Let’s start with a related question
What is an asset (when put to work) that will change the trajectory of your life positively?
If it seems like there are many possible answers to the above question, you are right. I agree. Let us add a qualifier to the question.
What is an underestimated asset (when put to work) that will change the trajectory of your life positively?
Here’s the answer
It is your “next autonomous block of time”
Note: “block” here refers to reasonable amount of time and could be as little as 60 minutes.
So, let us look at this in bit more detail:
Next autonomous block of time.
There are three parts to this
1. Next: We are not talking about “sometime” but the upcoming block of time.
2. Autonomous: Here we are referring to that block of time where you have relatively more choice and freedom on how you will invest that block of time. Most people have very little autonomy and many don’t know that they don’t have autonomy. In this block of time, you can pretty much choose to do what you want.
3. Block of time: Here we are talking about a reasonable chunk of time where you can meaningfully think and act on things that matter. Depending on your current level of power and influence this block of time could be as little as 10 minutes but for now assume that it’s at least 60 minutes.
This is the most underestimated asset with you right now. Whether you were aware of this or not does not matter much. Now that you ARE aware, let us look at what you can do to capitalize on this.
1. It starts with awareness of the power: If you are not aware of the enormous power of the next autonomous block of time, that block of time will be like any other block of time – it will be gone before you know it. Unless you are ultra-powerful, your next autonomous block of time will come at a premium. Only you have the power to make it meaningful or squander it.
2. Decide how you will be accountable: Ultimately you will be the person who will determine what the outcome of your thinking and action during the “next autonomous block of time.” Decide well in advance how you will hold yourself accountable.
3. Use ThinkLists to amplify the ROI: To Think Lists are like To Do Lists except that you note down things to think about rather than tasks to complete. You can read more about to think lists here.
4. Get good help: The beauty of having an autonomous block of time is that you choose to think and act however you want to. But “what” will that be? How do you know “whatever” you choose is the right thing to think and act? How do you know that you have the capacity to make the right choices? This is where getting “good help” in the form of a mentor will be golden. Read 10 good reasons to get a mentor.
5. Refine regularly: How you spent this block of autonomous time will not be how you will spend that similar block of time next year. Why? If you got this right, you will grow in both power and influence. The game slowly changes and you will notice it. This means the same rules don’t apply hence you need to refine your approach on a regular basis.
Remember that there are things working against you to make the most out of the next autonomous block of time. There are businesses out there that want the share of your mindshare for their benefit rather than yours. There are people out there that are crafting messages that make it look like engaging with what they want you to do in this time is the right thing for YOU. Then there are movies, entertainment and ________ (the list goes on) that makes you think that you MUST engage with them. You have to win this fight and you have the power to do it.
Have a great week ahead!