In a speech at the 2017 Insight Summit, Michael Lewis said: “People waste years of their lives not being willing to waste hours of their lives.”
In the context of the speech, Lewis was talking about the virtue of laziness, explaining how it can filter out opportunities that aren’t important to you, freeing you to act only when truly compelled.
When I read his words, it made me think of all that a person could learn over the course of a lifetime if they were willing to devote an hour or two of weekly time to study and practice.
Imagine if you had actually started playing around with that guitar for a while each day all those years back when you bought it. Or if you had set aside a part of every other evening to practice sketching. You could probably speak decent Mandarin by now if you’d devoted time to it a few days a week, starting when you first got the idea in the summer of 2015.
But while playing virtuosic guitar, creating moving works of art, or mastering a foreign language are great in and of themselves, they’re not necessarily going to make your life better in a tangible way. And many of us won’t put in the long-term effort to acquire such skills.
Instead, here are five things you can learn to do in a single day that will markedly improve your life.