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7 Essential Tips for Finding More Time Every Day and Increased Productivity

October 19, 2014 5 Minutes 1 Comment

7 Essential Tips for Finding More Time Every Day and Increase Productivity

The Fundamental Guide for Over Achievers and Entrepreneurs

Time is of the essence, now more than ever. With an ever increasing level of competition in aspects of life such as business and wealth, it is more important than ever that we strive to surpass our expectations, under promise and over deliver, and leave this planet better than how we found it. To do this, we need to maximise the finite time we have here, wringing each second out for all its worth!
We only have 24 hours each day (until the year 200 Million when we will gain an extra hour), let's make it count.

Here’s how. 


1. Wake Up Earlier

It’s obvious, I know, but we would all be surprised about how many people say they wake up so early, to find they set their alarms for 6:30am yet don’t roll out of bed until 7:30am, starting the day in a rush and on the back foot. Get started sooner. My standard was a 5:30am alarm and completing my first task by 6am, but after recently reading about over achievers completing a challenge whereby they wake up at 4:30am every day for 21 days, I decided to try it. Verdict: It’s amazing how much more you can get done when the world is asleep and all you have is silence with zero distractions. So wake up earlier, and accomplish something immediately. This could be anything from making the bed to reading for 15 minutes (Warren Buffet still spends 80% of his day reading, surely we can find more time to do it also). As Admiral William H. McRaven said, “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed.”


2. Meditate

If you want to find more time in the day, you must first find time to clear your head of useless and distracting noise. Doing so regularly will result in you getting tasks done quicker, with less effort, and most importantly, in less time. Start by closing your eyes and focusing on your inhalations and exhalations for 7 minutes each morning, and when you find an outside thought creeping in, slowly bring your attention back to your breathing. Do so every other day at the least, and soon you will find yourself with the concentration levels of a Jedi.


3. Exercise for Energy

This is a no brainer, but many with no brains still don't do this. Here we’re talking about using up time now, to gain more time later. Essentially, you need to exercise for energy and revitalisation. If you can exercise early, it’s an early accomplishment giving you added vigour and confidence to crush the day. If you exercise later in the day, you will find yourself at 7pm with your blood pumping and your mind ready to conquer that task you’ve been putting off for weeks. Whenever you do it, do it.


4. Chunking

Tony Robbins talks a lot about this, here’s my adaptation on Chunking. We waste potential hours each and every day on mindless tasks and distractions, such as Facebook and unimportant emails. Solution: Chunk these activities into pre determined slots each day. For example, I check my Facebook and emails at 11am, 3pm and 8pm. Trust me, you’re not going to miss any world changing events, however you may be late in knowing what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast that morning. If you can survive that, you can segment being notified of all that, and also pointless unimportant emails. Focus on important tasks first, and don’t check emails or social media, they’re nothing but distractions and you will find by only checking them sporadically at pre determined times, you will gain massive time each day doing what’s important. Log out of email and social media to lessen the urge to check. 
If you find yourself in a busy office, get yourself a pair of noise cancelling headphones to drown out the noise, while listening to the soothing sounds of the beach (or whatever helps you concentrate). 

Gallantoro Tip for Facebook: Change your password to a random code and have it written down on paper, making the only way you can log in is to slowly type it out each time you want to check in.


5. Sleep Smarter

With early rising, you’ll now need to sleep smarter to compensate. This means getting the most out of your sleep, so waking up before 5am doesn’t result in you being a Walking Dead zombie by 4pm. To do this you’ll need to

a. Get to bed earlier: I've found my least productive time is after 9pm at night, if you’re the same, don’t waste time surfing youtube and mindlessly flicking between Foxtel channels. Go to bed. If you think you can’t get to sleep early, try it for a few days after being up since 4:30am, you’ll get to sleep I assure you.
b. Get off your phones an hour before bed: The blue light emitted from the phone can simulate the rays of the sun, throwing out our circadian rhythm. Read instead.
c. Install Flux: This is an application that simulates the suns position based on your location, and makes the colour of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.
d. Use a Sleep Cycle style alarm: These monitor your sleep patterns, waking you up in a 30 minute interval (for our 4:30am rises, set your alarm for between 4:15am and 4:45am) but ensuring you’re awoken in a period of light sleep, not deep. Result: You’ll bounce out of bed instead of being groggy. Here are two options.

i. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
ii. Sense Sleep Monitor

e. Read Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson for more on how to get the best nights sleep.


6. Have a Plan and Prioritise

Have your day planned 12 hours in advance. Know what you’re going to achieve the next day, and map it out. There is a myriad of apps out there to help you plan your tasks for the day, so you don’t wander aimlessly through each day not knowing what you need to do. I use 2do, which allows you to star important tasks that MUST be completed. Highlight those tasks that when you complete, you know you’ve progressed and moved closer to your goals for the month or week.


7. Use NET Time

NET Time is No Extra Time, Time. These are the time segments usually wasted when driving, cooking, commuting, waiting in line, or at the gym. Start utilising this time. When driving, I listen to audio books or rehearse dialogue for speaking engagements, when waiting in a line, eliminate minor emails from your phone, when at the gym read your saved articles or listen to developmental podcasts. These periods equate to massive amounts of lost productivity.

Bonus Optional Tip: Utilise a Sand Timer

Give your tasks a deadline. Especially if it’s a task you’ve been dreading, break it down into 30 minute segments. When thinking in 30 minute blocks, a task doesn’t seem so hard, knowing in 30 minutes you can stop and do something else, however a lot of the time you’ll find you’ve nailed the task in half the time! Deadlines create pressure, pressure creates results.

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1 Response


December 03, 2014

Really enjoyed reading this post. Very insightful and will definately use these suggestions.

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