In the modern era life is fast and only getting faster. This could be due in part to increased expectations on the part of industry translating to other areas of our lives, now even encroaching on private time. The struggle to keep up is real, but its impact can be lessened with some small changes designed to take the pressure off; and free up precious time for yourself. Follow these ten top tips and you will increase the efficiency in you day to day life ten fold!
1) – Ban mobile phones from the bedroom at night – We spend enough time on our phones as it is, one glance around a fine dining restaurant will show you that. So remove it from your bedroom at night; charge them in the kitchen! Use it as your alarm I hear you say? Fortunately before the advent of mobile phones, alarm clocks
were hugely popular ** I’m sure you remember the familiar Bleep Bleep Bleep. This way you won’t be tempted to just lay in bed scrolling endlessly through Facebook rather than interacting with your partner or catching Zzzz.
2) Get up early – Set your alarm to wake each morning just before dawn (**shift workers on a late need not follow this step) and you will be amazed at how much valuable extra “you time” this can free up. Use the opportunity to take a stroll to activate your mind and body, and listen to a good personal development audiobook. If you are investing 20-30 mins in yourself imagine the dividends that will pay by the end of the year.
3) Procrastination causes paralysis – These two are twin brothers and go hand in hand to crush you productivity. Its easy to over think decisions or be side tracked so often by other “important” tasks that we hardly get anything done! Think of the last office general meeting you went too; how did that run and did you find it valuable or a waste of time? Make your decisions in a timely fashion, and don’t put things off until later that you can do today, now!
4) Diarise everything – If you record everything in a diary, whether you like digital or are like me and need something tangible to flip through, diaries keep everything on track. Make it a habit to check your diary each day before you check anything else and you will then know what you have coming up for the day, week and month. Set out the following day the night before prior to going the bed, that way it will be accurate and you won’t wake wondering what meeting or event you had coming up. I am not affiliated in any way with Passion Planners but they are by far the best diaries I have ever owned with a great community give back program; I will pop a link at the bottom so you can check them out.
5) The news is designed to depress you – Stop reading the news; 99% is bad news would you agree? What do we do when we feel bad? We spend money to cheer ourselves up. We live in a microwave society – that is, we want everything now! So if we get even slightly depressed we need a pick me up to match the size of the depression. Think that last impulse buy; what was really behind it?
6) Stop buying takeaway coffee’s or lunch – This is this another huge waste of time, even more so if your local is busy ! Yes, it costs you money but it also costs you time, which incidentally drives up the costs further… Think one cup a day @ $4 over a five day week is a staggering 1040$ a year! Factor in a lunch here and there and you could spend 2500$ a year – plus the time wasted lining up to get them. If you’re like me and time is money then that can add up to quite a bit not to mention the lost productivity.
7) Use the 80/20 rule to analyse your obligations – Its called Pareto’s Law; and simply states that 80% of the outcomes are produced from only 20% of the activity. That said another way – 80% of you time spent on an activity is usually wasted time. For example; ever had a two week deadline for that 2500 word essay… despite having all that available time, most will procrastinate, only completing it the day or even night before. However, had you initially been told you had two days to get it done, you would have said it was impossible. So clearly identify your tasks and prioritise. If only 20% of your actual work is leading to the desired outcome, identify the offending time wasting and cut it out; save yourself the time and headaches.
8) Have an allotted time for email checking – Checking and replying to email is the scourge of the modern society I think we can all agree. It is the conduit for all things either spammy or passive aggressive and will suck the hours away. Focus on checking your emails twice a day, once at 12pm and again at 4pm. Seldom is anything so urgent that it can’t wait until those times for a response, and if it is urgent the sender shouldn’t be using email as the medium – Pick up the phone… Also, don’t have your emails set up to auto send and receive, you will continuously hear a bing as each one arrives which will disrupt the flow of your day and thoughts.
9) Speed Reading; Learn it. – Most people ready somewhere between 200 – 400 words per minute, but you can with some training increase this significantly. Not sure your word count per minute?? You can find out Here with this simple test at Staples. There are a myriad of sites offering free training on the net I will pop a link at the bottom for a few. Having the ability to speed read is a gift that will continue to save you time again and again. Essentially is about learning to better utilise your peripheral vision and reduce unnecessary eye movement whilst reading, but you will see (pardon the pun :D)
10) Automate as much as you can! – Banking is a really good example where a little automation can save you plenty of time each week or fortnight. Calculate your regular bills and how much they are and identify how much you need to transfer weekly or fortnightly. All my bills are paid by transfer or credit card and my credit card is paid for by regular transfer. I need only check quarterly to ensure everything is on track and it saves me precious time month after month. If you have a platinum credit card then you may also have a concierge attached with it. The card likely costs you around $150 per year so you might as well take advantage of the concierge at every opportunity. They can make reservations, purchases, find the best restaurants or send an apology card/text or call on your behalf or find and purchase that all too popular christmas toy your child desperately wants!
In conclusion there are several productivity hacks listed above that you should implement which will significantly free up your time and money. Following these hacks will save you 2500$ a year just on consumables we all take for granted, who wouldn’t rather spend that on a holiday to Tahiti? Life is short and time is precious, don’t waste yours on anything that doesn’t add value to your life – that includes work you despise or friends that don’t celebrate your wins.
Passion Planners can be found Here at passion planner and for everyone sold they provide one to someone in need.
Speed reading courses: Tim Ferris’ own course the PX method can be found free Here but to view the whole content you need to provide your email address; no doubt for marketing but well worthwhile.
Spritz has a different method to the Tim Ferris method and can be found Here