It is said that the fastest way to improve your mindset and have more new ideas is to read books and travel the world. But both activities require time. How can we find more time in life?

travel the world

  • You are defined by how you spend your time.

Everyone needs to keep working on their relationship to time because time is so valuable. Time is the single most valuable asset in everyone’s life. Therefore, how you spend you time, how you save your time and how you maximize your time are all very important.

As a result, I used myself as a case study – here is how I spent my time every day last week:

  1. 7-7:30am Shower and breakfast
  2. 7:30-8:10am Reading emails and responding to emails
  3. 8:10-11:10am Writing blog articles
  4. 11:10am-12:10pm Lunch
  5. 12:10-1:10pm Nap
  6. 1:10-5:10pm Editing blog articles and doing research for new articles
  7. 5:10-6:10pm Dinner
  8. 6:10-7:10pm Housework
  9. 7:10-11pm Watching YouTube videos
  10. 11pm Going to bed

After tracking my time for a week, I realized something: I spent too much time watching YouTube videos, although I told my parents that they were watching too much TV! If I stop watching YouTube videos, I will have more time to read books. More importantly, if I don’t watch YouTube videos anymore, I will be able to write more blog articles (e.g., instead of writing 3 or 4 articles a day, I can write 7 or 8 articles a day – that means I will be able to complete many projects earlier each month and can travel regularly.) In other words, watching YouTube videos stops me from traveling the world.

travel the world

  • My new relationship with time:

Which activity is more meaningful, watching YouTube videos or traveling the world? The answer is pretty obvious to me: I prefer traveling the world. Therefore, I have decided not to watch YouTube videos from now on.

Apart from time, people that I habitually associate with can also define my reality to some degree because we all influence each other in the social circle. Actually, an important study shows that the individuals that you associate with habitually determine 90% of your success/failure in business/life. For instance, if your social circle is full of people who waste time every day, it’s quite likely that’s also your habit. If your social circle is filled with people who cherish their time, chances are you won’t waste your time either.

Many years ago, when I had a day job, my boss was a highly efficient guy who taught me how to save time. He blamed me for doing things too slowly, but I was not upset. Instead, I was very grateful because he showed me a different way of looking at this world and handling things at work. His philosophy tremendously improved my productivity! Positive influences can change your life, whereas negative influences may rob you of your ambitious dreams. Now please conduct a friend review – identify five people that you spend most of your time with and answer the following questions:

  1. Was this person there for you when you needed them?
  2. Does this person use your time with them to complain but do absolutely nothing about that?
  3. Do you and this person share similar interests?
  4. Do you feel drained or energized after spending some time with this person?
  5. Do you really look forward to spending more time with this person?
  6. Is this a one-way street or a mutually beneficial friendship?

If your friends aren’t supporting you, you may have to make some difficult decisions. I know this is easier said than done, but I’ve done it: In 2015 I broke up with a few friends because: 1) We didn’t have similar interests. 2) They were not there for me when I needed them. 3) We fundamentally have very different values. If I still hang out with them now, I wouldn’t have the time to become a freelance writer, not to mention travel the world. After I left that social circle, I’ve travelled the world, started my freelance writing career and read so many books!

“How you spend your time and who you spend your time with can determine your success or failure as well as who you really are.”