One of the hardest parts in achieving any large goal is finding the time to do it. This is especially true when you have children, or a demanding work schedule. This was the case for author, Andre Dubas III. However, after discovering this simple productivity technique, Andre Dubas was able to write the entire novel, The House of Sand and Fog, which went on to become a National Book Award Finalist, a selection on Oprah’s Book Club, and a New York Times bestseller.

A Very Busy Schedule

In the late 90’s, Mr. Dubas wanted to write a novel, but both he and his wife worked. They also had three small children. When Mr. Dubas and his wife weren’t working, they were fully committed to spending all of their time with their children. This of left very little time for Mr.  Dubas to work on the novel.

The 17-Minute Rule

The solution Mr. Dubas came up with was to find an extra 34 minutes each day by freeing up 17 minutes on his way to work, and 17 minutes on his way home. He would leave his house 17 minutes earlier and pull into a parking lot to work for those 17 minutes. Then on his way home, he would do the same thing and stop to write for another 17 minutes. By finding an extra 17 minutes both to-and-from work each day, he was able to write the novel that eventually went on to become a New York Times bestseller.

Finding the Right Place to Work

The parking lot Mr. Dubas would pull into was a cemeteries. As a writer, he needed a quiet place. This was it for him. At five or six in the morning, very few people were out and he could get some very good work done. He wrote the script in longhand with a pencil. Now that Mr. Dubas has had some success, he’s been able to afford a better place to write. However, he still prefers a nice quiet place. In the new house he built, Mr. Dubas says he writes in a ‘jail cell’, a tiny closet only five foot wide and a eleven feet long. This provides him the necessary quiet and solitude he needs to create.

Often, Mr. Dubas was able to find a bit more time throughout the day. During these times he would write a bit more. But having these 34 minutes set into his schedule, he was able to achieve a long-term, life-long goal and change his career and future forever.