Thursday, March 6, 2014

Finding more time to do what you really want to do

How to accomplish anything in an hour a day: the magic hour method

So - where do you find that hour?

"But we all know that those hidden hours exist, buried in unnecessary meetings, inefficient work processes, interruptions, false starts, PowerPoint perfection, misplaced files, and a host of other time-wasters."
- Ron Ashkenas
Nearly everyone feels short on time and stressed out. But successful people have learned the secrets of time management and figured out how to invest their time for a good return, rather than spend it away. They know what’s really happening when we think we’re managing our time, and they have eliminated the worn-out feeling of not having enough time. Maybe most importantly, they know how to say “NO” to low-priority activities that put their goals on hold.

Here are 4 questions that will begin help you find more time immediately. These successful folks have asked themselves hard questions like:

    “How do I waste time?”
    “Do I spend enough time on activities that are truly important to me?”
    “What gets in the way of including those activities in my schedule?”
    “How can I stop wasting time and start investing it wisely?”

They have also asked themselves fun, dream-building questions like:

    “What activities could I devote time to that would fulfill me?”
    “How can I make more time for my priorities?”
    “If I had nine more weeks in every year, what would I do with them?”

How to find 3 extra hours EVERY DAY!
1 Get your sleeping under control.

Find your circadian rhythm, and follow it. Edison said that people don't need more than 3-4 hours sleep, but I have been sleeping for 6-7 hours a night for a couple of years now, and it's not working for me. I managed more when I was younger and actually slept at least 8 hours a night. 9 was even better. For Edison 3-4 hours worked, for me it's 8-9. How about you? Don't just guess, or believe Edison, or me, find out!

Find out if you have sleep apnea or some other problems that effect the quality of your sleep, and do something about it.

2 Most people get things done in the morning. If you are one of these people, get up earlier. And get up when you wake up.

3 prepare the night before as much as you can to make the next morning pass fluently. See that everything is packed and ready to just take with you; set the coffeemaker, take a shower, put your clothes ready... you get it.

4 Have a morning routine and evening routine. Give 15 minutes every morning and evening to the household, not only to brushing your teeth and taking a shower, but do the dishes, wash one machine of laundry, etc. etc.
It would, of course, be best if you could pay someone to keep your house, to get more time to do things you want to do, but that is not possible for most of us.

5 Owning things takes time from doing things. The less you have, the more you do.

6 Have a place to every thing, and keep the thing in that place. You won't be wasting time in looking for things, and cleaning goes faster.

7 Delegate and outsource. If someone else can do it, let them.

8 "method engineer" your chores. Catch the seconds wasted in inefficiency. How can you speed up your shower? How can you speed up your breakfast routines? Could you do the previous day's dishes as the coffee brews? Would you get faster to where you are going if you took the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator? What do you do during the elevator trip? How about the necessary movement from place A to place B? Commuting, driving to the supermarket, traveling?

Keep a diary of everything you do during the day, note every 15 minutes’ chunks of the day, like you were keeping a food diary. Write down what you do, how much time it takes/took, if you did many things or just one thing…
You need to know how you use your time to know how you could use it better.

There are two kinds of people from whom you can learn efficiency: very busy people and moderately fat people.
Busy people have no time to be wasted and MUST do several things at the same time. Fat people have the most effort efficient ways of doing everything. That's one of the reasons to why we are fat. You know the people who say they eat a lot but are really skinny? They are probably really fidgety, active and immediate people. Their way of doing things takes much more energy than the fat people's.

9 Another part of method engineering is evaluating the chores and skipping all that is not necessary. A lot of people do things just because they are used to do things in that way, not because it's necessary.

For example: in a factory they used 12 rivets to put something together. The method engineer wanted to see if they could do it using only 8 rivets. No.
10? Yes.
So - 2 rivets saved, and the time it took to put the rivets in place.

Do you iron your clothes? All clothes? You don't need to iron t-shirts and panties. Really. Or sheets. Stop that. Don't buy clothes that have special care requirements, like it must be dry-cleaned.

There was a test of some sort. A scientist came to a room full of children, and opened a jar after doing some unnecessary movements, like shaking the jar, tapping on it etc. Then he asked the kids to open the jar. If the kids were neuronormal, they did the same unnecessary movements as he had done. Neurodifferent kids just opened the jar without the unnecessary bits.

So - what are your "unnecessary movements"? Don't do things you don't need to do.


There is one rather big risk when you start method engineering your life. Most of us cut off as unnecessary things kindness, consideration, politeness, decency, good manners, caring and loving, compassion, social convention... and that is not good. Human species is created to be social. The benefits of all this are much greater than any excess seconds spend in helping your neighbors and co-citizens. Also, by cultivating the relationships with other people, you get invaluable contacts that can help you reach your goals. Get friends. With all kinds of people. You never know how they can help you in the future. Never.

10 Make a meal plan and follow it.
You won't need to wonder what you'd eat. You have already decided and shopped the ingredients. That way you will save money and eat better, which gives you more energy. Also, if you are overweight, the chances are that by simply making a meal plan and shopping lists, you lose some weight. (Which gives you more energy.)
Get used to serial cooking, and freezing meals. (Serial cooking is making several dishes at a time, or after each other, that use the same ingredients, so that you can prepare for several meals at one go. Like frying minced meat or cooking several chickens at once. This way you can buy bigger packages of food, and most likely get it cheaper. If you are alone, cook every weekend and freeze the food in portions.)

11 Make shopping lists and follow them.
Do your grocery shopping only once or twice a week. Don't run to the shop just to buy one or two items. Do without, put them on the shopping list and adjust your plans to the missing items.
And eat before you go shopping. That way you spend less time and less money shopping.
Write your shopping list according to sections in the store. They keep most of the dairy in one place, and most of the meat, and baking items etc. Get familiar with how your usual grocery stores are organized, and make the shopping list so that you can just walk in, walk through the shop and walk out, without needing to run around and looking for things, and visit the same section several times.
Lift the items on the counter in the order you wish to pack them, and pack them according to where you put them in your home. That saves time in packing things in the store, and packing things up at home.
Have several reusable grocery bags, to save money and environment, and also to stop the accumulation of plastic and paper bags.

12 Effectify your wardrobe. Have a capsule wardrobe and the trimmings, where everything goes with everything else; looks good on you,; makes you feel good, and is functional and customized for your life style and needs. See that everything is clean and fixed, so that you can at any time just take some clothes and put them on you, and feel well dressed and nice looking all the time.
No more need to wonder and worry about what to wear

Also, stop using makeup. Most men don’t use makeup, ever, so why would women? It takes precious minutes to put it on, to keep it on and to take it off, minutes you could be using to something useful, something that takes you ahead on your plans.
Using makeup also takes money – you need to buy makeup, and it’s not cheap.
It takes up space. You could put something more useful in that space.
Especially if you travel!

And stop shaving. Having hair on your legs and armpits doesn’t effect your senses in any way. It doesn’t make you swim or bike faster, it doesn’t make it harder for you to do anything. It is 100% aesthetic thing, made to make women look like teenagers, girls, children, for their whole life. It’s aching to pedophilia, to be frank. It’s one of the ways the Western society binds women. You are to care about what other people think of you, you are to spend time and money and effort and other resources to shaving, in stead of using this time, money, effort and resources to something sensible, something you want, becoming more you, doing more, getting things done, reaching your goals…

13 Watch less TV. There MIGHT be some interesting and inspiring things on, but most of it is useless. Don't zap. Close the telly after you have seen the program you decided to watch.

One of the best ways of deciding what you really want to do is to ask you if you would spend the time for that if this was your last day on earth, or if this was the last day of your loved one. Would you, REALLY, rather see the nth episode of a tv drama than spend it with your loved ones? Really?

14 Spend less time on the internet.
You don't need to play any games on-line. Quit all of them. They are all waste of time. Really.
Commit to finish 10 pins on the pinterest before you pin anything more.
If you have more than 100 goals in your bucket list, commit to reach 2 goals before adding a new goal to the list.
Plan your blogging time, and keep the plan.
It would be best if you didn't spend any time at all on the internet, but spend it on doing things.

15 Take minutes from here and there.
Change a meeting from one hour to 45 minutes. Have meeting notes, and keep it short and relevant. If people want to discuss about the coffee, Sandy’s new kid etc. they can do it on their own time.
If you are prepared to give something a half an hour, cut it to 20 minutes.

16 Go through your plans. Which activities are actually beneficial to you and your plan, and which are just taking time from truly important stuff. I don’t know about you, but I get enthusiastically involved in things like discussing politics of another country, or the latest stupid thing a celebrity said, or finding an answer to a question, most often not even asked of me. The world is full of interesting things.
Also, we are often… not too nice, but nice in a wrong way. We easily promise to do this and that for people we like, even when we know we don’t really have the time, and especially when we don’t even know we don’t have the time.

17 Get a diary, planner, time manager, and use it.
Get really good at using it. Learn how to use it most effectively. Use color coding etc.
And use it.
Have a wall planner where you can put your meetings and dates on big, so that you are reminded of them in the morning without needing to waste any time of trying to remember.
Plan at least three days ahead. And follow the plan.

18 Chunk. Group similar tasks together, such as emails and calls. Set time for this, and put the timer on to stay focused.

19 Avoid distractions. Shut the phone, hang “do not disturb” sign on your locked door, put on ear muffs, do what ever it takes to see that you will not be disturbed, because a five minutes disturbance will eat up at least 15 minutes of your time, with the refocusing and all the other things that happen.

Stop multitasking, unless it’s something not important, but something that needs to be done. For example, brushing teeth and reading. Making food and doing the dishes. You can also read the newspaper at the same time. None of those jobs demand full focus and concentration, so there you can multitask.

No comments:

Post a Comment