Do you ever ask yourself how some people seem to get more accomplished in 24 hours then you do? Ever wonder why some people have more free time to do the things they enjoy?
Well if that is you, I have three strategies to help you become more productive and feel accomplished! Believe it or not, it is just a few small tweaks!
Man I hate going to the DMV.
I have to share a personal experience, recently I had to make a trip to the DMV. As I sat there for 45 minutes playing on my phone, I asked myself what did people do at the DMV before cell phones?
In a generation where technology and cell phones have become a double edged sword I realized it is actually really simple to be extremely productive during down time. We all have 168 hours in a week. We don’t manage time, you got 24 hours, so does everyone else.
We manage priorities. As blue screens & social media feeds consume more and more time I think it is important to discuss how to become productive with the limited time we all have. My goal was never to be busy – I want to be productive with my time.
Are you busy, or productive?
Want to learn a new language?
Want to take an online class?
Want to finally finish a book you started reading?
Want to start a blog? Read more here if you do 🙂
Here are 3 tweaks that can really help!
1. Manage time in traffic.
I can not speak for everyone around the country but I know the average commute in the DC area is 32 minutes driving, 49 if you use public transportation… one way. So if you plan on spending 5.5 hours a week in a car 8+ hours on a bus/train, why not be productive? Here are some simple suggestions:
1.Listen – Listen to podcasts or audios – whatever suits your fancy. I go with financial podcasts, TED Talks, success audios, and John Maxwell Leadership. The way I look at it, that is 250 hours a year (the average American works 50 weeks) that I can take unproductive traffic time and turn it into mindset, growth, and education time. Imagine if you had a negative co-worker (who doesn’t) and they listened to a PMA audio daily.
2. Schedule appointments – Use Bluetooth and schedule all your appointments. Take the time to plan events. Setup things you need to get done. Whatever it is, do not take valuable time and do things like setting up doctor or dentist appointments.
3. Pay Bills – This pertains more to the public transit people, but paying bills sucks. You should have them on auto pay because you have a budget. See budget recommendation post. But if you are old school and like to pay them manually do it while you’re sitting on a train.
4. Respond to Emails – Depending on your commute and the scope of the email, set time aside to respond to email during your commute if possible.
5. Organize your calendar – You can use Bluetooth if your driving, or your phone calendar if your driving.
6. Call – Call someone you haven’t talked to in sometime and say hello.
2. Incorporate reading during your down time.
- The average person is estimated to spend more than 200 days on the toilet if they live to be 70. I am not trying to be gross here, but that is roughly 3 days a year, or 12 minutes a day. If you replaced doing nothing, social media, or if you’re like me the Guinness Book of World Records, with lets say an E-Book or book, you could read a 300 page book a month. 12 books a year. That is a lot of reading and learning.
- Waiting – if you are waiting at the DMV, tire shop, or in a long line read on your phone. There are tons of app between iBooks and Kindle to use.
- Read my blog. No I am just kidding. But you can or some others that are out there!
Blogs I read:
3. Set limits for yourself.
What should you set limits for? Here is just a few to start with:
- Working out – if you can’t do it in 30-45 minutes you might be doing something wrong. I ran .75 miles, did 36 pull ups, and 62 1.5 pood kettle-bell swings yesterday in 8:13 and was spent.
- Social Media – enough said, consider tracking how much time you spend during a day, you might be surprised.
- Cooking – meal prep and have a plan instead, check out how to save here.
- Surfing the internet – this had become a subconscious habit of mine to click on sports websites every day I sat down on a computer. So I set a limit. I have no clue what is happening in the world right now and over the course of about the last three months.
- Email – this was me. I would check my email every time I got one. Have designated times at work to check email. (Side note: When applicable, I teach new teachers at school to never check over the weekends or at night. The last thing you want is an email that sets you over the edge and ruins your entire weekend, when you really can not do anything about it until Monday anyways.)
My Take: Set limits, manager priorities, and take care of important things first! You will be much happier and feel more accomplished.
Q: What have you done to be more productive ? Comment below.