Invisible Lost Time

Invisible Lost Time (ILT) is something I'm very passionate about. It applies to each and everyone of us, in work and play, yet few of us even recognise its existence. 

Once you learn how to see it, it can be one of the biggest productivity boosts you will ever get.

So what exactly is ILT? Do you get your daily coffee and wait 5-10mins in the line until you get served? What about the time you use to commute to work? Or what about the minutes you've lost aimlessly staring at the washing machine or microwave waiting for it to finish? 

Do any of these examples, or ones similar ring a bell? If so, you suffer from ILT. It's the time your loosing whilst you think your not loosing time - confusing, I know!

Imagine what you could achieve in the 10mins you're stood in the coffee line, or in your lunch break instead of taking the full hour, eat in 20mins and use the 40mins for something productive. Indeed, if you did each of these things every weekday per year you claim back 43.5hrs and 174hrs a year respectively! Imagine what you could do with all of those hours! The 174hrs could be used to demolish around 29 books.

Many of the greatest men of history earned their fame outside of their regular occupations in odd bits of time which most people squander.
— Orison Marden, Possibilities in Spare Moments.

The principal is simple, identify the lost minutes of your day. The few minutes here and there and fill them with productive tasks. Read or listen to a book, network or take care of items on your to-do list. Do anything but squander them.

Some of the ways I destroy ILT include:

  1. Podcasts or audio books on my commute.
  2. Reading personal development books on my lunch break.
  3. Listening to podcasts or audio books anytime I walk anywhere including around the house as I cook and clean.
  4. Reply to e-mails as I stand in line.
  5. Writing a blog post whilst I wait at the dentists.

Has this article resonated with you? Has it helped you identify some ILT in your life? If so let me know in the comments below or via Facebook and Twitter.