This past week, I’ve been writing my rough draft for my eighth speech in the Toastmasters Competent Communication manual. The speech objective is getting comfortable with visual aids which can be a slide presentation like PowerPoint, a whiteboard, or even a bunch of physical objects that help tell your story. I’m creating a presentation using PowerPoint with the rules from Presentation Zen, a book I highly recommend for anyone interested in improving their presentations.
This week, I’ve created the rough draft of my speech. Now I need to storyboard my presentation which I hope to complete this weekend.
The main theme of the presentation will be about the wasted seconds in our life, how a second isn’t enough time to accomplish anything, and how we feel like we never have enough time. How many times have you heard one of these responses?
- Give me a second.
- I’ll need one second.
- Do you have a second?
Do any of these statements really only take a second? Of course not, but what if you could accomplish something meaningful a second. Would you be interested in learning how?
About two years ago, I stumbled upon this guy Cesar Kuriyama and his TED Talk, One Second Everyday, about recording one second of his life for an entire year. At the time he was running a Kickstarter campaign and for $1 I could donate to the cause and get the app he was going to create to make it easier to make your own one second videos. I backed his kickstarter and a few months later I received the app. Not long after, my son was born and I heard about a number of people making videos of the first year of their kids lives with one second everyday app. That’s what I set out to do and on the day my son was born I started this video.
Once second a day for a year turned into a roughly 6 min long video that captured every major event of my son’s life. It’s amazing and something I’ll cherish for ever, it brings me back to the question, what about all those lost seconds? What if you take those wasted seconds and use them to work on a skill or project. A second is not a lot of time and may seem meaningless, but if you add these seconds up over 10 years. If I recorded one second a day for the next 10 years of my life, I’d have almost an hour-long video of the past decade.
What could you do with those seconds?
- Could you learn a new skill?
- Write a book?
- Clean your house?
- Organize your finances?
- Start a side hustle?
When ever you’re asked for a second it’s always more like a few minutes. You should treat your other tasks like you handle those just-a-second-questions. You might not want to do something (work, exercise, read, writing) for another hour but you could always do it for another second. If you want to build your skills, complete work that matters, and improve your life then you should figure out the wasted seconds in your life that could be used to improve yourself.
One second everyday might not seem like a lot of time but someday those seconds could have you speaking at TED.