âI donât have enough time.â âIâm too busy.â âThere arenât enough hours in the day.â
On average, I hear at least one of these expressions twice a day. And quite frankly, Iâm a bit tired of it. So I decided to make it my personal mission to rid the world of these phrases.
Okay, not really. Thatâs probably too ambitious of a goal. But I would like to help people realize that they do in fact have enough time to, lets say, go to the gym, start a new project, read a book, spend more time with their family, or whatever else they may be skipping out on.
You see, Iâm one of the many people that is incredibly pressed for time. Iâm a Software Engineer working full-time at my present company and I recently began working on a new venture part-time. I also make it a point to go to the gym at least 5 times/week, spend time with my family, and read for pleasure. So, needless to say, time is not easy to come by. And Iâll often get asked âAnil, how the heck do you manage to do all these things?!â. Well, itâs really quite simple:
I make efficient use of my time!
I know, that sounds like a very obvious and somewhat anti-climatic answer. But let me break down exactly what I mean into three simple items:
1) No more sleeping in!
And yes, this includes weekends. Some people can operate on 6 hours of sleep, and donât have as much a problem with this one. Others, like me, need a good 8 hours/night. So, I follow the old adage: âEarly to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wiseâ. I canât absolutely guarantee the wealth, but I can assure you that sleeping early and waking up early every day of the week will result in a productivity spike. Especially on weekends! Youâd be amazed at how much more you can accomplish waking up at 8am every Saturday and Sunday as opposed to waking up at 10am. Use the extra 2 hours to complete some errands, go for a workout, or whatever else you may have planned for the day.
2) Donât waste time!
Let me give a specific example for this one: working out at the gym. I canât tell you how many times Iâve heard people complain about not having enough time to work out, and then seeing these same people at the gym take two hours to complete what shouldâve been a 45 minute workout. I wonât go into details with regards to effective ways to work (thatâs a topic best left for another article), but in short, most workouts can and should be completed in 45 minutes. Donât waste time chatting at the gym. Donât spend an hour on the treadmill when 20 minutes of high-intensity cardio could do the trick. And if weightlifting, donât take 5 minutes between sets. The same theory really applies to all aspects of your day. Evaluate what youâre doing, and if it can be done much more effectively, then do so!
My personal favorite, and one I use, well, every minute of my day. At work, if youâre waiting on something to complete (a long download or upload perhaps), work on something else in the meantime. In my case, for example, if Iâm waiting on some software Iâve written to compile, instead of just sitting around, Iâll answer emails or begin looking into and preparing for my next task. It may only be 10-15 minutes at a time, but doing this throughout the day ends up saving an incredible amount of time (on average, it increases my productivity by about 2 hours/day).
And thatâs about it! Simple, yet effective. I follow these three tips and am able to fit everything I need into my daily schedule, and leave room for some down time at the end of the day!
If youâve got any personal daily productivity tips, Iâd love to hear them!
Anil Merchant is a Founder at Entfusion - a social platform aimed to help connect customers searching for entertainment vendors and vice-versa (http://www.entfusion.com). He also maintains a personal blog at: http://www.entfusion.com/blog. In his spare time, he enjoys staying active through weight-lifting and boxing. Find Anil on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Anil_Merchant.