How do I Stop Wasting My Time and Start Doing What Really Matters?

How to focus on the important stuff that will drive your life in the right direction.

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I wake up and look around. It’s another usual day. Another average day where I start the morning before the sun, before the alarm and before most normal people. Then to add a little more abnormal to my ordinary life, I jump straight into the good old, “I’m grateful for my wife, my son, my health, my life and all that jazz” priming routine I picked up from good mate Tony Robbins. It really is a great way to start the day.

Then I drink my big glass of water, I face the rising sun from the balcony, I stretch out and I give it a big old “funk this!” as I screw up my face and turn away in disgust. (Not actually what I say, but you get the picture.)

Now don’t get me wrong, nine times out of ten this routine rocks my day. I bounce off feeling awesome. It fires me up to coach the wife through the stock market falling through the flour. It sparks that passion to deal with the hundred inane questions from students online who don’t listen, then ask the same thing over and over again. Oh, and thanks Corona for the joy of online teaching, no gym and wearing those crappy damn facemasks.

Ok,ok, I digressed there a bit. Wasn’t that fun.

No, please don’t get me wrong. Ordinarily, I bounce off to my day full of beans, ready to plug away, do the one percent and grind my way to paradise. Ultimately, I do believe good times are coming back around and good old Joe will be ready when opportunity comes a knocking — ready for that lovely ‘luck’ I’ve been hearing all about.

Not today though. Today, I’m sick of it all.

What am I sick of especially, you might ask? Well, you might if you cared.

I’m sick of wasting time!

I know what I want. I can see that awesome life in my visions every night and I want it like you can’t believe. More than wanting it, I’ve saved for it and invested in it; the whole damn meaning of invested. I’ve lost a ton of weight, I invested in knowledge, I’ve chased down the promotion at work and I’m here grinding this side hustle.

When does it come? How do I break through? There just seems to be too much; a mountain that if I could just jump in the helicopter it would be so easy, but I’m here still going one step at a time. That’s fine, it’s really ok. I know I can do it; one step after another, day after day, with no sign of the finishing line.

I know I have that in me. I learned that’s my one super-power. I can do one step after another, over and over, even when it feels useless. I did it many times to just get here and now.

Like I said, I usually start the day with grateful for my beautiful life.

However, it took me years to get to this point and I’m tired of wasting time.

Do you ever feel like you’re wasting time and you want to cut to the chase?

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Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

Seek and you shall find

Well I’ll get over it, this horrible feeling. Like I said, it’s my one super power. Where others race to the finish line and enjoy the party, I demonstrate amazing skill at being slow and steady, and everyone knows that wins the race. Am I right? Can I get an amen?

Alright, time for me to stop being cheeky. The truth is, I really am tired of wasting my time. So, after I shouted at the sun to play some funk, not really what I said, I turned around and went searching for the answer.

“Seek and you shall find”, as the good book if oft quoted. A very good lesson in success, I might add. For as I sort, well indeed I did find.

One cool tip that’s going to help us get there.

A lesson from the late great Jim Rohn, and the lesson is — learn the difference between major and minor things.

Jim Rohn, in his iconic style, puts it very simply as major on major things. Meaning, we need to spend the best part of our time, our resources and our talents on the major things, the important things that will get us what we want the quickest.

To put it another way, he phases it as “spend time in the presence”.

For example, if you are a writer, spend time in the writing, that’s the thing.

If you are a sales person, spend time actually selling, that is the thing, not focusing on the whole golf course wheeling and dealing thing.

Spend time in the presence:

It means, find the thing and do it. It means define yourself and be it. It means, know your focus and damn well focus.

As he says:

Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what? Jim Rohn

Stop wasting time and spend more time in the presence.

So, what does that actually mean?

Major time and minor time:

The first idea he discussed with me. Well he didn’t actually discuss it with me. He’s actually dead. I’m being metaphorical. He talked through the YouTube thingy and I wrote down the notes. Here’s the link if you want to check it out. Ok, now that we’ve cleared that up.

His first idea is on the difference between major and minor time.

We can spend our time in many ways.

  • Minor time: This is the small bits of time. The throw away time. Enjoyable time. The time we are not at our best. We don’t, and probably shouldn’t fill this time with any great purpose. It is minor time; we generally whittle it away and it’s not really the time to be maximizing.
  • Major time: This is our big chunks of important time. This is the time where we are really on the ball and we can really get things done. We hopefully put a lot of this big, important time into the things that really matter.
  • The problem: Now, the problem most of us have, is we spend our major time on the wrong thing. Or we waste major time doing minor things. We use our best time and our most time, on things that aren’t going to get us where we want to go. This is a big problem of our school system. Kids spend huge chunks of time, their most productive learning time, generally learning a whole lot of things that most of them will never use in ‘real life’.
  • More time in the presence: So here’s the answer. If I feel like I’m wasting time and not spending my major time where I want to, it’s because I’m not allocating my time properly. I need to spend more major time on major things that will get me what I want.
  • More on this below — but the big point is knowing what you want. What’s important? Therefore, what’s worth the major time?

To learn more, read my article:

Major money and minor money:

The next point he makes is about how we use our money. He declares that, just like time, there is major money and minor money.

  • Minor money: This is our pocket money, our snack change, the petty cash, the money we don’t really count and we can fritter it away on enjoyable things, like sweets, TV’s, holidays, fancy cars. Yes, if you are so lucky, your minor money could even get you that Ferrari. However, most of us can’t stretch our pennies that far.
  • Major money: This is the big bucks, the capital, the farm, the money you need to balance and make life happen. This big money, when used wisely can house you, clothe you, provide an education, and inheritance, a dynasty, and for the luckiest few an Empire. Most of us, it pays the bills and keeps the rent man from knocking at the door.
  • The problem: The problem is that people often spend major money on minor things. They pull out the credit card and buy the thousand dollar dresses, the shoes, the car, the entertainment system, and all that, before they’ve paid the major things. Then they wonder why they don’t have the major lifestyle, they spent all the major money on minor things.
  • Money on the presence: That’s presence and not presents, just to be clear. So, the answer is to allocate our money better, then we can make it work for us, then we can get the life we want.

I’m already on that train. However, it’s taking its time getting into the station. That’s not helped by this nasty stock crash and the slow down in business and all this damn Coronavirus nonsense.

Read more about my road to financial freedom, in this article:

Major things and minor things:

The last point I want to highlight from my lovely discussions with Mr Rohn, was the idea about major things and minor things.

We’ve already implicitly covered these guys, but let’s just run over them a bit more to make a point or two.

  • Minor things: These are the things we do that don’t really have much impact in the whole scheme of things. Some of them are actually very important. However, they are not the actual important thing.

Let’s take for example, this writing game. As a writer, there are many minor things one is expected to take on as part of the job. The formatting, the publishing using technology, the promotion and marketing and so on. These are absolutely important to the whole package of the game of writing — especially for amateur writers. Although, in the strictest sense of the term, they are not the writing.

  • Major things: These are the things that are absolutely essential. This is the make or break thing that gets you what you want.

For the writer, it is obviously the actual writing. If the writing is boring, dull, pointless, valueless and so on, then no amount of polish is going to shine that … let’s see what word completes them metaphor nicely? Table, yes, table. It’s the writing. You have to spend the major time on actually writing well.

  • The problem: We generally spend far too much time majoring in the minor things. Writers get caught up in the scramble for self-promotion on social media; the read-for-read, and like-for-like, and the whole damn checking the stat’s addiction. (No that’s not me. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never check the stat’s.)

Ok, big confession. I check the stat’s and I waste a whole lot of my major time and thought and resources doing a whole lot of minor things.

The solution to my problem? You know the one I stated way back there in the title.

Stop majoring in minor things.

Stay in the presence.

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Photo by Michael Heuser on Unsplash

Pick what you want to do and do it.

For me, it’s writing. I’m a writer and a teacher. I’ve felt the presence, I’ve seen the path ahead, and yet I keep finding things to get in the way.

I need to focus.

I can become an awesome writer. Nail down the message I want to teach and become awesome at teaching it through my writing. The rest, the stat’s and all the game of it all, that won’t matter if I become good enough.

Ok, there’s my answer:

It means I need to go finish that novel. Finish the e.books. Stress less about the daily grind of stealing the audience. I need to stay in the presence and go to the source. For me, the source is the published book, probably the self-published, and the daily teaching. I’m still going to continue the articles and share them around a bit. However, I need to stop trying to catch stat’s writing about stuff I’m not interested in writing about, or worry about learning about all the many different social media platforms, or all the other minor things that take up major time.

I’m going to use my major time in the presence and the minor time on the minor things.

Major on major things.

Now I’m off to invest some major time with the most major things I have, my wife and son.

Take care everyone.

Join the team — I promise much more direct lessons on chasing the source and attaining presence. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a real tool.

But seriously, if you are looking for a life of success, come join the team. Together we can find the answers, cures, formulas, solutions, support and positive feeling we need to take our lives to the next level — join here.

Joe Brown is a teacher, a writer and an amateur investor. He studied English Literature, graduating with first class honors in literature, majoring in English, with minors in modern history and creative writing. Joe also completed a graduate diploma in Education and completed 2 years of an Economics degree. He has dedicated his life to finding success, by investing in personal development and striving for financial freedom. He likes to write about current events, self-improvement and investing. He strives to help his audience by inspiring them to achieve their own personal goals in personal and financial investing.

Joe is a university trained and experienced teacher and writer. He writes about his experiences with self-improvement and investing and hopes to inspire others.

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