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Last Updated on August 17, 2021

The Truth About the Value of Time in Life

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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 for our free mini series Hacking Procrastination. This 4-day mini series 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.

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Featured photo credit: Rodion Kutsaev via unsplash.com

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 9, 2021

The Ultimate List of Deep Focus Music for Productive Work

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The Ultimate List of Deep Focus Music for Productive Work

Everyone has their favorite habits for boosting productivity. Your desk setup, morning routine, and diet all play a role. But there’s one thing that everyone agrees can make a difference: focus music.

Soothing beats can keep distractions at bay, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re trying to drown out mowers or simply get into a groove, put on a pair of headphones. Music can make all the difference in your focus.

With that said, not all music is equally conducive to productivity. You need to be careful about what you listen to. Getting work done calls for very different sounds than getting a workout in.

If you need a little more help to get rid of distractions, check out Lifehack’s free guide End Distraction And Find Your Focus. In this guide you’ll learn the simple techniques to stay focused and boost productivity. Grab your free guide here.

This article will walk you through selecting the best music for productivity, as well as a list of tunes to help you get started.

How to Pick the Best Focus Music For Yourself

With so many genres and artists out there, there’s a lot of music to choose from. Before you press play, keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. Stick With Instrumental

Songs without words in them make it easier to focus. Lyrics can distract you from what you’re trying to accomplish because you might get the words mixed up with what you’re trying to read. If you’re writing something, you might find yourself typing the lyrics instead.

Intelligence and instrumental music are correlated, perhaps because instrumental music is less intrusive.[1] Instrumental music tends to fade into the background, giving you a rhythm without pulling your mind away from the task at hand.

Stay away from instrumental versions of songs you recognize. It’s easy to fill in the blanks with the lyrics if you’ve already committed them to memory.

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However, some exceptions can be made. Creatives who produce videos or audio might prefer tracks that get their creative juices going, lyrics and all. However, if you find lyrics to be distracting, switch back to instrumental tunes.

2. Take It Easy

Not all instrumental music is calm and relaxing. Focus music should be, however. So, beware of instrumental songs that are too loud and stimulating. High volumes and tempos can work you up when you need to stay calm.

Again, some roles can make exceptions. Physical laborers can use more rambunctious tunes to keep them energized. While calm tunes work best for those in desk-based roles, don’t go too extreme. Something that’s too soothing might make you feel tired, and yawning all day isn’t exactly the path to productivity.

3. Pick Music You Enjoy

At the end of the day, the best focus music is what you enjoy. If you hate classical music, don’t put together a classical playlist just because you stumbled on a study about its benefits.[2] Your dislike of the music will take away the productivity you’d otherwise get out of listening to it.

Don’t be afraid to try something new. If you’ve never worked while listening to jazz before, why not? Save songs you like for later listening. Over time, you’ll build a playlist of tried-and-true focus music.

4. Update Your Setup

Before jamming out to your productivity tunes, make sure you have the right equipment. Invest in a music streaming service so you don’t have to listen to ads. Purchase noise-canceling headphones to avoid distracting your co-workers.

Focus music is all about ambience. Anything that interrupts your flow—whether that’s poor sound quality or glitchy streaming—needs to go.

Expect to spend at least $100 on headphones or speakers. For the streaming service itself, Spotify Premium is the standard at $9.99 per month. Slacker, Apple Music, and YouTube Music are also popular.

Building Your Perfect Playlist of Focus Music (With Recommendations)

Now that you know what to look for in focus music and how to listen, it’s time to build your playlist. Get started with these smooth, instrumental genres, artists, and songs.

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1. Chillhop Music

This YouTube channel has almost 3 million subscribers. Its music videos run 24/7 and feature driving yet relaxing beats.

Most songs on this channel fall into a category called “lofi hip hop,” a type of electronic R&B. Unlike traditional hip hop, lofi hip hop songs follow a slow, steady pattern that induces focus and relaxation.

Chillhop playlists can also be streamed on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Bandcamp. Popular artists include nymano, No Signal, and Sleepy Fish.

2. Andy McKee

Andy McKee is an acoustic guitarist who became famous after “Drifting,” one of his early songs, went viral on YouTube. “Drifting” exemplifies the creative, quiet guitar techniques found in the rest of McKee’s music.

Today, McKee has six albums of primarily acoustic guitar. One of McKee’s most popular pieces, “Rylynn,” is a perfect example of his soothing yet upbeat sound.

3. John Butler Trio

The band John Butler Trio became popular after releasing “Ocean,” a 2012 hit with more than 50 million listens on YouTube.[3] Heavy on acoustic guitar, “Ocean” is an intricate ballad that ebbs and flows like the ocean itself.

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Known for flowing changes in key and mood, the John Butler Trio proves that fast songs can stand in as great focus music. The group’s long songs—“Ocean” is 12 minutes long—are less disruptive for long projects. Two other favorites by John Butler Trio are “Betterman” and “Spring to Come.”

4. Classical Radio on Pandora

Classical music has long been a staple for music lovers looking to get work done. Pandora’s classical station features a great mix, from Beethoven to modern artists like Maria Callas and Jorge Bolet.

Pandora has radio stations for every genre imaginable. You can generate playlists based on genre, artist, or even a specific song.

Other music apps offer similar playlists and radio stations you can turn to for your classical music fix. From piano-heavy tunes to violin concertos, you’ll find plenty to perk up your ears.

5. Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack

Movie soundtracks are full of amazing focus music. One of my favorites is the Pirates of the Caribbean series, which is lively and adventurous but not in your face.

If you like what you hear, Hans Zimmer, the mastermind behind the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack, has worked on a huge array of films. Zimmer also put together the soundtracks for The Dark Knight, Interstellar, and Inception.

One thing to watch out for with cinematic music is associations. As iconic as the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack is, if you’re thinking about Jack Sparrow instead of balancing spreadsheets, you should probably switch to a new song.

6. Legend of Zelda Soundtrack

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Another hotspot for instrumental music is video games. If you’re not sure where to start, check out selections from The Legend of Zelda.

Anyone who’s played The Legend of Zelda games will immediately recognize what they hear. The soundtrack is light, airy, and full of awe. Keyboards, harps, and flutes feature prominently.

Although you could spend hours listening to The Legend of Zelda music, don’t forget about fan-produced songs in this genre. The video-gaming community is robust, and instrumental re-creations of your favorite games’ soundtracks can be found all over the internet.

7. Nature Sounds and White Noise

This genre may be too relaxing for some, but others prefer less structured focus music. Sounds like thunder, wind, and rushing water can transport you to a quiet, idyllic place to get work done.

One type of white noise to avoid is city-related sounds. Even without lyrics, honking horns or chattering crowds can be distracting.

An advantage of this type of focus music is that it can be set on a loop. If you find a track you like, go ahead and put it on repeat. When it starts over, you won’t even notice.

Ready, Set, Play

The best part about focus music is that nothing is off-limits. Some people work better listening to Tom Petty tunes than instrumental music, and that’s okay. What’s important is that it’s motivating without being distracting.

To unlock your next tier of productivity, spend a couple of hours clicking around on your favorite streaming music site. You’ll get more done, and best of all, you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

More Tips to Improve Your Focus

Featured photo credit: Lala Azizli via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] New York Post: Smarter people listen to instrumental music: study
[2] Forbes: Does Classical Music Help Our Productivity?
[3] YouTube: Ocean – John Butler – 2012 Studio Version

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