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Published on February 18, 2021

The Truth About the Value of Time in Life

The Truth About the Value of Time in Life

I’m sure you’ve heard people say that “time is precious”.

While this is a true statement, unfortunately, most people continue to waste their time on things that don’t really matter or things that don’t support their goals and dreams.

Stuff like constantly checking social media feeds, gossiping and procrastinating.

This time wasting is usually done subconsciously. In other words, people — perhaps including yourself — don’t even realize that they’re practicing unproductive behavior.

The good news is that there are some quick and easy methods that you can adopt that will make you a master of both your time and your life.

And the best news?

I’ll be showing you exactly how to benefit from these methods in this article.

Wasted Time Is Wasted Life

At work, you’ve probably noticed that many people waste valuable time through being disorganized.

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Their inbox is full of unread emails. Their desk is cluttered with junk. And their presentations at meetings are often rushed and unprepared.

These people are not lazy. In fact, often they are incredibly hardworking and committed to their job. However, through their lack of organization, they throw away their time and energy.

At home, many people waste time on endlessly searching the web and binge-watching the latest Netflix shows. Social media is also a massive time killer. For instance, if you spend just an hour a day looking/interacting with social media, that will equate to 15 full days of your year. In that time, you could have learned how to meditate or begun to retrain for a change in career.

While it’s fine to spend some time on social media and watching TV — if you want to get on in life — you should make sure that a portion of your home time is given over to staying fit and healthy through proper diet and exercise. Home time is also ideal for learning new things through books, videos and courses.

Just imagine how much more productive someone would become if they learned to be organized at work and disciplined and creative at home. The answer is a ton! But it’s not just their productivity that will be boosted. Perhaps more importantly, the person’s self-esteem and confidence will be increased too.

If you recognize yourself in any of the above examples, then don’t worry, as I’m going to explain now how you can become a master of time.

How to Take Back Control of Your Time

Mastering your time is essential if you want to be in control of your life and destiny.

Fortunately, time management is simple to learn and easy to implement.

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The first thing you need to understand is how to prioritize your tasks and responsibilities.

For example, what’s the first thing you always do when you log in for the day at work? Do you go through all your emails?

If you do, you might be surprised to know that going through all your emails is not the most productive start to the working day. Instead, you should spend the first 5-10 minutes of your day making a list of what tasks and projects you need to complete. Once you have your list, you should then sort then into order of priority. Urgent tasks at the top of your list, non-essential tasks at the bottom of your list.

When you do this daily, you’ll notice four positive things that occur in your life:

  1. You’ll always hit your deadlines
  2. You’ll get more work done
  3. You’ll feel in control
  4. You’ll be relaxed and free from stress

And it’s not just work stuff that can be prioritized in this manner. You can do the same for your personal stuff such as preparing meals, doing your laundry and walking your dog.

You just need to decide at the start of your day/week what are your MUST HAVES, SHOULD HAVES and GOOD TO HAVES.

Your essential tasks such as buying food and preparing your tax returns would go into the first category; tasks such as cleaning your home and filling up your car would likely go into the second category; while tasks such as chatting with your friends on Zoom would fall into the third category.

I also recommend that you create your to-do lists based on your life purpose. That way, everything you do will be aligned towards achieving your goals. If you need help prioritizing your daily demands so they align with your life purpose, get this free guide Create More Time Out Of A Busy Schedule. With this guide, you’ll learn how to identify your must haves, should haves and good to haves, and plan your life in a more meaningful way. Grab your free guide here.

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Another strategy to help you master your time is to consider this comparison between time and money:

The majority of people choose to focus on money — specifically, trying to earn as much money as they can — rather than focusing on time. However, if you think about it for a moment, money comes and goes, but when time passes by you can never get it back. Plus time is also strictly limited, as each of us only gets to spend a few decades on this planet.

A further thing I’d like you to consider is quality versus quantity.

Your quality of life is defined by your quality of time. Your minutes make your hours and your hours make your days. So how you spend each moment is critical to how you live your life.

To help you put your focus on quality of time and quality of life, ask yourself now these questions:

  • How much time in a day do you spend being angry, anxious or unhappy?
  • How much time in a day do you spend connecting with a loved one as opposed to just being in the same room as them?
  • How much time in a day do you spend doing things you really don’t enjoy?
  • How much time do you allow for improving yourself each day, week, month or year?

If these questions highlight weaknesses in how you use your time, then please feel don’t feel bad about it. Instead, start taking actions to address the issues. This will put you on the road to being in charge of the quality of your time and life.

Remember: Time is finite, so instead of wasting it, make the most of it!

If you need more help with managing your time, then I highly recommend you sign up to our free Fast-Track Class – No More Procrastination. This 30-minute session will teach you a simple and practical way to defeat procrastination, one of the biggest problems that plagues almost everybody. You’ll discover what triggers your procrastination, and you’ll also be given a strategy to fight and defeat it.

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A New You

Mastering your time will enable you to master your life.

You’ll go from being an average achiever to a super achiever. And this won’t involve any extra work on your part — it’ll just require you to adopt a new organized approach to all areas of your life.

You won’t have to wait years to see the results either. In fact, I’d expect you to see positive results within just a few days. And once you see these results for yourself, you’ll naturally want to keep going with your new time management approach.

With your new mastery of time, you’ll be more productive at home and work, you’ll be mentally and physically fitter, and you’ll be happier and more satisfied with your life then ever before.

This transformation will literally create a new you!

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” — Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

As the quote above so powerfully states, don’t let time pass you by. Instead, begin right now to take positive action.

To make sure you’re taking actions that truly matter, make use of the free guide The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. In this guide, you’ll discover how to prioritize your actions and achieve what you truly want for life.

Featured photo credit: Rodion Kutsaev via unsplash.com

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on April 8, 2021

10 Simple Ways To Refocus a Wandering Mind

10 Simple Ways To Refocus a Wandering Mind

Want to know what Steve Jobs thought was the ultimate key in achieving success?

“Focus and simplicity… once you get there, you can move mountains.”—Steve Jobs

And this belief is even more important today than it was years ago. At your fingertips is a literal world of information and entertainment. So, it’s no wonder we all have such wandering minds nowadays.

Thanks to the internet and smartphones, attention is practically a currency we should be more budget-minded about. In fact, a person who can stay focused is not only more likely to get more done but also be more satisfied at the end of the day because of it.

Going further, a person who’s focused will more easily achieve their goals—anything from losing 20 pounds to getting a promotion at work is within the reach of this type of person.

So, in the spirit of that idea, here are 10 ways to tame that wandering mind of yours and turn it into a laser-focused brain that gets things done.

1. Find Your Totem

Remember the totem in the movie, Inception? It’s an item that reminded people they weren’t in a dream when they touched it, and it was able to keep them grounded in reality.

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You can replicate this idea when it comes to staying focused as well. All you’ve to got to do is find something to be your “focus totem,” and it’ll remind you that you should stop daydreaming and get back to work. Ideally, it’s something you can see and touch.

In the movie, a chess piece and a spinning top were used—both are good ideas. You could also use a picture of your family, a mini trophy, or even wear a ring to focus your mind as well. (In fact, a green lantern ring might be kind of cool for this.)

2. Promise a Reward

Incentives are an obvious way to go. Having gold at the end of any journey makes you want to press forward just for the sweet results. In general, rewards should correlate to the difficulty/length of the work.

For example:

  • Finish a quick house chore = a piece of chocolate
  • Complete an annoying administrative task = 10 minutes of Youtube
  • A successful day of work = a whole movie on Netflix

Pretty simple stuff, right? But you’d be surprised how often you forget to reward yourself for doing solid work on the regular.

3. Make It Stupid Easy for Your Wandering Mind

I don’t know about you, but if I perceive my work to require more effort than I care to use, I’m instantly turned off. This then leads to distraction and procrastination. But you can offset this by breaking a difficult task into a bite-sized piece.

Case in point, what seems easier: 30 pushups or 3 pushups?

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It’s obvious, but sometimes our brains need to be “convinced” we’re only doing a small amount of work to get things going.

But here’s something cool about this tactic: You can (and most likely will) keep going past your stupid easy benchmark. You don’t have to, but my experience tells me once you get going like this, it’s easy to go beyond your bare minimum goal.

4. Empty Your Mind With Journaling

Sometimes, there’s too much stuff floating around in your brain that is making your mind wander. In that case, it can help to spill everything in your head onto a journal to free up some space. You can use a pen and pad for this or something digital like Evernote.

There are two basic ways to go about it:

  1. Freestyle – where you just write whatever randomly flows through your brain without thinking or pausing. This is great if you’ve got a million different ideas racing through your brain.
  2. Focused – where you create prompts or an outline to streamline your thinking and you just respond to the questions or format. This is best when you want to grasp a certain topic.

5. Use the “Just 5 Minutes” Method

Try telling yourself that you’ll work for “just 5 minutes” and then you can stop. You’ll find that the task feels far easier to handle. And like the “stupid easy” method, this tricks your brain into thinking the task is lower effort than it really is. After all, 5 minutes for even the worst task is psychologically manageable for any person out there.

The key is to honestly allow yourself to stop at 5 minutes—no matter what. That’s what allows your brain to accept the method as legit and also lets it overcome the mental hurdle that makes your brain want to wander around and focus on anything but your task.

6. Recite a Focus Mantra

I like to think of mantras as a totem you can take with you anywhere you go. They serve the same purpose—reminding you to stay focused—but can be done anywhere and anytime.

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I find the most powerful type of mantra to be based on reality. I learned this approach from Dr. Jon Fader—a performance coach who was on “Good Morning America”—and his book Life as Sport: What Top Athletes Can Teach You about How to Win in Life. He calls this “objective optimism.”

Basically, you create a mantra that’s based on personal success in your life. That way, the mantra isn’t just a fluffy positivity statement, there’s also the weight of real-life success giving it power

Some examples:

  • If you’re struggling to make yourself go to the gym but have technically been there many times already, you could say, “just another day of heading to the gym—easy.”
  • If you’re suffering from impostor-syndrome after accepting a promotion, just say, “I’m here for a reason” to remind yourself that your efforts were recognized by others and are the real deal.
  • If you’re nervous about an upcoming sports competition but have trained diligently for it, you could say, “I’ve done all the work possible” to remind yourself that your earlier efforts have created the best version of you for the event.

As you can see, the most powerful mantras are evidence-based and positive. So, just find proof of relevant success in your life and transform it into a motivating mantra.

7. Use the “Multi-Yawn” Approach

One of the best ways to be distracted is to be tired. And sometimes, you’ll be tired in such a way that you’re “sort of” working but not realize that you’re actually constantly distracted.

If you can notice when you do this, one thing I like to do is crank out as many big, satisfying yawns as possible. Olympic athletes sometimes do this before their big events. It calms them down and helps them perform better in the process. And it works just as well for us regular folks. I find it has a similar effect to taking a good nap (and actually works best in unison), so you can imagine how effective this can be.

8. Find an Easy Win

Nothing feels good like winning. So, it can help to find a few simple tasks you can do with little effort and just get them done immediately. This will create momentum and propel your productivity forward. The feeling of success will lock your focus in on the task at hand and refocus your wandering mind. Use this when you feel “resistance” to getting your work started.

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9. Create a “Wins” List

Feeling like a capable person who can win at life is motivating in and of itself. In light of this fact, it can help to have an ongoing “wins” list to prove you’re an able person.

Just keep track of all your daily wins—big and small. And whenever your focus starts to wane, give that list a peek and remind yourself that you’re more capable than you realize.

10. Add Stakes to the Mix

If you were to lose $20 if you failed to complete a task, would you be more focused on completing it? Of course!

Try and find ways to put something on the line when it comes to completing your tasks, and you’ll find your focus, motivation, and ability to things done to be higher than ever before.

For example, if you’re at work, you could involve a co-worker by saying you’ll buy their food if you don’t complete a task before lunchtime rolls around. At home, you could say you’ll also mow the lawn if you don’t remember to wash the dishes before the day is over. Or you could just use something like Beeminder or TaskRatchet, which actually charges you cash for failing to complete a task or goal on time. (It’s scary but effective)

All are viable methods, so just give one of them a shot.

Who Else Wants More Success?

Of the many methods of winning at life out there, focusing is definitely a top-three contender. You can’t get anything you want in life if you don’t buckle down and get your work done—a wandering mind won’t create success.

But with these 10 focus tips, you’ll be ahead of the competition and be closer to a fitter body, higher income, and a flat-out better life than before.

More Tips on Sharpening Your Focus

Featured photo credit: Clay Banks via unsplash.com

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