🌼5 Tiny Steps That Save Me 10+ Hours of Wasted Time Each Week
These minor lifestyle tweaks improved my energy levels and mental health
Each Week I found that I was spending a lot of time on things that weren’t adding value to me or my business. I was also surprised by how much time I wasted each day on little things here and there.
After that week, I made some minor changes to my lifestyle to reclaim the wasted time.
Here are those five steps that not only recovered 10+ hours of wasted time but their compounding effect had a great impact on my energy levels and mental health.
Step#1. Reprogram Yourself to Work on Auto Mode
Every decision you make requires energy, time, and mental focus.
What will I wear?
What will I have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
At what time will I go to bed/wake up?
These are all decisions that we make daily without even thinking about them.
But they add up.
I’m a big fan of efficiency, and one of the ways I stay efficient is by eliminating as many decisions as possible from my life.
So, to save myself some trouble, I’ve developed a few systems that help me automate my decision-making process.
Here’s what I did:
I created a specific morning routine to follow religiously. This includes waking up at the same time every day, making my bed, meditating, working out, and eating breakfast.
By fixing your wake-up and sleep time, you can train your bowel movement, saving more time.
Another time sucker was choosing the clothes I wore each day. That’s why I created a system where I keep my clothes organized by colors and comfort.
Now, all I have to do is pick an outfit from the shelf and put it on — no decisions required!
Wearing them on rotation also helps me save money on buying new clothes.
Next comes the meal plan. Every day I used to spend at least 30 minutes figuring out what to cook, looking at my pantry, and thinking about different recipes.
Now, I plan my weekly meals on Sunday and buy groceries accordingly. This helps me save at least 30 minutes of decision-making time each day!
It also eliminates veggies going bad in my fridge.
The best way to eliminate decision fatigue is to automate your routine as much as possible. And when you do have to make a decision, try to keep it as simple as possible.
Here are some things you can reprogram yourself to work on auto mode:
Fixed exercise time
Fixed home cleaning schedule
Step#2. Batch Similar Tasks Together
Do you ever spend a lot of time switching between different tasks?
Maybe you’re working on a project, and then you have to stop what you’re doing to answer an email. Or you’re in the middle of writing a blog post when you remember that you need to book a flight for your upcoming trip.
This is called task-switching, and it can be a major time-suck.
According to a University of California study:
“It can take up to 25 minutes to get back into the flow of a task after you’ve been interrupted.”
So, depending on the tasks, just imagine how much time we’re wasting each day only on “task-switching”!
To avoid this, I batch similar tasks together.
For example, if I need to answer emails, I’ll set aside a specific time and do nothing else.
If I am working on a project that requires research, I do all of my research at once instead of doing a little bit here and there.
And I’ve set a day for writing/editing my blog posts instead of doing it every day.
Batching similar tasks together will help you stay focused and avoid wasting time switching between different tasks.
It can also be helpful when you need to perform the same task multiple times.
Step#3. Defy The Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
In other words, if you have a week to complete a project, it will take you a week.
But if you have 24 hours to complete the same project, it will only take 24 hours.
The reason is that when we have more time to do something, we tend to procrastinate and get distracted to use the entire amount of time available.
When there is a shorter timeline, we’re *forced* to be more productive and focused.
If you want to be more productive, try setting shorter deadlines. You might be surprised by how much you can get done in a shorter amount of time.
For example, if I have to write a blog post, I give myself 30 minutes to one hour. This forces me to stay focused and get the job done faster than if I had given myself an entire day or week to complete it.
If you need more time, you can adjust your deadline accordingly (at a later stage).
But in most cases, you’ll be able to get the task done in the allotted time.
And if you finish early, you’ll have extra time to work on something else or take a break.
Step#4. Adopt The Rule of “3″
One of the biggest time-wasters is overscheduling. This is when you try to pack too much into your day, and as a result, you don’t have enough time for anything.
This often happens when people make their to-do lists for the day. They’ll list every task they need to do, no matter how big or small.
The problem with this is that calming the overwhelm consumes more time than the actual task.
And even if you do, you’ll probably be so exhausted by the end of the day that you won’t be able to enjoy your free time.
A better strategy is to pick three or four of the most important tasks you need to do that day and focus on those.
You can always add more tasks to your list if you have time, but don’t try to do too much at once. You’ll end up wasting time and feeling overwhelmed.
Step#5. Understand The Real Meaning of Productivity
Are you the type of person who is always busy but never seems to get anything done?
If so, you might be falling into the trap of being busy for the sake of being busy.
There’s a difference between being productive and being busy.
Being productive means that you’re actually accomplishing something. It can or can not be related to making full use of your time.
But being busy means you’re filling your time with activity, even if it’s not necessarily productive.
Nevertheless, it’s not your fault.
Daily, our minds make us prioritize less important chores.
“People may opt to complete urgent jobs with short completion windows, instead of essential tasks with greater outcomes,” a February Journal of Consumer Research research revealed.
We are designed to derive gratification from smaller activities, even though that means deprioritizing things that would bring us closer to our long-term goals.
To change this, we need to be aware of the difference between being productive and being busy.
The next time you find yourself with some free time, ask yourself if what you’re about to do is actually going to help you accomplish your goals.
If not, find something else to do that will move you closer to your goals.
You might be surprised by how much more you can get done when you focus on being productive instead of just being busy.
Saving time doesn’t have to be complicated. It always boils down to making the most of what you have by:
Gaining a better understanding of the “NEED” for free time
I am sure that by following these simple tips, you can easily save yourself 10 or more hours each week.
And that’s time you can use to relax, spend with your family, or work on your goals.
So, what are you waiting for? Start saving time today!
Contributed by Darshak Rana
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