Advertising
Advertising

Saving 2 Hours Per Work Day is Easy!

Saving 2 Hours Per Work Day is Easy!

Some people talk about the notion that they don’t have enough time. They talk and talk and talk… but they don’t take any action and change what they’ve got. They hope their circumstances change so they can benefit more from what they do.

saving-2-hours-per-day

    Smart people take charge. They change their lives by doing things differently. They understand that the only change they can count on is the change they create. For those people, this is the article that can make them save 2 hours per work day. Of course everybody else is invited to read along as well. Just make sure you don’t just read. You have to read, implement, and benefit. Reading alone won’t make you save time.

    This Is The Basis Of 2 Hours Saved Per Day

    Since you have time to save and not time to waste, I won’t go into all the tiny details. I know you are a professional, highly educated person who can think for yourself. So here are the 4 rules you can use to start saving time.

    1. Know what you want and do everything possible at any moment to get there.
    2. Make a clear plan and start working consciously.
    3. Learn smart working techniques (more on that later).
    4. Analyze your working day and remove all that is not helping you (outsource, eliminate, etc.).

    That’s basically it. When you do that, there is no way you cannot save time when working.

    Advertising

    Smart Working Techniques

    Plan Your Time

    One of the most important things you can do is learn to plan your time ahead. I’m not just talking about the current day or week, but also this month and probably even this year! Many people let others dictate their schedule. This could be co-workers, your boss, customers, etc. Find out your own productive times and do what you do best during those hours.

    Interruptions

    Make sure you don’t just outline your day with the things you can plan, also schedule time for interruptions. That’s right, you must schedule your interruptions: all of the people who have questions, those who want to chat with you and just try to put their problems on your plate. You need to schedule this into your planning.

    You could say that from 12:00 until 12:30 everybody can ask questions on whatever they want. Outside these hours, people should not do any kind of small talk. I know this may sound harsh and cold, but think about it… what is your biggest goal at work?

    Are you paid to get results or be a person who talks with others about nothing all day? Small talk is great, but not all day. And of course, you can make it 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon, or 4 times for 30 minutes, whatever you want. Just schedule this so you can get things done!

    Educate People

    One reason why you will get more done using the ‘schedule interruptions’ method is because you educate people that you want to work during your non-interruption moments. Of course, the way you deliver that message also has a big impact on the way people look at you. :) Educate people with clarity and a good heart; be firm and let them know why you do this.

    You also educate people by the way you work with them. You can schedule interruptions and still have this fail. Why? Because if you start to make small talk with everybody else during your normal working time then you will not set a good example.

    Advertising

    Be the change, live the change, and change will occur! If you can’t change, how can you expect other people to change for you?

    Meetings

    One of my rules about meetings is this: I don’t take part if it is not really, really necessary for me to be there.

    Even if my presence is needed, I make sure that I influence or change the agenda in such a way that my sections are at the beginning. I enter the meeting when it starts. I leave when the meeting has discussed my points.

    Also, when a meeting is really unstructured and seems to go nowhere, I tell people I have to leave. My time is really valuable and I don’t want to waste it. Doing what I do best has more impact than sitting with a group of people who are sitting there to kill time.

    Does this work? You bet! Do I get to see strange faces when I leave? In the beginning, people thought this was strange. When I explained to them why I do this, they usually understand.

    Email

    Oh boy… the big one. The one thing that most people start at the beginning of the day and close when they go home is their email client.

    Advertising

    When you need distractions, and you have lots of time, you must keep your email client open. If not, close it. Don’t open it until the end of the morning. Process all your emails and close the tool again. Then, at the end of the day, you open up the email tool and process your emails again.

    When this is working out for you, only go through your emails once a day. Just imagine, before you had a look at each email coming in — all the time you were losing, a minute reading that email and responding to it (another 1 to 2 minutes). That means 2 to 3 minutes per email.

    Just say you receive 40 emails each day (that few??? Yes, because this is an example). 40 emails mean 40 distractions and 80 to 120 minutes of email time.

    Now you do this only once and you see immediately that things are solved via email by others, things are no longer relevant, etc. You can email back faster because you see all of them. Perhaps you include a couple of people in one response. You can easily save 60 minutes alone on your email time!

    Reading Materials

    Yes… you can save time when reading. You probably heard about speed reading techniques.

    Now don’t go wild and imagine that you need to read with 1000 or perhaps 2000 words per minute to make a real difference.

    Advertising

    Imagine you read 2 hours each day. When you double your reading speed, you save one hour each day. Simple stuff, yet you are able to save lots of time. And that is done by just doubling your reading speed! The beauty is that you can do that easily in a couple of short sessions. Then, from that moment on, you can read twice as fast as you did before.

    The Result

    What do you think will happen when you start applying these ideas? Do you think 2 hours per work day is a lot or just the beginning? I am sure that the moment you do what you learned here, you will be on your way to wonderful working days again.

    You will be home on time, have lots of free time, accomplish more, and have less stress. The biggest pitfall is this: you look at what you just read and think “I know this stuff and it works,” but you don’t actually use it on a consistent basis. When you don’t use this every day and you just think about the article… you just wasted a couple of minutes of your own time.

    Sorry to be this direct, but you know in your heart this is the truth.

    Action Points

    People who want more time take one of the items above and use it for at least a week. People who want to change their lives, have a lot more free time, accomplish a lot more in the time they have… they start using all of this right now! These are the people who will benefit the most.

    Action point: use what you read

    Action point: if you don’t use what you read, stop talking about the fact that you don’t have enough time. You now have a way to do and be more in the time you have each day.

    Action point: Make a list of things you want to accomplish with the 2+ hours you get each working day from now on. You need this :)

    More by this author

    If You Can Stay Calm Even in Hard Times, You Will Be Successful Take Control Back Over Your Smartphone 5 Lessons From Successful People: Simple Changes Create Amazing Results How to Teach Your Children Mind-Mapping Saving 2 Hours Per Work Day is Easy!

    Trending in Productivity

    1 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits 2 How Your Attitude Determines Your Success 3 How to Ask for Help When You Need It Most 4 How Much Do You Need to Give Up to Start Over? 5 Is It Really Better to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on March 21, 2019

    11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

    11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

    Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

    You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

    But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

    To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

    It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

    “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

    The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

    In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

    Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

    1. Start Small

    The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

    Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

    Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

    Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

    Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

    Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

    It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

    Do less today to do more in a year.

    2. Stay Small

    There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

    Advertising

    But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

    If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

    When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

    I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

    Why?

    Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

    The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

    Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

    3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

    No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

    There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

    What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

    Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

    This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

    This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

    4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

    When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

    There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

    Peter Drucker said,

    “What you track is what you do.”

    So track it to do it — it really helps.

    But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

    5. Measure Once, Do Twice

    Peter Drucker also said,

    “What you measure is what you improve.”

    So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

    For reading, it’s 20 pages.
    For writing, it’s 500 words.
    For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
    For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

    Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

    6. All Days Make a Difference

    Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

    Will two? They won’t.

    Will three? They won’t.

    Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

    What happened? Which one made you fit?

    The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

    No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

    7. They Are Never Fully Automated

    Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

    But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

    What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

    It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

    Advertising

    The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

    It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

    It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

    8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

    Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

    Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

    When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

    The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

    Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

    9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

    The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

    Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

    You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

    But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

    So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

    If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

    This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

    The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

    Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

    10. Punish Yourself

    Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

    Advertising

    I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

    It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

    You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

    No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

    The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

    But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

    11. Reward Yourself

    When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

    Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

    The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

    After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

    If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

    Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

    If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

    In the End, It Matters

    What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

    When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

    And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

    “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

    Keep going.

    Advertising

    More Resources to Help You Build Habits

    Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
    [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
    [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
    [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

    Read Next