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Use this easy 7-step plan to give you more time each day

https://www.fastcompany.com/90502371/use-this-easy-7-step-plan-to-give-you-more-time-each-day

fastcompany.com

Use this easy 7-step plan to give you more time each day
The actions and choices you make today have a compounding impact on how much time you have in the future. Here’s how to be smart about the way you spend your day.

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Time Debt

Time Debt

The choices we make to ‘borrow’ our personal time to get work done works against us in the long run, just like the money borrowed from a credit card has to be paid back with interest in the future. This means more work or expenditure of resources in the future to get things back on track.

**Time debt has to be paid back, and the interest paid is focus and attention, which has been robbed from us with the time we have loaned out to other tasks.

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Track Your Time

You need to find out just where your time is going currently. You can use a pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or an app to visualize where you spend most of the hours in your day.

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Create A Time-Blocking Template

  • Block your time for specific types of work, not individual tasks.
  • Block your time for core work like coding, designing or writing, for shallow work like daily tasks and maintenance, for meetings and emails, and fill it with frequent breaks to replenish yourself.
  • Give yourself space between blocks so that you can decompress and keep your energy levels high.

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The Planning Fallacy

It states that we are overly optimistic about what we can hypothetically get done in a given day. So we overschedule and create further time debt.

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Prioritize The Really Important Tasks

Start filling your schedule with the really important tasks, and take care not to put all the time-debt activities back in. Sometimes the seemingly urgent work isn’t important, but we do it, because it is in front of us.

Stop doing everything except mission-critical tasks that cannot be avoided at any cost. If you have ten tasks in your priority list, only do the top few, and see if anything is broken.

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Pay Yourself First

Your ability to use your time depends on you being healthy, stress-free and happy. If you aren’t at your best, your entire life ecosystem will fall like a house of cards.

You need to rest, recharge, recover, and also pursue a work-life balance.

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Remove Your Energy Drains

Incomplete and pending tasks take up space inside our minds.

This may include our unfulfilled desires and dreams, conversations that we haven’t had, projects that need to be wrapped up. We can help ourselves with this by writing down the draining and incomplete tasks, crossing off things you cannot control and creating an action plan for the doable stuff.

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Say No

We need to be open and transparent to our peers and bosses, and refuse certain tasks that seem to take us away from our core priorities and seem obligatory or repetitive.

We can also defer them or try to postpone them, examining the true urgency or importance of the request.

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Time Multipliers

Certain habits are time-multipliers. They are simple tools, hacks and work-flows that optimize your work environment and get more things done in less time.
This includes prioritizing your to do list geographically, clubbing of errands and routines, and ensuring your main task is done with full focus, achieving a state of ‘flow’.

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Single-Tasking

We all have heard of multi-tasking, but new research shows focused hours are 500 percent more productive. Focusing on a single task and completing it is a time-asset superpower (it builds more time into your day).

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30X Rule

Delegating tasks is a hidden hack that, if used can free you up with loads of free time. Studies show that many knowledge workers spend 41 percent of their time on tasks that can be easily delegated to others.

The 30X rule says that even if the time taken for you to train someone and delegate the task is increased by 30 times, it still eventually gives you a 733 percent increase in free time.

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Reducing Emails And Distractions

  • Sending and replying to email feels like work, but in reality, it is pseudo-work. Do not be available on email and chat all the time, setting aside time-blocks in a day.
  • To get into the ‘flow’ mode, you have to prioritize focus, blocking all outside distractions, by silencing your phone, and disabling those annoying notifications from apps that were never meant to send you any in the first place.

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The 30-Day Rule

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The Emotional Component of A Purchase

  • Marketers capitalize on the emotional component of any purchase while working hard towards ensuring consumers make ‘impulse’ purchases both online and offline.
  • Many people purchase due to their need for emotional fulfilment, indulging in shopping therapy and incurring credit card debt.
  • This leads to random, unused stuff lying in the house, which is not really needed.

When Everything Is On Sale

Most stores use the ‘SALE’ marketing gimmick (both online and offline) so that we can splurge our money now, instead of waiting.

The system is gamed for us to spend our money wherever we go. We need to stop wondering where our money went and start telling it where to go.

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Conquering Every Day with Time Logs

A time log is a producitivity-inducing tool that helps us keep track of the things we dedicate our time with. It provides a comprehensive overview of how our time is being ...

Benefits of Tracking Time

  • You are able to find where you are falling behind and then you can organize your work.
  • You’ll know just how much time you’re spending doing professional or personal tasks.
  • It will help you stay focused and on track and will give you the tools to hold yourself accountable.
  • You’ll begin to notice that your performance and your progress will grow over time.
  • Tracking your time and recording it allows you to see how much time specific tasks take when you’re staying focused and productive.
  • Tracking your time can help you get more out of your efforts. And create a schedule that works best for you.

How To Start A Time Log

  1. Find the right digital time tracking tool that suits you. Digital time tracking tools can accurately track your time down to the second and it is not as time-consuming as a manual time tracker.
  2. Set time goals and track down your results.
  3. Assess your time log results and readjust to meet your needs.

Caring for your Future Self

Caring for your Future Self

Acting upon the reality of who you are now versus who you want to become is an important part of caring for your future self.

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Remind Yourself to Think About Your Future Self

We get preoccupied with things that make us busy in the present and often forget about our future selves. Here are some ways we can help remind ourselves:

  1. Create reminders to make your subconscious think about your future self.
  2. Plan your days and set those days towards achieving something you've always wanted.
  3. Set bigger goals and set a clear picture of what they are and how you want to achieve them.
  4. Associate your future with the present.

Helping Your Future Self

  • Visualizing what you want your future to look like allows your mind to create a clear picture of who you will be or can be.
  • Allow yourself to experience discomfort in the present because it will only prepare you for future adversities. Not only will you feel prepared but you will also be able to adapt to whatever situation is thrown at you.