The value of 20 minutes.

Years ago, my colleague and I were both studying part time and were discussing how hard it was to juggle between working (our first full time job) and studying. She mentioned that if she arrived at work at a certain time, she could study for at least twenty minutes.
My response: “Twenty minutes is pointless.”
The result: I dropped out. She continued and passed.

Over ten years later, while sitting on the train this story came to mind as I read my book for the twenty minute commute to work. I woke up to the fact that over the past two weeks this twenty minute daily ride was the only time I had to read my novel. And in those two weeks, without realising it, I had completed half the book.

I thought back to those days of working and studying and maybe I wasn’t really interested in that course but I became aware that maybe, just maybe, if I had used my time adequately I would have had a better chance of not quitting.
I wouldn’t have given up so easily because if I had used those twenty minutes daily I may have done enough and I wouldn’t have ended up feeling like I didn’t have enough time for the mountain I had to climb in the end.

How often do we use “it’s not enough time” as an excuse?
I’ve become more conscious of how often I’ve put off things I want to do (translation: I should be doing) because I use this excuse, and yet spend those twenty minutes playing on my phone; drifting between the different apps…facebook, instagram, pinterest, pinterest, pinterest and an hour later I’m still on pinterest.

From this simple memory I’ve tried to consciously snap myself out of this laziness (that’s what it is ultimately right?) I want to cook (translation: should be cooking), gym, work, read, study (okay not again…yet), live life and kick butt in whatever challenge I’m trying to conquer at the time. And that’s what it is…instead of convincing myself that twenty minutes isn’t long enough, I now try to convince myself to stop being that lazy and to just do whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing because after all, it is just twenty minutes.

The change in looking at the value of time (and not wanting to be that lazy) from a different angle makes all the difference.

The idea: Instead of now saying “It’s pointless to start because I only have twenty minutes” I now say, “It’s only twenty minutes…I can do this!”


“Previously published by Thought Catalog at”