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How to be the Jedi Master of Your Own Time

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How to be the Jedi Master of Your Own Time

Your time is limited. This is a basic fact we all know, but why are there some people in the world who manage to get their things done quickly and efficiently?  What are the secrets  that enables them to manage their time better? The following answer by Oliver Emberton found in quora teaches you how to master Jedi time tricks.

The secret to time management is simple: Jedi time tricks

Imagine you were a Jedi master called Bob (your parents, whilst skilled in the ways of the force weren’t the best at choosing names). The love of your life – Princess Lucia – is trapped in a burning building as you hurry to save her.

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    You might think of Lucia as the embodiment of your dreams, your aspirations – she is your most important thing.

    Unfortunately, before you can reach her an army of stormtroopers open fire. The incoming stream of lasers demand your attention – if you fail to dodge them, you’re dead. You might think of them as an urgent distraction from saving your princess.

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      We all know how a hero resolves this dilemma. If he takes his eye off the ultimate goal – his princess – then all his other efforts are for nought. He can engage an army of stormtroopers, cutting them down with graceful ease, but their numbers are limitless, and whilst momentarily satisfying they only distract him. Delayed too long, his princess will die.

      And so it is with your life. You have things that are most important and things that are most urgent in permanent competition:

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      manage your time like a pro

        The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency. Humans are pre-wired to focus on things which demand an immediate response, like alerts on their phones – and to postpone things which are most important, like going to the gym. You need to reverse that, which goes against your brain and most of human society.

        Look at what you spend your day doing. Most of it, I’ll warrant, is not anything you chose – it’s what is being asked of you. Here’s how we fix that, young padawan:

        • Say no. Most of us follow an implicit social contract: when someone asks you to do something you almost always say yes. It may feel very noble, but don’t forget there’s a dying princess you need to save, and you just agreed to slow yourself down because you were asked nicely. You may need to sacrifice some social comfort to save a life (as a bonus, people tend to instinctively respect those who can say no).
        • Unplug the TV. I haven’t had a TV signal for 7 years, which has given me about 12,376 hours more than the average American who indulges in 34 hours a week. I do watch some shows – usually one hour a day whilst eating dinner – but only ones I’ve chosen and bought. You can do a lot with 12,000 hours, and still keep up with Mad Men.
        • Kill notifications. Modern technology has evolved to exploit our urgency addiction: email, Facebook, Twitter, Quora and more will fight to distract you constantly. Fortunately, this is easily fixed: turn off all your notifications.Choose to check these things when you have time to be distracted – say, during a lunch break – and work through them together, saving time.

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        say good bye to smartphone
          • Schedule your priorities. Humans are such funny critters. If you have a friend to meet, you’ll arrange to see them at a set time. But if you have something that matters to you more than anything – say writing a book, or going to the gym – you won’t schedule it. You’ll just ‘get round to it’. Treat your highest priorities like flights you have to catch: give them a set time in advance and say no to anything that would stop you making your flight.
          • First things first. What is the single most important (not urgent) thing you could possibly be doing? Do some of that today. Remember there’s a limitless number of distracting stormtroopers – don’t fool yourself by thinking “if I just do this thing first then I can”. Jedi don’t live by excuses.
          • Less volume, more time. There’s always millions of things you could be doing. The trick is to pick no more than 1 – 3 a day, and relentlessly pursue those. Your brain won’t like this limit. Other people won’t like this limit. Do it anyway. Focusing your all on one task at a time is infinitely more efficient than multi-tasking and gives you time to excel at your work.
          • Ignore. It’s rude, unprofessional and often utterly necessary. There are people you won’t find time to reply to. There are requests you will allow yourself to forget. You can be slow to do things like tidy up, pay bills or open mail. The world won’t fall apart. The payoff isyou get done what matters.

          One final lesson from the Jedi: they’re heroes.

          Heroes inspire us for many reasons: they make tough decisions, they keep going and they get done what matters. But there’s another reason we love our heroes. Inside us all, we know we have the power to become one ourselves.

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          Last Updated on October 21, 2021

          How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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          How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

          Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

          Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

          The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

          Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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          Program Your Own Algorithms

          Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

          Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

          By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

          How to Form a Ritual

          I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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          Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

          1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
          2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
          3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
          4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

          Ways to Use a Ritual

          Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

          1. Waking Up

          Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

          2. Web Usage

          How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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          3. Reading

          How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

          4. Friendliness

          Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

          5. Working

          One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

          6. Going to the gym

          If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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          7. Exercise

          Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

          8. Sleeping

          Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

          8. Weekly Reviews

          The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

          Final Thoughts

          We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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          More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

           

          Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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