“I dont’ have time for this shit!”
That’s it. The worst excuse I’ve managed for the last 20 years since I left schooling behind. The worst part, it remains a primary excuse for me. There’s a lot that I want to do and a lot to learn, and the excuse is just as strong as ever.
In this post I’m going to turn the excuse around and empower it to a more fulfilling end. First, however, there needs to be a bit of background. One of my primary methods of learning is through reading and online classes. If there is something that I want to know then I’ll find a couple books on the subject or go through an online course or two. There’s a significant flaw to this approach though. My reading speed, until recently, was horrendously low. I was lucky to eek out a little more than 100 words a minute and my regression (eyes shooting back up the page to reread) was out of control. For every 10 lines read I’d go back to reread 5 of them.
Whenever I want to learn something through an online course, I often lose interest. Why is that? Well, when someone is up in front of a camera, they want to make sure they’re understood. To this end they will talk slowly, enunciate, and make sure their point is made through reideration. It’s easy to lose interest when the method of delivery lacks life and is painfully formulaic.
So, it comes right down to it. I don’t have time for this, which is why I don’t bother to study or learn anything new. Or so at least I thought.
While I’ve spent a lot of time telling myself that there wasn’t enough time (get your head around that one!) I was always finding ways to make the time. I used to spend a lot of time driving between my apartment in New York and my job in Stamford CT. During the average 2-hour daily commute I started listening to audio books courtesy of Audible. They have a great selection and many of the productions are quite entertaining. I tended more towards the self-help and business books. It was a good way to gain information. The problem, however, was in trying to split my concentration between two actions vying for my attention, driving a vehicle in rush-hour traffic, and paying attention to the information in an audio book. Since I’m still alive you can probably guess which action took more of my attention. To reconcile this issue, I would often listen to the same book multiple times. To date I believe I’ve listened to the full 20+ hours of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power about 5 times. It’s a good use of otherwise dead brain time, but that’s over 100 hours spent on one book. Who has time for that?
Time to flip this shit around. I don’t have time for this will now be: “I have time for this.” But it’s not enough to just do that. There must be more to it, right? So, I’ll take it a step further.
“I have time for this, and that time will be used to gain as much information as quickly as possible.”
It’s getting there, but maybe I need to break it down a bit more. Is time really the issue here? I’ve used it as an excuse for so long that I’ve truly forgotten what I was so busy with. Why didn’t I have the time? Well, a bit of soul-searching reveals that I didn’t have the patience for the slow reading and the agony of sitting in the classroom (physical and virtual). Therefore, time is no longer a factor and can be eliminated. Where does that leave us?
“I will gain as much information as quickly as possible.”
Rather simplistic, isn’t it? There are going to be a lot of people out there who will look at this and say it’s over simplified. There’s no way that you can go from “I don’t have time for this shit”, to “I will gain as much information as quickly as possible.” Perhaps it is an oversimplification to you, but to me it makes perfect sense. When a math problem is simplified down to its lowest components there’s no question about its validity. So, the question that remains is this: “How does one gain as much information as quickly as possible?”
I have that one covered, and there will be more information coming soon in: