How to Have More Time: 12 Questions to Help You Double Your Productivity 59

how to have more time and double productivity

The truth is there are many ways to have more time, to double your productivity and to perform even better. It’s just that people aren’t willing to dedicate time and energy to read about and implement the right strategies, and thus just keep doing what they do, never having enough time, but complaining about it all the time.

I’ve found out that most of the things we do aren’t necessary. Also, the way we do them isn’t always the most practical.

We ourselves are losing the battle with procrastination, simply because we’re overburdened with tasks each day, don’t find any joy in the work we do, and are too lazy to find smarter and faster ways to do what we regularly do.

The solution to having more time and being twice as productive then lies in self-analysis – analyzing everything we do throughout the day, with every detail, time spent and results achieved.
Then, once we get the bigger picture, we can make changes.

And a great way to do this self-analysis of your time is by answering some specific questions connected to your daily activities and the way you get stuff done.

12 Questions to Ask Yourself to Double Your Productivity and Have More Time

1. Which of the tasks on your to-do list can be done by someone else?

Often what we think we should do can be executed by someone else. It’s just that we’re perfectionists and can’t leave it in someone else’s hands.

But in the long term, that costs us our precious time, which is usually equal to losing the money we could have made.

So don’t be afraid to delegate work to others. They may do it better, who knows.

All successful people are doing it. There are time-wasting activities that just take too long, and aren’t that important, but which need to be done. And that’s when you can tell others to do it.

That doesn’t apply only to the employer-employee relationship. You should reclaim your time at home too. Let others in the family do half of your chores if you want to have more time for yourself.

2. What are your 3 MITs?

[tweetthis]No matter how important, rich or busy you are, there are always just a few tasks on your to-do list that are more important than anything else.[/tweetthis]

If you focus on them and complete them first thing in the morning, you’ll have achieved enough to move onto less important stuff and still feel accomplished.

In different stages of your life these MITs will change. At one point it will all be connected to passing your exams at college, but then it will be all about making some money. Then comes the family phase, and no business task can stay higher on the list than what’s related to your children.

You get the point.

What you should do after you answer this question is to simply become aware of the fact that at any moment you’ll have 1-3 super important things. Focus on them. And even on your days off, keep them in mind.

They are what will make you exceed in life. Everything else is secondary.

3. Are you sleeping more than you need to?

We’re told that 8 hours per night is the right number to stay healthy. That’s ingrained in us since childhood.
But have you tried sleeping for 5-6 hours a day? If you have and are doing it right, then you know you can be highly productive without the other 2-3 hours.

Things is, we sleep more than we need just because we think we should. But if you’re in the part of your life where you want to create a business, make money, be active, help others, leave a mark in the world, or to just study like crazy, then you should sleep less and have more time instead.

I’ve read about plenty of entrepreneurs that sleep just a few hours per night, but that make the most of them, and get up insanely early just to keep working on what they believe in. And after some time, such effort always pays off.

Also, the more you sleep, the more you wanna keep doing it and the lazier you are.

4. What are the things you do daily that give you 80% of the results?

The Pareto principle is always in motion.

According to Wiki, it states that “roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”

And it applies to every single area of life.

Here are some examples Mark Manson gives in this post:

“the 80% of people you spend time with who only add 20% of the pleasure in your life (spend less time with them). The 80% of crap you use 20% of the time (throw it out or sell it). The 80% of the clothes you wear 20% of the time (same thing).

Identifying the 20% of the food you eat 80% of the time will probably explain whether you keep a healthy diet or not and how healthy it is. Hey, who needs to follow a diet? Just make sure to switch to where the 20% of food you eat 80% of the time is healthy.

When I first considered how the 80/20 Principle applied to my own life, I instantly realized a few things.

1. A few of my hobbies (television shows and video games) accounted for 80% of my time only brought me 20% of my fulfillment.
2. I didn’t enjoy a few of my friends who I spent 80% of my time with (hence I was not happy in my social life).
3. 80% of what I spent my money on was not useful or healthy for my lifestyle.”

That goes on and on until you figure out what actually brings you results, do more of it, and eliminate the rest.

5. Are you trying to be perfect and get everything done?

Cause that usually means getting nothing done. Or if you do, never having the results you want.

[tweetthis]Perfectionism is a productivity killer. So let go of it if you want to have more time and spend it the way you want.[/tweetthis]

6. What are your lazy habits and what can you do about them?

In this post I’ve outlined 22 lazy habits most people are doing these days. Check them out and see how you can fix the ones you’ve developed through the years.

7. Do you start working on your most important tasks first thing in the morning?

develop good habits

That’s what you should be doing to have more time in the long-term.

It goes together perfectly with getting up early and having a powerful morning routine (like that one).

It’s important to do your MITs before everything else for a few reasons:

• it helps you jumpstart your day and after that you’re motivated and energized to move onto other tasks;
• you feel accomplished enough before others have even woken up;
• in the morning you’re full of energy and haven’t used your willpower yet, so it’s best to invest these in getting done the things that matter the most.

8. Do you usually plan more than 2 big things in one day?

Well, don’t.

Don’t forget that our willpower is a finite resource, that we have a short attention span, can’t be focused for that much time and get bored easily. That means your performance will be poor if you do more than 2 big things (projects, events, tasks, etc.) a day.

9. Are you setting deadlines for your tasks?

That’s one of the biggest motivators to actually make us start working on something and complete it.

Don’t underestimate the power of having a deadline. And preferably make it a short-term one for each task.
That creates urgency. Otherwise, you can put off forever.

10. Are you using reminders?

Forgetting that you had to do something is not an excuse.

There are enough free softwares out there to help you stay alert. And putting notes in visible places will always be the simplest, and most effective way to remind yourself of what’s left to be done for the day.

11. Are you working on your current task just to put off another one for later?

That happens way too often without people even realizing.

So it’s smart to just stop for a second and ask yourself that when starting another project.

12. If you had to stop doing 4/5 of what you’re doing daily, what would these tasks, projects and activities be?

That’s a technique Tim Ferriss talked about way back when he published The 4-Hour Workweek. And it’s quite useful.

If you’re honest with yourself, and ruthless with your time, you’ll realize that you’re doing many unproductive things. And if you get rid of them, you may finally see the progress you’ve been waiting for.

So that’s how you make more time for yourself and double your productivity.

It’s worth taking an hour or two to assess your daily schedule and make a plan on what to eliminate, and what to focus more energy and time on.

What about you? Have you asked yourself any of these questions? What other ways to be more productive and have more time can you think of?

See also:

Tim Ferriss Productivity Hacks
How to delegate more effectively?
20 Procrastination Hacks
50 tricks to get things done faster, better, and more easily

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How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 4

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

How to Increase Your Productivity No Matter Where You Are

In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

What It Really Takes to Write a Book [+Free Documentary]

Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.