And why dead times are valuable
Right now I’m travelling by train.
What does that mean? Well, that I’ve got a device I can write with, in this case, my laptop (I’ve also got my phone but I hate typing on it).
What else does that mean? You’re reading this on Medium, so I’m a frequent writer in this platform.
Journey + Medium = Travel for free. You see where I’m going, right?
Let’s analyse the situation
My journey is one hour long, so I’ve got enough time to come up with a nice story, turn it into text, publish it on Medium and, if it’s good enough and the algorithm helps me a little bit, readers are going to clap it.
Let’s be realistic. Most of the writers don’t get thousands of claps in each story they publish. Some of them do and, I must admit, I envy them. But that doesn’t happen to me nor to the majority of us. I usually get around 10 and 150 claps per story.
Nobody knows exactly how the paywall system works, but sometimes we can get more or less money from different stories for the some amount of claps, depending on the engagement, clickbait and other unknown things.
On my first month on Medium, I’ve received $10. After that, I started to understand the platform a little bit more. I discovered publications, I learnt a little bit more about tags, I discovered sites like Unsplash. Thus, I improved. So at this moment, a good story gives me around $5.
Medium made it possible: I got paid for writing
My first month: my earnings and my experience
My train journey costs $4,50.
If I invest my time while I’m travelling, guess what? Free train ticket!
And there’s even more: I grow on Medium.
I know, it depends on a lot of things
First of all, you may not travel by train. Never.
Second, if you do, maybe you don’t have a table where to put your laptop, or the train is completely crowded and it’s really uncomfortable to write or to concentrate.
Also, your train ticket must be much more expensive than mine, and a single story may be not enough to cover the price.
What about creativity? You must be tired or worried about something that happened to you. Maybe you’re just not in the mood for writing.
I get all this, I understand, you are right.
But the concept I’m trying to explain is not that you can travel for free wherever you go (even though that’s the title of this story). It’s all about taking advantage of every single dead moment we have.
So, what can you do?
If you travel by train, have a table and can write, then great.
But if that’s not your case, there’s a lot you can do.
Think of all those moments in which you are doing nothing. That’s not good at all, isn’t it? Doing nothing is negative, counterproductive and even harmful for your health. So you’d better do something.
Once you’ve identified those dead moments (waiting in lines, waiting for the bus, waiting for the water to boil when you’re cooking) think about the tools you have. You’re phone is almost with you, isn’t it? And what about taking your laptop or iPad when you go somewhere?
If you’re travelling by bus and find a free seat, you can take it, open your laptop and start typing! The same if it’s your day off and you go to the park or to your favourite coffee shop. There are always moments to take advantage of.
Even if you’re not into writing. What if you’re a freelancer? You may not have the proper tools for things like editing videos or building a project, but you can apply to some jobs online or delete those old files that are doing nothing but occupying useless space in your hard disk.
You don’t want to work? That’s ok. Send a message to that old a friend you haven’t seen for ages, read about that place you’re visiting next week, see some video tutorial and learn a new skill, read a nice book or talk to the person next to you.
Take advantage of your time. That’s it.
Forget about Instagram or Twitter (although a little bit is not bad). Use your dead hours to do productive things not only because that may make you earn money, but because once you get home you would have done all you needed to do and you’ll have the rest of the day for yourself.
Time means money. Invest your time, you’ll get money back.