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Time Management

April 29, 2015

I think time management is something that nearly all poker players are lacking in. I also think that's one of the biggest reasons why people struggle to improve as poker players. I've coached dozens of students over Skype and of course I always encourage them to study the materials I provide them with after each session. Yet, when they come back the next session and I ask how them how their studies went, they often say that they were too busy to study that week. To be honest, if you're too busy to study you're too busy to play. Plain and simple. Study should always go before play on your list of priorities. How else do you expect to improve?

 

Let's talk about the biggest time wasters I see. I think the biggest is television. I've read dozens of surveys and research papers that all say that the average American watches an average of somewhere between 2.8-5 hours of television a day. That number seems to be trending toward the lower side due to the increase in smartphone usage in the past few years. Either way, that's still a ton of time spent accomplishing next to nothing. Let's be conservative and say you watch 3 hours of TV a day. That's still 21 hours a week, 91 hours a month, and 1095 hours a year. What if you replaced that time with poker training videos? If you're committed to the game couldn't you make that simple adjustment? Even if you only converted half of that time that's still over 500 hours of poker study per year. That's a huge edge considering most people don't study poker at all!

 

Now let's talk about the other huge waste of time we call the smartphone. Again, do a simple Google search and you'll find plenty of research stating that the average American spends about 3 hours a day on his smartphone. Now let me ask you a serious question. How much of that time is actually spent doing something productive? How much time do you spend on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, iMessages, Skype, FaceTime, Kik, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Youtube, Gmail, and Safari? How much of that is productive? How much is helping you achieve your goals? Very little. Almost none of that time is productive.

 

If you combine the time you spend watching TV and using your smartphone you'll find that it adds up to over 6 hours a day, 42 hours a week, and 2,190 hours a year. That's a full-time job worth of time that you're spending doing next to nothing! So now I hope you see why I'm offended when my students tell me they didn't have time to study. It's not a lack of time. It's a lack of priorities and most people have priorities that are way out of wack.

 

So this month of would encourage all of you to cut down on the time you spend watching TV and truly ask yourself if that is the best use of your time. Each time you pick up your smartphone, ask yourself if what you're about to do is helping you achieve your goals. You'll find out very quickly how much time you're wasting and how many opportunities you've missed. We are all mortals beings. Time is all we have. The average American only lives 80 years. That's not much time. Don't waste it.

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