A few years ago I met a guy at work named John that just had his hands in everything. He had more than a full-time job, did outside consulting, wrote papers, was on forums & expert groups and anything else that interested him. I once asked him how he found the time and he said it was really simple. You have to learn to "steal time." I'm like, WTF does "steal time" mean? He says, "You know those moments when you had a breakthrough, were interrupted, or maybe a meeting ended early?" View those as opportunities to "steal time" and work on something else. I started trying to do this and I do find it to be effective. Everyone does it... when you are paying a bill standing in line at the market, or even while supposedly listening to your wife. He just advocated taking it to the extreme. I'm not as good as John, but I've learned to apply this technique and it seems to have helped my career and life in general. Not sure wife would agree.
One of the other things I heard about a couple years ago on TED was the cognitive surplus that is wasted in the world by idle time, mainly watching TV. I especially like the comparison of TV to Gin in the past. (John would like that too) I've started apply stealing time to TV... so if I sit down to watch TV, I ask myself does this show suck? If so, then turn off the TV and do something else. Or if a (insert your favorite sport here) game blows out, steal that time and do something else.
The ultimate question becomes, what to do with all the extra time? So I made a list, which turned into a to do list or queue, which is now Todo Q. Available for $1.99 on android market.
Hope you enjoyed my little story. I stole the time to write it because the smoke alarm started a low-battery beep this morning and after that, I was up. Steal some time today.
Billy Bob Bain
P.S. - Here's John in the past with book and some trophy. Like I said, it was always something.