We all have different motivations behind our need to be more productive. The most general one is to save time to do things we enjoy more. Here at Travel World Passport we clearly look for ways to be more productive in order to have more time to travel. That is why we’ve decided to research and examine 8 lifehacks that will help you be more productive and save time for any given thing you enjoy the most. Even if it’s simply doing nothing (obviously we advocate against that). What we recommend you spend that surplus time on is – traveling! And experiencing new things – it’s the only thing worth spending money on Anyone can introduce these simple steps and you can act on them NOW!
Get Up Earlier
I know – sounds dreadful. But waking up and getting up just 15-20 minutes earlier than usual may totally change the way you function during the day. The time you gain can be dedicated to better planning the day, enjoying a proper breakfast, exercising a bit or simply taking time to start the day at a more natural pace. All this will help you to ultimately be more productive during the rest of the day and actually will help you be more happy. The truth is I was also a bit reluctant when it came to giving up 15 minutes of the precious sleep I love so much. But then I tried out one alarm app that actually tracks your sleep cycle and wakes you up in the best possible time. And it worked for me. Even though I sleep that 15 or 20 minutes less I feel a lot better than when I was smacked in my face with the sound of the cruel alarm just when I was in my deep sleep cycle. Give it a try and see for yourself what a difference that simple lifehack makes.
Plan Your Day
I have stated that one thing you can do once you get up earlier is take time to plan your day. Obviously planning is not something you can only do in the morning, but I have learned (sometimes the hard way) that morning is a good day to examine your plans and objectives for any given day of the week. This way you can actually group some of the tasks according to the context. This rule that I have actually took from David Allen’s GTD method is all about grouping the tasks in order to save time. If one of the things you have to do is pick up laundry then it’s worth examining if this can be done “on the way” between doing some other things. I have learned to plan things this way. I have lists of things I can do “stuck in a traffic jam”, “waiting at the doctor’s office” and so on. Planning does not make you a control freak – it saves those precious minutes you can later on spend traveling or doing anything you love.
Note the Things You Find Important or Inspiring
Taking notes like planning can easily become a habit – a good one I daresay. By taking notes you can become more productive as the things that are worth your attention never escape you again. I make notes when I come across an interesting article that might provide inspiration for a blog post. I note things that I have to do or want to do. Just to make sure my mind is less bothered with tons of reminders. I use Evernote + Evernote Web Clipper as this little duo provides me with everything I need in terms of noting what’s inspiring, important or relevant. And it synchronises all over my devices – iPhone, iPad and desktop. But you can use a plain old notepad. Nothing wrong with that. The important thing is to always keep it handy.
Avoid Time Wasters to Be More Productive
Internet, TV, chats, on-line communication, games and stuff are all very fine but they may also rank as the top time consuming things during the day that actually lead to anything-but-productivity. I am not saying you have to instantly give up on all those at once, but just think if time spent on Facebook actually enriches you in any way? TV can be fun but if you simply use it as an excuse from doing something really productive it’s time for a bit of a detox. On average we spend from 3 to 5 hours a day simply watching TV. This is scary! Scientific reports clearly state that no matter how we try to convince ourselves there’s nothing educational or enriching in what TV offers. The same goes to Internet at times. You have to decide for yourself and try to limit it a bit. I had to learn the hard way, as I moved into a newly built complex – there was no TV signal. I’ve learned to live without TV and even when it finally became available I have decided not to install it. Trust me – the time I have saved is an amazing bonus.
Stop with the Multitasking Nonsense
One of the greatest lies of the twenty first century if the Multitasking Myth. We’ve been taught to believe that in this brand new world those who multitask and juggle between everything with the assistance of modern technology are those who win. Not necessarily so as the studies show that it is actually the other way around. Our productivity levels increase by 54% when we actually do one thing at a time. Multitasking is a myth and if you want to be more productive you better start implementing that very simple rule. ONE THING AT A TIME. No more writing e-mails while talking on the phone while eating lunch while taking notes while commenting on facebook while watching TV. Trust me, it’s much better to just do things one after another, not all at the same time.
Group the Tasks That Are of The Same Nature
As I have mentioned before, grouping things can be a very effective way of saving time. The same goes to actually doing things of similar nature. It’s worth trying to actually answer all the emails for one day in one time, or making all the telephone calls at one time. This way you can save a lot of time since you are in the activity mode of a certain kind.
Focus on One Thing and Avoid Distractions to Be More Productive
This is no new piece of advice and you might think it’s a rather obvious one. It is – but just try to truly implement it this time. In my opinion one thing that actually makes it so difficult to actually focus on the thing we do is technology and the fact that the hypertext nature of the internet we use so often actually makes us want to jump from one thing to another. When I am writing this blog post I am actually using full screen view mode and for the time being I keep all the other tabs closed. Why? Because I have learned that every time I tried to work with my Facebook on, my mail and other apps open it always was tempting to check them every now and then. And that would lead to little tiny breaks that all summed up added to minutes of time wasters. I strongly recommend using text editors with no distractions, closing all the tabs unnecessary for the process you’re dealing with and maybe even putting away your mobile phone.
Set Time Limits
Planning means also setting limits – the time limits. And once those time limits are set, it’s best to keep the promise that is actually part of the limit. So, if I make a time limit to work on something ’till say 3 pm, I will try not to work on this thing any longer. Obviously it is all about setting realistic time limits. Otherwise you’ll end up always needing more time. And that leads to nothing, but frustration. One way to set realistic time limits is by analysing past events and being honest about the times you have failed to finish things on time. Maybe the reason behind it was setting non-realistic time limits in the first place. I have learned it the hard way, but I can assure you that it is much better to stop the vicious circle of thinking that you can actually do something in half an hourl, when it actually takes 45 minutes every time you do it.
Learning to be more productive with those simple lifehacks can save you time. Time to spend on things you want to do. Don’t become more productive to do more mundane, boring stuff. Don’t save time to do more work (unless it’s something you love dearly). Save time to do more fun stuff. At Travel World Passport we absolutely consider traveling to be such a fun thing. Also you can take more time to be spontaneous and do the things you’ve always dreamed of but were to busy to even think of. Save time, take time and be happier.