In an accelerating world, use these hacks to take back your time
We live in a fast-paced world that’s not showing any sign of slowing down - luckily, we can. Here are a few time saving tips that’ll leave you with an extra hour every day.
Now, more than ever, we are challenged by a world that demands us to speed up, to keep up and get more done. We talk faster, walk faster, eat faster and generally live faster. In his book, Speed Thinking, Ken Hudson writes that the lack of time to make decisions has become the most stressful part of life for many people.
Time is one of our most precious commodities in this “always-on” world. What would you give to work less, but accomplish the same amount of work or more?
Here’s how you can thrive in a time-poor world and win an extra hour every day to help put you in control and become more efficiently productive to buy some extra time every day.
Wake up earlier
This seems like the obvious answer to winning an extra hour a day, but there’s a lot of research backing the benefits of early rising. In his book, The 5 Am Club, performance expert Robin Sharma shares how waking up an hour earlier than usual can help you maximise your productivity and bulletproof your serenity in this fast-paced world. His strategy is simple. Dedicate 20 minutes to meditation or quiet time, 20 minutes to exercise and 20 minutes to reading and you’re set for an optimal day.
Doing several things at once is a trick we play on ourselves, thinking we’re getting more done. In reality, our productivity goes down by as much as 40% as reported in an American study published in The Journal Of Experimental Psychology. “Our brains are ill-equipped for the information-rich environment we’re now in,” Earl Miller, professor of neuroscience at the Picower Institute at MIT, previously told Forbes.
This means that every time we switch between tasks, our brains need to re-orient themselves with the task at hand — and that takes up time. Tackling one high-demanding task at a time and finishing it, is often more productive than shifting from one task to another.
Karen Martin, author of The Outstanding Organization: Generate Business Results by Eliminating Chaos and Building the Foundation for Everyday Excellence, said, “When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.”
Take a lesson from Steve Jobs. On returning to Apple in 1997, Jobs gathered his top 100 leaders and asked them to set goals for the company going forward. They produced ten top priorities - Jobs crossed out four saying “we can only do 3”. This streamlining of priorities turned the struggling company into one of the most successful and valuable ones today.
What's the agenda?
Meetings are inevitable and necessary but without a set agenda they can go on for longer than necessary and not reach the resolution they need to. Business, profit coach and founder of SC Consulting, Susie Carder, advises that in order to streamline, try to keep meetings as concise as possible, choosing only those who truly need to be involved.
“Have a stringent start time, as well as an agenda to give others the opportunity to prepare ahead of time and keep everyone on task," Carder explains. She also suggests assigning tasks, such as taking notes and next steps, to help keep people engaged and concluding with a clear plan of action.
Embrace the digital age
You can use apps and technology to your advantage and save time. From online shopping and deliveries, telecommuting to work instead of sitting in traffic, hiring a virtual assistant, and using software - like Freedom App - to restrict your access to and ability to use "time-waster" websites during specific hours.
But remember to disconnect
According to a study by the University of California at Irvine, it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to work at the same level of concentration after you’ve stopped to check your social media or phone notifications. So, when you need to be your most productive, the best way to get it done quickly and efficiently is to turn off all notifications—and yes, that includes vibrate.
As we hurtle at breakneck speed into the future, there’s no telling how fast life will eventually become. That’s why it’s important to implement measures that will allow you to apply the brakes and take back your time.
In the same way, BMW Select Finance is designed to give you total peace of mind with a guaranteed end-of-term value that stops depreciation in its tracks. Putting you in complete control, no matter how much the world accelerates.
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