Earning Time, Part 2: Getting Clear on How You Use it

Welcome back! If you’re reading this, I’m hoping you’ve already read the first part of “Earning time” and are ready to move forward. If not, please go back and read the first article.

You may have already heard of the 80 / 20 rule from other sources, but just in case, I will explain it here as well. Applied to time management, it means 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. It also means you’re probably using 80% of your time on some pretty useless things.

You probably already know what those things are, but you won’t do anything about them until you bring to the forefront of your mind, until you think about them consciously. So, what unproductive, distracting, and/or damaging activities do you engage in? Take a deep breath. Actually do it. Now, think consciously of the time-consuming things you could do without.

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Done? You can think about them after reading this article too, but it’s important you take 5 minutes out of your time to do it. The returns are worth it.

Next, let’s see what those 20% of your actions that bring massive results look like. Among the myriad of things you do each day, there’s bound to be a few habits which positively impact multiple areas of your life. Example of such habits are:

  • Sleeping 7-9 hours per day;
  • Eating healthy or having at least one healthy meal per day;
  • Exercise;
  • Reading;
  • Spending time with your loved ones;
  • Getting up and getting to work early in the day;

For example, spending time with loved ones will deepen your bond with them. It will release chemicals in your brain, making you happy, relieving stress, fighting addictions, and making you more motivated. So, what are the most positive habits you engage in daily? When are you most proud of yourself?

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Did you make a mental list, or better yet, did you write everything down on a piece of paper or in a word document?

It’s quite paradoxical that in order to save time, we must spend it on lists and on quietly meditating on stuff. I too used to get frustrated about it. After weeks of procrastination and wasting time on Youtube, a thought, a friend, or even a large breath of fresh air would finally snap me out of it.

In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to catch up on all the lost work, I wanted to fix the past few weeks by working nonstop till I dropped.

Did you ever get tired of wasting time and finally decide to change things? Did you, like me, fall back into your old habits pretty soon afterwards? Motivation is not sustainable, but quietly meditating on important stuff is.

Next time, I will give you a simple ritual, which if you add to your schedule and repeat at least once a day, will focus up your mind and increase your productivity tenfold. But for it to work, you must get clear on what activities you need to do more of and on what activities you need to discard. If you haven’t already, take those 5 minutes and think about your daily rituals. This alone will make you a bit more responsible in how you use your time.

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