Are you interested in how to gain more time each day? each year? How would you like to gain an extra week of productivity a year?

What would you do with this time?

Put it towards learning a new language, send out CVs to potential new employers, or expand your mind by reading informative books?

In this short case study I’m going to show you how I managed to gain an extra week every year … and it only took me 30 minutes a day to do so.

I love to eat. And because of this love of mine, I tend to prepare a lot of food from scratch. As a rule I have always aimed to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner myself. But there’s a problem with this approach – cooking food takes time. Whether it’s waiting for something to heat up in the microwave, boiling water on the stove, or grilling something in the oven, there’s a lot of time that goes into cooking. And the time I did spend “waiting” was usually dedicated to playing games on my phone.

However, I always felt like I could use this time for more productive means. So I made the decision to do so.

The most eye-opening step in this process was to note down the amount of time I was spending each day on food prep, cooking etc – basically any time that was spent idle waiting for some other process to finish.

After a couple of weeks I averaged out the amount of time I was spending each day waiting for meals to cook, and came to the shocking figure of 30 minutes. That’s an average of 30 minutes each day that was being spent simply waiting around, playing games on my phone, watching tv, or just staring at things cooking.

I made the decision that I would rather use this time to do something productive.

Conclusion: Just freeing up 30 minutes a day could result in over a week’s worth of extra productivity each and every year.  Something as simple as using the time you spend waiting for your daily meals to cook can be turned into a powerful force for change.

Now maybe it is not cooking or waiting for things to cook for you. But we all have our little time wasting habits, little ‘fillers’ if you like that we are happily able to go to. We need to identify these and weed them out where possible, but it does take some willpower initially to break these habits.

A week might not sound like a lot, but the cumulative effect of using that time to pursue a productive end will be huge. It’s kind of like compounding interest – from little things, big things grow!