Finding More Time for the Things You Love

The topic for today is productivity.

There are actually several techniques that can help you get more done in less time, so you can spend more of your time doing the things you WANT to do.

Now, before we dive into the advanced techniques, let’s make sure the basics are covered first.

As you have probably already experienced, whenever you increase your self-esteem, self-sufficiency, confidence, and motivation, your productivity naturally goes up as well.

When you feel good about yourself, are confident that you’ll get the results you want, and are motivated to work towards success, you just simply get more done in less time.

You get more of what you want, spend less time doing it, and have a lot more freedom to enjoy life on your own terms.

In fact, when you have all these elements in place, being productive is actually FUN!

Of course, as mentioned above, this is just the beginning.

To maximize your productivity, you need systems.

The thing is, there is a VAST difference between being busy and getting things done. You could work 24/7 and not get as much done as you would with a highly-organized system that keeps you doing the RIGHT things at the RIGHT times.

It’s kind of like the guy driving down the highway at high speed in unfamiliar territory without a map.

He may be covering a lot of ground, but the odds of him arriving at his intended destination anytime soon are slim.

In the previous article on motivation, we talked about the importance of having detailed plans to keep you focused on what you’re doing. Not only does this help you stay motivated, it also helps you be more productive.

Today, I want to take this idea further.

One of the best examples of what I’m talking about is the fast-food chain McDonald’s.

McDonald’s is built on SYSTEMS.

There’s a system for restocking inventory, a system for preparing the food, a system for cooking it, a system for delivering it, and a system for keeping the place clean.

It’s the only way you can run a successful business with high-school dropouts who don’t want to do any real work.

Ask any successful mom who raised several kids while holding down a job how she did it and she’ll tell you about the systems she used to get things done.

When you have a system for doing a thing, you don’t have to waste any time figuring out HOW you want to do it each time. You just follow the system and get it done — quick!

Back in the 80’s when the Rubik Cube was popular, those who could solve it in record speed were the ones who had systems for moving the little squares around.

A few years ago, Tim Ferriss demonstrated the value of systems in his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek.”

Okay, hopefully you’re convinced that you need to implement as many systems as possible to help you get more done in less time, so you can reach your goals faster and spend the rest of your time enjoying life.

Now, how do you do that?

First, it’s important to realize that setting up a workable system will take some time, but it’s time well spent.

Depending on the complexity of the system, it may take anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks to create a workable system.

Obviously, you don’t want to spend any more time creating a system than what it will save you in the long run.

However, it’s also important to realize how much time can be saved over time. Here are some interesting facts:

The average person who spends 3 hours a day, 7 days a week watching TV will spend 5,479 hours there over 5 years.

(A full-time job takes just 2,000 hours a year if you get 2 weeks of vacation.)

If you sleep 8 hours a day, you’ll spend 58,440 hours in bed over a 20-year span. Cut just 1 hour a night, and you gain 7,305 hours for other activities. (Cut a mere 15 minutes and you gain 1,826 hours.)

If you invest 1 hour a day, 5 days a week to your goal, you have 260 hours a year to invest.

This is the equivalent of 6.5 weeks on a full-time job.

If it takes you 5 minutes to do a task that you repeat 50 times a day, shaving just 20 seconds off this time means you gain over 69 HOURS a year. (An extra week of vacation?)

So how much time should you invest in shaving 20 seconds off a 5-minute task? Depends on how often you do that task, doesn’t it?

You have to look at the long term, and evaluate what it’s worth to create your various systems.

If you expect to do it just a handful of time, don’t bother.

However, if it’s like the last example above, you could waste 60 hours perfecting the system, and your investment will “pay” for itself in less than one year.

To your Unlimited Success!