Let me start by saying that time is one of the most perceived precious resources on the planet! We all wish that we had more time during the day to do the things we love! On a daily basis, I hear clients (and strangers) lament the limited amount of time they have in a given day. “I don’t have time” is one of the most overused, inappropriate, fictional phrases of all time. The truth is, we ALL are given the same 24 hours per day, nothing less, nothing more. However, we oftentimes don’t realize the ways in which we waste this time and find ourselves spending a majority of this time on efficiency killers!
Below are 6 tips on how to make the most out of each and every day, while eliminating the efficiency killers of our lives:
- Turn the phone off for a few hours: You would be surprised at how often a majority of us mindlessly look through our phones, unproductively scrolling through Instagram or browsing YouTube videos. This poor habit is a real time killer and as such, I urge you to shut down the phone for a few hours during the day! This increases overall productivity while simultaneously decreasing the distractions we typically face on our mobile devices. This literally saves me an hour+ per day which we can then reallocate said saved time to more productive behavior.
- Set your (workout) clothes out the night before: Setting out your clothes the night before saves one an extra 10-20 minutes of searching what one is going to wear that day, whether it be at the gym or at work. Additionally, I find this extra helpful when holding myself accountable to make it to the gym in the morning. With the clothes already set out, one doesn’t really have any excuses to skip that morning sweat session.
- Block out excess noise: Our world is FILLED with excess noise that distracts us from the task at hand. This can come in the form of advertisements, social media, commercials, mindless music, etc. I like to preach that if we can block out 5% of the excess noise we are faced with each and every day, this can have drastic positive impacts on our productivity AND saves us time because we are less distracted by said noise. One can do this by 1) turning the TV on mute while the advertisements run; 2) listening to music with no lyrics while at work or while reading a book; 3) decreasing amount of time spent on social media or other distracting applications on one’s smart phone.
- Make use of your mobile Calendar: I use the calendar on my phone like it is nobody’s business! I add all actual and potential appointments to the calendar, and rely on that calendar for my daily activity. By utilizing this helpful tool, we decrease the amount of time we spend during the day trying to rack our brain around just what it is we were supposed to do today, and spend more time executing the tasks at hand.
- Visit new places: Instead of eating lunch at your desk or in the breakroom, try going outside to eat. Try visiting a state or country you have never been to on your next vacation. A new environment can send a ton of information rushing to your brain (sounds, colors, smells, people). Consequently, our brains are tasked with interpreting all of this. Exposing the brain to new environments on a regular basis helps us become significantly more grateful for the little things by widening our perspectives. We are creatures of habit. These is no changing that fact, however small changes can be made throughout the day which if done properly, allow us to enjoy longer-seeming days. Additionally, this small break (or vacation) from the day’s stresses allows our body and mind to re-energize, refocus, and remember just how blessed we are to be in the positions we are all in!
- Watch the water boil: We have all heard this saying. By watching the water boil, time seems to drag on: hour by hour; minute by minute; second by second. Well, if you feel that time seems to slip away from you on a consistent basis, figuratively (& maybe literally) attempt to “watch the water boil.” What I mean here is to consciously attempt to stay in the present moment, at all times. With the enhancement of technology, our generation functions at a million miles per hour. Most of us (myself included) try to multi-task 13 different tasks at the same time on a daily basis! The definition of multi-tasking is literally “the simultaneous execution of more than one program or task by a single computer processor.” Here’s the thing: humans are not computers. Sorry to break it to you, but humans only have one brain, designed to focus on one specific task at a time. When we attempt to multi-task, this counterintuitively decreases efficiency and results in poor work output. What I am proposing is to focus all of your energy, all of your mana, all of your being- on one task at a time. When we can learn to give each task as much energy as we typically give multiple tasks at one time, we increase quality of work output while simultaneously decreasing stress, blood pressure, and our perception of the passage of time! If done effectively, we won’t come to the end of the day, wondering where the time went as we will have graciously utilized it the way it was meant to be utilized!