“Everyone on this planet is given the same 24 hours in the day. The question is: what do you choose to do with yours?” -Anno Sensei”
Are you using your 1,440 minutes wisely? You, me and Beyonce all have the same amount of time. So, what makes someone more effective with their day? The result of what they do every day.
There are a million time-saving life hacks, here are my top tips from my own experience. Try out a couple for a week and see how it affects your productivity.
1. Turn off notifications on your phone
There are countless studies being conducted on the negative impact of the myriad of distraction that fill our space from our constant companion. This is not just affecting the teeny-boppers or Generation X. We are all falling victim to the ping and dings. A recent study found that Fortune 500 CEO’s average 28 minutes of uninterrupted productive minutes a day!
According to neuroscientist Earl Miller, your brain must switch between the two tasks, especially if the two tasks are competing to utilize the same part of the brain. “Think about writing an e-mail and talking on the phone at the same time. Those things are nearly impossible to do at the same time,” he explains. “You cannot focus on one while doing the other. That’s because of what’s called interference between the two tasks. They both involve communicating via speech or the written word, and so there’s a lot of conflict between the two of them.”
2. Delete social media from your phone
No, but really. How much time are you really spending on social media? Track how much time you are logged on; you might be surprised. Not only is it giving us a false sense of reality, it is also sucking our time. There is nothing to lose and you will get loads more time in your life. Try it out using one of many trackers like Forest.
3. Set meeting end times
Don’t fall victim to an endless meeting that could be sucking your work and sunset-watching time. Set up the expectation that. just as there is a start, there is also an end time. Brevity is a beautiful thing.
4. Encourage phone or Skype meetings
Cut the travel time, the rushing, the waiting, the distractions and the time spent getting settled. Virtual meetings will slice the time and often lead to more concise and productive meetings. There are many platforms available on your phone or computer, making it even more advantageous. Some options to try are Zoom or Free Conference Call for audio-only conference calls.
5. Say NO
No is a complete sentence. No need to explain, just practice. If saying “No” is foreign territory, start small. “Would you like room for cream?” No — all the way to, “Can you arrange the meeting for the group?” No. Don’t worry, it will get easier. Like anything else, practice.
6. Take breaks and work in bursts
Your brain can only concentrate for 45 minutes. Countless studies have shown that working endlessly without a break actually makes us less productive. Clear distractions and maintain focus for 45 minutes followed by a sweet mental break. Take a walk, call a friend, eat a cupcake, dance — anything that will give your mind time to rest.
7. Don’t check emails until afternoon
Spend the morning addressing your own tasks instead of answering to people’s needs. Checking email in the morning immediately pulls us into someone else’s agenda. Start off slow, try waiting until 10 am, then 11 am and see your productivity skyrocket.
8. Assign a date and time for your tasks
Perfectionist alert: Do you ever find yourself spending way more time on a given task? Assign a time limit and due date. Will it be perfect? No, but better imperfectly complete than a never-ending pursuit for perfection.
9. Drink more water
Have that bottle of water near you at all times. Seems like a no-brainer, but studies have shown that even the slightest dehydration can decrease your mental acuity by as much as 30%. Start to create the habit of drinking water continuously through the day.
10. Post your goals where you will see them multiple times a day
Ever time you re-read the goals creates “structural tension” philological term to close the gap from where we are and our goal. Meaning you will be more motivated and have more momentum to act. The more energy you have around your daily actions the more efficient you will become.
There are various ways to display your goals, you could simply stick post-it notes with your goals on your bathroom mirror or create a mind map or vision board and hang it up in your house.
Try out a couple for a week and see how productive you are. Have a tip that’s not on the list, please share!