How you manage your time dictates how you ultimately live your life. Over the years I’ve discovered a sure fire way to not only “hack” into a more fulfilling lifestyle, but I’ve been able to employ theses seven time management techniques to make time my slave and not be limited to what I can or cannot do.
As you find meaning and purpose while you’re paying attention to the juicy mouth-watering details I provide in the below, begin to think about how important your time is to you before applying the action steps below as you’re now asking yourself if you’re truly ready to find out exactly how to free up an extra two to three hours every single day and become twice as productive in half the time when you decide to apply these time management hacks tips, and techniques to your life over the next 30 days…
Good. Let’s do this thing.
First, unplug your tv, genius. (We all know that only brainless, broke and unmotived people ever use these things anymore anyways.) My wife and I haven’t had cable for years now, and boy does it feel good to not be a mindless zombie anymore because I no longer feel the obsession to automatically turn on the boob tube when because I’m too lazy to choose to do anything productive with my life.
On a psychological note, not only will it make you super lethargic and highly unmotivated to do anything truly important with your life, it actually weakens your family ties and can have a dramatically negative effect on your pineal gland which produces and monitors your melatonin and serotonin levels, which can lead to ultimately disrupting the modulation of your sleep patterns and put your circadian/seasonal rhythms in a funk.
Not only are you giving your television unadulterated permission to literally steal your time right out from under you, but although any intelligent strong-minded individual realizes that one cannot simply be “hypnotized” be merely watching the tube, there is a direct correlation between the garbage you allow your subconscious mind to be exposed to and the unique way your decision making process functions throughout the day.
Based on scientific data (more on that later) we’re beginning to awaken as a culture to the truth that is is in fact your subconscious mind and not your conscious mind that is the common denominator and supreme dictator in how you live your life and spend your time here on planet earth so why would anyone in their right mind choose to willingly pump raw sewage into their brain instead of turning the problem on it’s head by deciding today to unplug that stupid tv and free your creative thinking mechanism from this tyrannical giant once and for all.
Next, get a handle on your social media addiction before it completely destroys you. According to a recent study from ipsos, the average American that uses a social media account spends a mind-boggling 3.2 hours a day doing so, which begs to ask the question:
“Uh… what could you possibly be doing that is so earth-shatteringly important that your willing to literally throw three hours of your day away to do?”
I Highly doubt it.
By learning to limit your exposure and choosing to now become “the one who wears the pants” in your dysfunctionally psychotic social media relationship, you can truly begin to regain control of your life, regain the dignity you so naively threw to the dogs and show big SM how to treat you like a respectable woman again. (Or gentleman)
Heck, even making the intelligent decision to limit social media to once every other day you could make an absolute killing in terms of time freedom that you have now decided to win back.
Number three: multitasking simply doesn’t work.
We all know it. Isn’t it about time you stopped lying to yourself and actually started to own up to the truth? The best way to “multi-task without trying to multi-task” that I’ve discoverd realistically comes in the form of a one-two punch strategy that I developed some time back when I was literally gasping for a breath of fresh air because my time management skills had gotten so bloody out of whack, jack.
The formula is simple, yet the application will take you a good six to eight days to master with the trick being you’re gonna have to require some accountability from yourself so that you remain consistent.
Every night before I go to bed, I’ll grab my mini whiteboard and jot down A: the tasks that I need to complete during the day tomorrow and B: any unassigned thoughts in my head that seem to be swirling around my head at the moment (you know the type) with my blue dry erase marker.
I prefer to use a white board so that I can easily erase it after the tasks are completed, but any old notebook should do the trick. Once I have a comprehensive list of my thoughts collected and now attached to my whiteboard in the form of bulletpoints, I’ll number them one through whatever (most important to least important) until every item has a number.
Next, I’ll determine whether it can be outsourced (mark it with an “o”), whether it is not necessary (erase it) or if it is something i am going to accomplish personally (mark it with a p). I’ll also add any minor/major details pertaining to effectively executing this task that will help me so that I don’t need to solve them tomorrow or run into any roadblocks tomorrow when I am actually doing them. (i.e. send an email to bob before 8am so the he have this ready by noon.)
By doing this exercise every evening, I’ve found that almost 90% of my daily tasks I once deemed “important” can either be outsourced or quite simply be erased and thought of no more. More on that in a moment.
There is vast power in capturing your thoughts and putting them to paper instead of rolling them around in your brain nonsensically throughout the day not really accomplishing anything more than eating up your precious time which brings me to time management hack number four: when you have a thought or idea pop into your head during the day, write it down or (better yet) keep a notebook with you to jot it down so that you STOP thinking about it. This is something that you can tackle this evening before you go to bed and assign it a time slot to get accomplished tomorrow.
It really isn’t so important that you’re going to let it funk with your entire rhythm and possibly throw off your entire day is it?
Didn’t think so either.
Number five, check your email ONCE a day, twice a week. (i.e. 8am on Monday and 11am on Thursday.)
Failing to do this can suck the life out of you, especially if you haven’t yet decided to hire a personal assistant to do this for you. Heck, you don’t even have to check you email ever again provided you have someone who can do it for you and act as your personal filter. This one step alone can make your entire day more productive, not to mention eliminate a TON of stress from your life.
Six, hire a personal assistant and a maid. I can remember when I first thought of doing this how scary the idea actually was to me. Turns out, it’s a piece of cake and actually quite fun.
Don’t want to run errands? Outsource it.
How bout laundry? Outsource it.
Don’t want to take calls? Outsource it.
And the list goes on…
Think of how many things that you could get rid of in terms of time-sucking activities that truly need to get done throughout the day that you could eliminate from your workload simply by choosing to outsource them.
There are a ton of great places online to hire a virtual assistant, but you could even start locally without breaking the bank. Have kids? Hire ’em. Pay ’em. Instant tax deduction. How about your spouse? Hire them. Tax deduction. You could even hire your neighbors, there kids, a responsible member of your church youth group or even a college student nearby. (We all know THEY could use the work.)
Pay them a fair wage and they’ll do a great job, every time. Record yourself doing these tasks via a google hangout so that should you ever need to hire someone new, you won’t need to eat up extra time training them how to get things done.
Out of all of the time management techniques we’ve covered so far, number seven is probably the trickiest, yet most gratifying way to hack your way to time freedom.
We’ll employ the same concept of number three and four but instead we’ll apply it to our daily, weekly and monthly activities, meetings or events.
The strategy is simple: Make your entire schedule for the next 30 days. When something comes up, you pencil it in for next months schedule tentatively setting a date and time, then on the last day of this month you plan and schedule next month. (again, 30 days out)
I’ve gotta admit, when I first started doing this it was really freaky.
I was used to getting a call half way through the week for an important meeting that “had to be done this week”, so I would would foolishly place my entire life on hold and (like a moron) try to shift around my already existing appoint or worse, schedule this new important task during family time just to make my potential clients happy.
This gets old fast.
Plus (like multitasking), it doesn’t really work. Here’s how to implement this time management tweak today without losing your mind: first, start small.
In the beginning, 30 days was too big a leap for me. I started planning my life 14 days out and it seemed to work a lot smoother. Plus, when a good friend or colleague of mine (many of whom were ALL “wait-til-the-last-minute, habitual procrastinators) called me last minute to “catch up” or go out for a drink, this allowed me to instead of frantically racing to figure out a time when I could make it work for me and adding a mound of stress to my already stressed out existence, essentially let them know that I was “booked solid” for the next couple weeks, but that I would love to meet up if they still wanted to.
What’s cool is that since almost no one plans that far in advance, I was able to almost always secure a prime spot in their calendar that worked great for me and left “the other guys” scrambling to book a meeting with them when they decide to call a few days beforehand.
I also realized, that despite my initial fears most people understood when I told them I was booked and willingly tried to work around MY schedule because, at a sub-conscious level this conveys that you are important, wanted and valuable to the marketplace if you are always booked thirty, sixty even ninety days out.
Now that I downloaded gobs and gobs of extremely valuable time management tips, tweaks and hacks directly into your subconscious mind, what kind of friend would I be if I didn’t give you an easy to implement paint-by-numbers formula that you can follow for the next thirty days to that you can start to truly live the lifestyle of your dreams by choosing to immediately apply what you just learned today here:
1. Unplug your TV For The Next 30 Days
Just like I mentioned in time management hack number one, this is a must for any one that cares about their success, family and well being. Do this for 30 days straight, then come back here and leave a comment below explaining what you’ve learned from this entire process.
2. Disable the internet on your phone AND block Facebook, Twitter and Linked In on your computer for the next 14 days
There’s an app for that. Ain’t nobody got to know what Lori from the lunch room had for dinner last night or get the scoop on that scandalous outfit Beyonce wore to the white house last week that can’t wait. You can thank me later.
3. Start implementing these 7 time management hacks one at a time into your life as you see fit
I’ve done my very best to give you everything you need to know to start reclaiming an extra two to three hours of time every single day that you can use to do the things you really want to do in your life, all you gotta do is make the decision to own up and make it happen. These techniques, tips and hacks are one of the reasons I have been able to eliminate almost ALL unproductive stress causing issues that could potentially arise in my life and I am truly grateful for them.
4. Create a blog post and email your list today
Here are some ideas for you:
– I’ve Had Enough! (This Could Change Your Life Too, If You Let It)
– 4 Time Management Hacks That You Can Tap Into Immediately (Blueprint Inside)
We’ll talk more about “healthy stress” and how to detox the physical part of your life in a future post, but for now, pay attention and get to work.
Keep up the stellar work, this is exciting.
– Jacob DeBoer
“Liberator of the Underdog in All of Us”