Bill Abbate

Can you spare a minute? How about 10? Have you ever considered what you can accomplish in 10 minutes? With 1,440 minutes in a day, how much difference could such a tiny fraction make?

All the difference in the world! Read on to learn more.

What 10 minutes can do

If you can set aside 10 minutes daily, you can change your life. Think about that for a minute. Ten minutes is less than 1% (.7%) of your day. Could you spare such a small amount of time to change your life? A better question is:

Can you afford not to?

Imagine committing 10 minutes of uninterrupted time each day to one specific purpose. This short amount of daily time adds up to 5 hours per month or more than 60 hours in a year!

When you think about investing 5 or 60 hours, it can make it a hard pill to swallow, But investing ten minutes a day makes it far more palatable, doesn’t it?

Let’s get real. If you can’t spare ten minutes a day, it’s not that you can’t. It’s because you don’t want to!

Let’s call a spade a spade — not wanting to is one thing, but making excuses not to do something so small that can create real results in your life is what? Being negligent, too preoccupied, ignorant, selfish, uncaring, lazy, or something else? If it is one of these, why not find a reason to do something good for yourself and those you love?

What could you do in only 10 minutes a day to make such a difference in your life? Plenty! With 10 minutes of focused effort, you can accomplish more than some will in an entire day. If you view ten minutes as a small chunk of productivity that absolutely improves your life, you will learn to use it more wisely than most.

“One of the best lessons that anyone can learn in life is how to use time wisely. Consider what can be done in ten minutes. … Learn to use ten minutes intelligently. It will pay huge dividends.” William A. Irwin (1884–1967)

The compound effect

Are you familiar with the effect of compounding? While usually connected to money, it also applies to almost anything you do over time.

A great definition of the effect is from the book, The Compound Effect as follows:

“The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices.” Darren Hardy (1971-present)

The compound effect works by doing something consistently over time. The longer you invest your time, the easier it gets, and the greater the return.

For example, if you want to learn a new language, it can be challenging at first. The first few months may be a bit of a struggle. But by six months, you will have enlarged your vocabulary enough it will start getting easier. The longer you practice, the easier it becomes, and the better you get. This improvement is not linear. It increases exponentially over time because of the compounding effect.

The compounding effect is everywhere and is especially noticeable in habit and skill development.

When asked what mankind’s greatest invention was, Albert Einstein purportedly responded, “compound interest.” It is also claimed he said:

“Compounding is the 8th wonder of the world.” Albert Einstein (1879–1955)

Why not leverage your 10 minutes daily and reap the enormous returns it will create?

10-minute ideas to get you started

Following are a few ideas you can use to begin investing 10 minutes a day to chart a new and profitable course for your future.

  • Reading — By committing to reading 10 minutes daily, you can read 18 or more 200-page non-fiction books each year! Can reading an additional 18 books a year change your life? Absolutely! Practically every successful person in the world will attest to how reading significantly influenced their achievements.
  • Language — If you commit to studying a new language for 10 minutes daily, you can easily become conversational within a year. It takes learning about three words a day to reach the 1000-word lightly conversational mark. Learning any language is more difficult at the beginning and becomes easier as you learn more words. Imagine how much more you would learn in year two!
  • Industry — Read any industry’s technical or trade magazines and journals for 10 minutes each day. You will quickly become familiar with its jargon and gain a basic understanding of the industry within a short time. This will be extremely helpful if you intend to sell or work in the industry. Given time you can easily achieve expert status as well.
“Time is a resource. Time is life. Time is money. To be successful in controlling your most valuable resources, it is important to not only learn to manage time, but to manage your work and yourself.” Edwin Bliss (1912–2002)
  • Self-improvement — Imagine what can happen if you work on improving yourself for 10 minutes daily. Take something like emotional intelligence, time management, coaching, or a specific skill — one small breakthrough can change your life! Aren’t you worth that tiny investment that can create tremendous results in your future?
  • Relationships — How about your significant other? Imagine what 10 minutes of working on yourself to become a better partner or simply spending time listening to your partner could do. It can change your life and theirs!
  • Well-being — Closing your eyes and paying attention to your breathing for a calming 10 minutes mid-morning or mid-afternoon can do a world of good for your energy and well-being. Imagine what the effect on your health and productivity can amount to over a career!
  • Self-care — Taking a brisk 10-minute walk can easily add 1000+ steps to your day. Walking is widely recognized for its tremendous health benefits. You are worth it, aren’t you?

What else comes to mind that you could easily devote 10 minutes to each day? I would love to hear some of your ideas in the comment section below.

When you begin having success with one 10-minute block each day, why not shoot for a second, third, or more? Imagine how it could benefit your life and your career. By becoming more mindful, you can use these 10-minute blocks strategically to enjoy and accomplish far more than the average person.

A little planning with consistent action creates amazing results in life.

Why not experiment? A little discipline will go a long way toward building significant accomplishments.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” Jim Rohn (1930–2009)

Final thoughts

Can you afford not to spend 10 minutes a day improving your life? That is all it takes! Spending such time invests in your future and is far more valuable than investing in a savings account.

When you invest time correctly, you benefit from the compounding effect. Imagine what the effect of compounding on your 10-minute blocks of time invested in the right things can create in your life!

You can continue through life as is, or you can change what you do whenever you wish. It’s up to you to decide. As one of the founding fathers of our nation said:

“Remember that time is money. Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both.” Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)

Heed the wisdom in these final words. Internalize their meaning, and you will change your life forever!

“Time is an unusual commodity. It can’t be saved. You can’t stockpile time like wood for your stove or food for the winter. Time is a resource that you cannot renew. If you are out of wood, you can chop some more. If you are out of money, you can earn a little extra. But when you’re out of time, that’s it. When this minute is gone, it’s gone.” David Ellis (1967-present)

How do you choose to use your time?

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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