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How Will You Use These Next 10 Minutes? BE PRODUCTIVE
Do you remember your favorite teacher from school? Depending on how much time you spent in school, you might have 12–20 years’ worth of teachers to choose from. Most teachers fade from memory, like all those algebra lessons we had to sit through in high school. But the great ones, the educators who really made an impact — those are the teachers who are impossible to forget. And sometimes we’re lucky to have teachers who leave us with powerful lessons we carry into adulthood. My favorite teacher by far was Mrs. Rayburn, who taught ninth grade biology. I’ve always felt really invested in biology. I like seeing how living things grow and change. It’s a big reason why I ended up going into the
forever. When I look back at my life, I want to be confident that I used my time well.
medical field. Mrs. Rayburn, being such a great teacher, encouraged that interest. But the most important lesson I learned from Mrs. Rayburn didn’t have anything to do with cells, amino acids, or biomes. No, the lesson that really stuck with me from freshman biology was something Mrs. Rayburn never wrote on the board. If you think back to high school, you might remember how classes basically ended before the bell rang. Bored teenagers would spend the lesson eyeing the clock, and around 10 minutes before the bell rang, they would start packing up to leave. When students tried to do this in Mrs. Rayburn’s class, she would say, “Use the next 10 minutes to be productive, because you’ll never get them back.”
Mrs. Rayburn’s words stuck with me for life. For years, before my kids went out the door for school, I would tell them, “Be productive, because you’ll never see this day again.” This doesn’t mean I wanted them to spend every moment doing homework or cleaning the house. Being productive isn’t all about checking off to-do lists or making money. We can be productive in our relationships when we spend quality time with family or grab lunch with good friends. Being productive with our time may also include taking a break, stepping away from work so we can re-energize and avoid burning out. This summer, I’m sure a lot of us took productive vacations. As we get back into the school year, I wish all the students and teachers the best of luck. May your days feel short and be filled with powerful lessons. And above all else, remember to be productive in these next months. You’ll never get them back.
You will never get these 10 minutes back. It’s a simple, obvious fact, but one we too often overlook. The truth is, we only have a set amount of time on Earth. We should be careful of how we choose to use that time, because when it’s gone, it’s gone
“Use the next 10 minutes to be productive, because you’ll never get them back.”
Dr. Casey Bearden
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