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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 May 3, 2021

What Is Decision Fatigue And How To Combat It

What Is Decision Fatigue And How To Combat It

How often have you had the experience of needing to make tough decisions that pull you in different directions? You go round and round in circles and, in the end, you either flip a coin or make a snap decision because you’re just too tired to think anymore. Or maybe, you simply put off reaching a decision indefinitely, which is sometimes easier than making a tough call.

Can you relate to this currently? If so, then you’re likely suffering from decision fatigue. Poor decisions are made not because of incapability but because arriving at one or more choices takes its toll—to the extent that it severely weakens our mental energy.

Now that we know what decision fatigue is, let’s explore the primary ways to combat it to enable a stronger mental state coupled with better decision-making.

1. Identify and Make the Most Important Decisions First

If you have a busy personal or work life where many tricky decisions are on the table every day, this can easily and quickly become overwhelming. In this instance, create mental space by initially laying out all situations and challenges requiring a decision. Use a basic software tool or write them down on paper—a notepad file or word document is sufficient.

Once you have your complete list, carefully pick out the most important items needing a conclusion sooner rather than later. Be mindful of the fact that you can’t treat everything as urgent or requiring immediate attention. There have to be some things that are more important than others!

Prioritize and Declare the Appropriate Options

Equipped with your most pressing items awaiting decisions, add another layer of scrutiny by prioritizing them even further. The result should allow you to identify, in order, your most urgent and important tasks without any conflicting priorities.

The last part of this exercise is to highlight all of the options to consider for your most important decision and work through them one by one. With the visual representation of options and most critical decisions out the way first, you’ll be able to think more clearly and prevent decision fatigue from subtly kicking in.

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2. Implement Daily Routines to Automate Less Important Decisions

“Shall I have a healthy lunch today?” “Should I wake up earlier tomorrow?” “What time should I prepare dinner tonight?”

As trivial as these questions appear to be, each one still requires a decision. Stack them on top of other straightforward everyday questions in addition to more significant ones, and things can start to add up unpleasantly.

Small or less important decisions can eat away at your time and productivity. When many other decisions need to be made in parallel, it can lead to decision fatigue. However, there’s a method to avoid this. It involves streamlining aspects of your life by automating repetitive decisions, and this drives the ability to make better decisions overall.[1]

It’s Your Routine—Control It to Create Time for Other Activities

Instead of having to decide multiple times per week if you should have a healthy lunch, create a daily routine sufficiently ahead of time by dictating what healthy food you’ll eat for lunch every day. In doing so, you’re putting that particular decision on autopilot. Your predefined routine commits you to a decision immediately and without hesitation.

Invest time into highlighting all of the trivial and recurring situations requiring decisions daily, then implement a collective routine that relieves the need for you to give them much thought (if any thought at all).

3. Put a Time Limit on Every Decision

Making complex or big decisions increases the risk of draining your energy. This is especially true if you struggle with the fear of making the wrong decision. The doubt and worry bouncing around inside continuously are enough for the majority of people to become fed up and exhausted.

To make good decisions, you need to be in the right position to act. A tactic to deploy is to essentially force yourself to act by setting a time limit on your decision-making process. What might seem a little daunting—given that it can create a sense of added pressure—actually provides clarity on when you need to conclude since you can see the end in sight.

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Grow in Confidence by Reducing Hesitation

After making the decision, it’s time to move on. You’ll feel good and build self-confidence knowing that you didn’t linger on the choices available.

Only consider revisiting a previous decision if something unexpected occurs that impacts it. If that’s the case, then follow the same process by ensuring you make the revised decision before a new deadline.

4. Seek Input From Other People—Don’t Decide Alone

There’s a time and place to make decisions alone, but sometimes, it’s appropriate to involve others. If there’s any degree of struggle in reaching a verdict, then seeking opinions from people in your network can lessen the mental burden of indecisiveness.

Do you feel comfortable seeking input from other people to help make decisions? Trust and feeling secure in your relationships are crucial to answer “yes” to this question.

Explore the Thoughts of Others and Gain a Different Perspective

An insecure business leader likely won’t trust their team(s) to help them make decisions. On the other hand, an assured and secure business leader realizes they don’t “know it all.” Instead of going solo on all work-related decisions, they install trust among their team and get the support required to arrive at the best possible decisions.

The ability to make a great decision can depend on the information related to it that’s at your disposal. When faced with a difficult choice, don’t be afraid to lean on the relevant people for help. They can offer valid alternatives that are otherwise easy to overlook or hold the key to you making a well-informed decision.

5. Simplify and Lower the Number of Available Options

You’re standing in the store, facing an aisle of more than 20 varieties of peanut butter. You have no idea which one to choose, and although there are subtle differences, they all look fairly similar. No doubt you’ve been in this situation at least once in the past (maybe with a substitute for peanut butter!).

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This is a classic example of having too many choices—an event that makes you prone to decide to do nothing or waste time by continually pondering on which product to buy.

According to the psychological concept known as choice overload, simply having too many options can be disruptive and overburdening, causing decision fatigue.[2] Using the example above, you might make the easiest choice of avoiding any further thought, which often results in the purchase of the wrong item.

Extract Meaningful Information and Evaluate Options With a Binary Outcome

To simplify and lower your range of options, leverage the information available and extract what’s most important for you to make a decision. Is it the price? The protein content? Whether it has sustainable packaging or a combination of multiple details?

Keep a tight lid on having too many important components. Prioritize if necessary, and implement a binary outcome (of “yes” or “no” / “true” or “false”) to help arrive at decisions earlier, such as defining a limited price range that the product must fall within.

6. Eliminate Unnecessary Distractions

Arguably, attention is the currency of the modern world. The ability to concentrate better than the next person can mean the difference between a successful student, a thriving business, a happy parent, and a great decision-maker.

So, how can you improve your attention span to make better choices and avoid decision fatigue? There are many strategies, and one of the most optimal ways is to eliminate distractions. Today, the easiest distractions are a result of technology and the devices running it—all of which are at your fingertips 24/7.

Create Extended Periods of Time to Increase Focus

These distractions might be small or large, but the broader issue is the frequency of them, and they repeatedly cause a break in your focus. Dealing with this while trying to make the right decision can be mentally debilitating.

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Technology distractions commonly relate to email, instant messages, push notifications from mobile apps, and scrolling through social media feeds. Access to all of these technologies and tools must be limited to scheduled time blocks (ideally, using a calendar if it’s during a working day).

Switch off notifications entirely to all of the above to prevent distractions (where possible) when it’s not time to look at them. This enables you to think more deeply and focus for prolonged periods of time, ultimately boosting the chances of making good decisions.

Final Thoughts

Decision fatigue is a real phenomenon that can deplete energy levels and increase stress. It can affect anyone who has to make decisions, whether they are minor or major ones.

Overcoming decision fatigue needs patience and dedication. By applying the best practices discussed in this article, you’ll be on the path to implement valuable changes. These changes will increase your productivity, as well as drastically improve your consistency and ability to make the right choices.

More About Decision Fatigue

Featured photo credit: Jake Melara via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] FlexRule: Decision Automation
[2] Behavioral Economics: Choice Overload

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