fingers can barely click the keys. The sheets, still warm from your slumber, tempt you to bed like a seductress scented with exotic perfumes. But no. You press on. It begins with 1 hour. 1 hour of attacking that novel or performing those push-ups, squatting for the bubble booty, putting that instrument to your lips or fingers to the crumbling piano keys or pen to the journal of song lyrics. It begins with 1 hour, and then… it turns into 2.
It turns into 2. Day TWO.
Day Two is better than Day One. Sure, you’re still tired. A war still wages in your mind. The fatigue begs you to give in. But this time, it’s easier, not effortless, but easier. You take less time forcing yourself out of bed. You’re actually looking forward to the work you have ahead. It’s no longer just work, but something more. A passion. A dream that you’re daring to believe. With each word written, each note played, each lyric conceived, you realize you’re getting closer, precisely one hour closer each day.
It becomes 300+. PERPETUITY.
The struggle is
real no longer apparent. Like any habit, the pain is only temporary. Now you’ve done something you once thought impossible. You’ve added 300+ hours to your life. But it doesn’t stop here. Year one is just the beginning. You practice this habit in perpetuity, you gain the benefits for a lifetime. You look back on that first word, first picture of before (then after), and realize where it all began. It begins with 1 hour, and ends in perpetuity.
Spend time deliberately.
It amazes me how people can spend life’s most precious resource on things they don’t want or actives they hate doing. In addition to adding 300+ hours to your life each year, you will get the most out of your time if you spend it with deliberation. Below you’ll find a few tips on cutting down time’s pricey mortgage and investing it with purpose.
- Stop channel surfing. If you want to watch a movie, watch a movie. There’s nothing wrong with that. But do so with intention. Don’t spend your minutes browsing an endless sea of shows and film titles. Have one in mind before you pick up the remote.
- Invest in people. People and experiences are the best way we can spend our time allowance. If we don’t invest in people, we aren’t investing in ourselves. Make time for them first.
- Every dollar counts. Whether you realize it or not, every dollar you make was earned by trading in some amount of time. One of the best ways to conserve our minutes is to conserve our money. Whenever you make a purchase — whether it’s for something as big as a house payment or as seemingly insignificant as a chocolate bar, ask yourself: is this item really worth _________ minutes of my freedom?
There are no magic beans or Time-Turners that will turn your 24-hour days into 25-hour sessions. If you want to turn time into your bitch like Hermoine Granger, take it by the horns and will it into action. Time is going to keep ticking no matter what you do with it. So spend it deliberately. Invest in yourself instead of the things adding the least amount of value to your life.