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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 :)

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    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

    The Neurology of Ownership

    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

    More About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

    Reference

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