How can I make better use of my time?
There are only two ways to make better use of your time.
- To create and follow a clear plan of action for each day
- To increase your energy levels so that you can accomplish in an hour what used to take you a day.
Here are a few quick and easy tips for accomplishing both.
1. Use the Ivy Lee Method to plan your night
Way back when (in the early 1920’s) a productivity consultant named Ivy Lee was invited by Mr. Charles Schwab (the richest man in the world at that time) to consult his executives and help them improve their time management.
Ivy told Charles to only pay him “What he thought his advice was worth” and then sat down with each of the executives.
He told them to do only one thing.
Every night, they were to make a list of the SIX (no more, no less) biggest priorities for the next day and then clearly schedule them out on a sheet of paper.
That was it.
But guess what?
3 months later, Mr. Lee received a check from Charles for the equivalent of $400,000!
It was that effective.
If you want to make better use of your time, then you need to limit and clearly schedule your biggest priorities for every day.
Write out the 6 biggest things that you need to accomplish and schedule them each day. I promise, it will revolutionize your time management.
2. Create locational anchors
Your brain works through the power of association.
If you habitually do a certain task in a certain place then your brain will begin to associate the physical and psychological states you’re in with that specific location.
For example, when you lay in bed, you typically feel tired even if you’ve only been awake for a few hours.
When you go to a gym, you immediately get a burst of energy even if you were tired before.
Use this to your advantage and create specific location based anchors for important tasks.
Set up your office in the same way every day. Have a “Pre game” ritual to help you get into a productive state.
If you have multiple different tasks to accomplish, assign a different location for each one.
For example, I do my writing at a specific coffee shop, my podcasting from my studio, and my marketing and funnel optimization from my home office.
Test it out and I promise you’ll find yourself being far more productive throughout the day.
3. Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night
You cannot sustain high levels of productivity when you’re sleep deprived.
When I started sleeping in and getting at least 8–9 hours of sleep a night, my time management and productivity transformed over night.
This might sound simple, but I promise it will work.
4. Use a Pomodoro Timer
Every time you sit down to work, write down the ONE task you are commited to accomplishing in the next 50 minutes.
Then, set a timer for 50 minutes and work with a single minded focus on that task.
When the timer goes off, get up, stretch, and take a 10 minute break.
Come back to your desk and repeat this tactic until the day is over.
When I began implementing this strategy, my productivity doubled over night.
5. Outsource low-level tasks
I have a personal shopper, a chef, and a housekeeper.
Even though these services cost me an arm and a leg on the front end, the amount of time and money that they’ve saved me is incalculable.
Think about it this way.
If your time is worth, say $100/hour and you can pay someone to clean your house for only $20, is it worth it for you to spend your time cleaning your house?
You haven’t saved $20, you’ve lost $80.
Identify low level tasks that are currently eating away at your time and pay someone else to do them immediately.
I know you’ll be scared to do this (so was I), but if you use your new found time effectively, their services will pay for them self in less than a week.
6. Do your most important tasks during peak mental energy hours
Despite what people believe, time isn’t our most valuable resource.
Think about it.
You have 24 hours in a day.
But how many of those hours are you physically capable of sustaining productivity?
Unless you’re an animal like Gary Vee, the answer is typically around 6 (according to science).
And a significant body of research has concluded that most people’s mental energy levels peak around 2–3 hours after they wake up.
Therefore, you should schedule ALL of your most difficult tasks during hours 3–6 of your day.
By focusing on the most important things when you’re energy is at its highest, you’ll be able to get more done more quickly and make far better use of your time.
7. Say “no” more
The most effective way to get more done is, quite simply, to commit to fewer things.
The #1 reason that people are stressed out is because they try and do too much.
Learn to prioritize yourself and say “No” to the bad and even the good so that you have time for the great.
Hope this helps.