Fourteen Precious Minutes

After the extensive spring homeschooling and then summer holidays, we’re now a couple of weeks back into a school routine, albeit a slightly altered one.

It’s got me thinking again about how and what to prioritise, and how we tend to see time differently, depending on what we’re doing with it.

Money can have a similarly fluid interpretations.

Filling up our car with fuel I don’t really think twice about – it’s something you need to do, to be able to use the car. This currently costs around £60 a time.

But if I think about spending that same £60 on books or music or toys or clothes, I would consider these choices very carefully – and would be unlikely to drop that amount in one go with anything like as little thought.

With time, there are occasions I’m sure you experience too, when you’re almost wishing that time would speed up.

Perhaps the last few hours at work each week. Or the hours between you and your next photowalk. 

Other times, when you’re engaged in something you love, even another few minutes is highly desirable, and you try to make time slow down, elongating the pleasure to the last second.

Back to money for a moment, if you had £100, and someone asked you for £1, you’d likely give it without concern. 1% of anything is a tiny fraction, after all.

Each day we have 24 hours, or 1440 minutes.

1% of a day is just over 14 minutes, again, a very small proportion.

But some days I don’t spend even that 1%, that 14 minutes, on either photography, or writing about photography.

Is it so unimportant to me that I devote so little time? No!


The same can apply to anything you love. Dedicating just 1% of your time seems such a small commitment, it should be easy.

And, actually, it is. If you make it a habit.

I guess that’s what this post is about.

Reminding myself not least of all, that the things that get done in my life with least resistant and kerfuffle are those that are embedded habits.

Fundamentals like sleeping and eating, but also others, like listening to a child read each night, or my morning yoga and exercise practice.

These habits come with little question, I don’t sit wringing my hands, deeply questioning whether I have the time to spare (with reading, about 14 minutes is about average, yoga twice that, so only 1% and 2% of my day respectively).

I need to restore these habits in a few other areas then, like photography and writing.

With the latter, my son is now back to trampolining, so I have a couple of evenings where I wait for two hours.

Previously I could sit in the gym and hook up to the wifi, and bash away at the keys for the 120 minutes, in between seeing his turns of flipping and twisting on the trampoline.

We (the parents) are not currently allowed in the building, so I’m writing this in the car, piggy backing my phone’s wifi hotspot. Not ideal, but good enough to get some decent writing time in.

Not sure how this will pan out as the days get colder though. Perhaps I’ll bring a blanket.

So, two sessions of up to two hours a week is a big chunk of the time I need to write the amount I want to here on 35hunter.

Add in another couple of evening sessions and I’ll be on top of it.

Photography itself is a little simpler. 

One photowalk per week of about 60-120 mins is about right. I just need to slot these back into my weekends. 

What do you enjoy greatly, but feel you never have time for? How could you make just 1% of your day available – a mere 14 minutes – starting from today?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

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2 thoughts on “Fourteen Precious Minutes”

  1. To me, that’s easy, songwriting/recording.
    It’s easy to spend 15 minutes taking pictures, turn on the camera and off you go. Especially easy if you’re in some place where there’s plenty of subjects.
    It’s a lot harder with writing music (or words…) – 15 minutes barely gets your concentration dialed in…
    Which is probably a good reason why I picked up photography after our 3rd son was born – with no time for music, I needed a creative outlet…

    1. I understand. I used to enjoy making music, I’m not trained in anything, it was more playing about with a guitar, e-bow, effects pedals and a four track, then latterly with software and loops. But putting a track together, even just with the four track, takes hours and hours on end. It’s very hard to find that time even if you’re working and in a couple, let alone when kids are in the equation. We have three too!

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