December 29, 2017

How to Create Time and Increase Productivity in 2018

It may seem unbelievable, but what I’m going to teach you doesn’t require the fountain of youth, ambrosia, or a time machine. So, keep reading and follow through to start creating time—the world’s most valuable resource—and increase your productivity in 2018 and beyond!

Okay, you got me: time cannot be created.

Time is the world’s most valuable and finite resource. But isn’t mindfulness, time-management, and efficiency ultimately ways to “create” time?

In truth, if you can learn to use your time more efficiently, it can be like having 36-hour days. With that extra time, you can dramatically increase your productivity. Interestingly enough, by increasing your productivity, you purportedly create more time.

Understanding the Value of Time

Imagine if life was a game. . .

Every morning you woke up, your “time account” was refilled with 86,400 seconds. At the end of the day, whatever you didn’t use, was forever lost. Worse than that, at any time, all your remaining time could be dissolved without warning.

This is how the legendary Head Football Coach at the University of Alabama, Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant, gamified his time.

Though, is this hypothetical “game of life” really all that hypothetical??

In actuality, you can’t change the number of hours in a day. Nor can time be saved or guaranteed. Regardless of who you are, we all only have 86,400 seconds to use every day. . . until we don’t.

However, you can change how you use your limited time. You can choose to use your seconds more efficiently, and with less stress and mental effort.

But you have to make that choice.

Hopefully, this is already resonating with the businessman in you since time is money!

How to Create Time and Increase Productivity

Today’s modern living derails attempts to increase productivity due to the onslaught of technology and the numerous options available to us. As a result, our efficiency is thwarted, our attention spans fragmented, and our minds preoccupied with surface-level thinking.

So, increasing productivity is simpler in theory than in practice. But the first step is making the choice to do so. And making that choice seriously.

When I made the choice to be more productive with my time, it led to me researching strategies. Of course, that led to me putting the best tidbits into practice. And as you can see, my success led to this article.

Without further ado, below are 5 strategies I researched and practiced throughout 2017 for creating time and increasing productivity. These new habits transformed my year. And now, I’d like to share them with you so you can do the same for 2018 (and beyond):

1. Prep the Night Before

  • Review tomorrow’s tasks before bed. This allows your unconscious mind to operate on the imprinted information and problem-solve.
  • Make breakfast simple. Prepare all the materials the night before for the most important, but often skipped, meal of the day.
  • Eat, exercise, and sleep. Doing so will increase your focus, motivation, and energy levels to combat the day’s tasks.

Sources: Men's Journal, Molly Maid, Brightside

2. Create a Categorized To-Do List

  • Get everything out of your head. Write it down in a notebook, put it in your task-management app, or do whatever works. Because unfortunately, your memory sucks.
  • Divide tasks into 2 categories: critical and important. This helps manage your workload and focus your efforts. Complete critical tasks first.

Sources: Molly Maid, Brightside, Inc.com

3. Mindfully Focus Your Efforts

  • Compress your time. Always challenge yourself to get a task completed in a certain time period; preferably shorter than you think you can do it.
  • Don’t multitask. It’s a time-waster, no matter how good you think you are. Always complete one task before moving onto another.

Sources: Forbes, Men's Journal

4. Limit Your "Time-Wasters"

  • Limit your TV viewing time, social media use, and web surfing. For most people, these are big time-holes. If you control your time on these mediums, your day will open up wide. Try deleting social apps off your phone, implementing time restrictions or using a timer, if need be.

Sources: Zenhabits, Business Know-How

5. Build Willpower & Take Control

  • Practice overriding habitual habits. This allows you to exert deliberate control over your actions, which strengthens focus and improves your willpower to make better decisions. Try driving a different way to work, cutting junk food out for a week, or using your non-dominant hand to complete daily activities (e.g. brushing your teeth, opening doors, eating).
  • Make the toughest decisions in the morning. Willpower gets depleted over time. So, make tough decisions in the morning when your willpower is strongest, and avoid making major decisions after a series of hard choices.

Sources: Men's Journal, Huffington Post

The New Year Brings a Fresh Start

These strategies aren’t mind-blowing, but when you add them all up in practice, you’ll see why I shared them with you. Now, it’s not easy to add new routines to your day and create new habits. But if you give it the conscious effort it needs to root itself in your ways, you’ll significantly impact your day-to-day and overall success.

So, may you ring in the New Year with the resolution to use your time more efficiently and spend your seconds to the utmost degree.

Happy New Year from BlueIQ

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