How to make every minute count

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Hey friends,

This week, I want to share a powerful excerpt from my friend Matthew Dicks’ new book Someday is Today.

I’ve written eleven books and published nine over the past dozen years because I don’t wait for the right moment to write. I don’t waste time on preciousness, pretentiousness, and perfection.

Yes, it’s true that in the summers, when I’m not teaching, I have much more time to dedicate to writing, but I don’t wait for July and August to get to work. I write all year long. I write in the early- morning hours before my kids tumble down the stairs. I write at lunchtime if I don’t have any papers to correct or lessons to plan.

I’m actually writing this very sentence on a Friday during my lunch break. I write while waiting for the water to boil for spaghetti. I write while the mechanic changes my oil at Jiffy Lube. I write in the first few minutes of a meeting that has failed to start on time.

Are these ideal times to write? Of course not. But unless you’re blessed with a patron who is willing to support your every earthly desire, you need to make the time to write. Even if blessed with a patron, I still might be writing in these cracks of my life. I’m filled with stories and the desire to share as many of them with the world as possible. Why restrict my creative flow to midmornings? Minutes matter. Every single one of them matters.

The problem is that so many of us discount the value of min- utes and overestimate the value of an hour or a day or a weekend. We dither away our minutes as if they were useless, assuming that creativity can only happen in increments of an hour or a day or more. What a bunch of hooey.

The one commodity that we all share in equal amounts is time: 1,440 minutes — 86,400 seconds — per day.

I want you to stop thinking about the length of a day in terms of hours and start thinking in terms of minutes. Minutes matter.

People making things — entrepreneurs, artists, writers, musi- cians, comedians, sculptors, furniture crafters, potters, knitters, gar- deners, video-game designers, YouTube creators, podcasters — must utilize these minutes more effectively, because unless you have a pa- tron or a trust fund, you’ll probably need to carve out time among life’s many other demands in order to pursue your creative passions. At least for a while.

Most creative people are holding down another job (or two or three) while waiting for their passions to pay off. The tragedy is that creative people (and people who dream of being creative) often use their time less effectively than most, and more often than not, they spend their lives waiting for the right moment instead of making the time.

The trick is to utilise your time effectively. To value every min- ute of the day equally, regardless of how many other minutes are attached to it. Once you have chosen to value every minute, you can begin to create systems by which those precious minutes can be used.


I love this. It’s a nice reminder that we should try our best to make every minute count.

Have a great week!

Ali xx

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♥️ My Favourite Things

📚 Book - I’ve started re-reading The Way of Kings, book 1 of the Stormlight Archive by my favourite author of all time, Brandon Sanderson. I’ve been tearing through it on Kindle and Audible (which syncs nicely) and I’m already halfway through. It’s almost even better the second time round, and I’m appreciating a lot of the foreshadowing and hints that Sanderson drops in throughout the book. If you’re looking for an incredible, super long fantasy series to dig your teeth into, this is definitely great (although the Mistborn series may be a more accessible starting-point if you’re not used to really long epic fantasy books). Btw, I did an interview with Brandon Sanderson on my Deep Dive podcast, if you fancy checking that out.

📝 Article - I re-read my friend Lawrence Yeo’s blog post - Money is the Megaphone of Identity this week. Highlighted a bunch of new bits in it. As I’ve alluded to in a few other emails, the topic of “when is enough, enough?” has been playing on my mind a lot recently (see this podcast episode where my brother and I discuss the issue).

📝 Article - Another of Lawrence’s posts I’ve re-read and shared with friends is The Arc of the Practical Creator, which is a great framework for creators and tackles a lot of issues around success, consistency, when to quit your job etc.

🎙️Podcast - Dive Dive episode with Alex Lieberman. In this episode, Alex shares his amazing story of how he started an email newsletter during his studies at University which evolved into Morning Brew, one of the world's fastest-growing media brands which he later sold for $75 million dollars at just 28 years old.

📝 Article - I enjoyed this blog post by Morgan Housel called simply Lifestyles. I’d recommend reading it in full, but here’s a highlight:

“I have no idea how to find the perfect balance between internal and external benchmarks. But I know there’s a strong social pull toward external measures – chasing a path someone else set, whether you enjoy it or not. Social media makes it ten times more powerful. But I also know there’s a strong natural desire for internal measures – being independent, following your quirky habits, and doing what you want, when you want, with whom you want. That’s what people actually want.”

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✍️ Quote of the Week

Anything you might want to accomplish—executing a project at work, getting a new job, learning a new skill, starting a business— requires finding and putting to use the right information. Your professional success and quality of life depend directly on your ability to manage information effectively.

From Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte. Resurfaced using Readwise.


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