It all adds up

by Ivan Mazour

My earliest memory from secondary school was the morning assembly on the first day. Over a thousand boys were crammed into a hall, listening to what was at the time a rather dreary and dull speech, the majority of which I have no recollection of. At the end of the speech, the headmaster made a comment that sounded so ridiculous that it was repeated in classrooms, followed by communal sniggering, for weeks to come. The comment was “Whenever you have a free moment, drive your desks boys, drive your desks.”

A few of my friends will read this post, and it will still undoubtedly make them laugh, but underneath the twenty minutes of rhetoric, of which all but this one comment has now faded from memory, there was a valuable lesson – one that has taken me ten years to truly understand. His speech was supposed to inspire us to make the most of every short space of time, whether it was five minutes or fifty. It was easy back then to waste five minutes flicking through a magazine, and it is even easier to do so now with the internet and social media. He was trying to tell us that if we used each of those little periods productively, it would all add up.

What reminded me of the lesson is the new app from the mobile phone provider Orange called “Do Some Good.” I’ll let you discover it for yourselves, but in essence it gives you access to tasks which only take five minutes to complete, and which make a difference to a charity or non-profit organisation. Over the course of a year, the combined impact of all the people using it for just five minutes at a time will be huge.

This same lesson applies so clearly to business and entrepreneurship. The working day is interspersed with meetings and tasks, and however efficient the organisation of these events is, there will still be half hour periods which seem too short to do anything constructive, and can so easily be ignored. And yet the most successful people will take that as an opportunity to get ahead, to complete something which they have put off, or something that usually gets sidelined by more pressing matters.

The Do Some Good app, together with my headmaster’s speech, has inspired me. This post was written in just such a slot, and I now look forward to seeing what I am able to achieve in the next one.

Ivan Mazour 9SVW57KUE2UX


Find out more on the about Ivan Mazour page.
And watch Ivan Mazour's TEDx Talk - "Why we shouldn't be scared of sharing our personal data".

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