Life & work
In a busy world, where the schedule swells with the sheer volume of duties, and we do not know what to do first to make it on time, it is worth learning the rules of effective time management. Laura Vanderkam's collection of tips in the book "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast" can help. As stated by the author:
"If you live to be eighty, that’s only 240 weekends when the maples are blazing scarlet – and you likely don’t remember at least a tenth of those.”
According to Vanderkam, you can start saving time just a few moments after the unpleasant sound of the alarm clock.. It is best to begin by planning some nice activity or a treat you will give yourself with the first rays of the sun, or during the day – it will make getting up much more enjoyable. What’s more, you can also consider streamlining your morning bathroom routine by using fewer nonessential grooming or beauty products before work.
If you manage to shorten the amount of time spent in the bathroom by even a quarter of an hour a day, you will gain over an hour a week. If you use it for sleep and rest, it will also translate into how you look and feel.
Remember that nervousness when your bus leaves in ten minutes and you are still looking for a phone or keys? By always putting them back in the same place, you will avoid this type of situation and add more moments to your life. However, if you commute by car, consider traveling with your partner or colleagues. You will combine business with pleasure. Not only will you get to know each other better, you will also reduce travel costs in some cases.
Sometimes it's hard to keep working for 8 hours – especially when you are out of coffee. Meanwhile in Japan, napping is part of the job because the Japanese do not sleep very long at night. According to The Guardian, losses to the economy caused by insomnia are estimated at 138 billion dollars annually. Therefore, if you only have such an opportunity, take a half-hour nap to improve not only your own but also the entire company’s, or even your country’s economic efficiency.
Find out how much time you spend on your daily activities.
Thanks to this, it will be easier for you to divide your day into blocks of tasks, and therefore to plan. If you have two meetings planned after each other, try to make the break between them not too long, and just enough to move between the meetings. In case such an operation is impossible, think about whether you can give yourself a moment of joy during this time.
Sort your priorities. Carry out the most important tasks when you are at your peak performance.
Although it may seem provocative, the author of the book points to the need to reflect on ... the practice of cleaning the place of residence. Yes – washing can wait another day, and you can gain a few hours of valuable time. If you consider your activities as a long-term investment, think about reducing your involvement in things that can be automated (like paying bills) or simplified (online rather than in-store shopping), in favor of educating and training yourself in the skills for which you have predisposition. This should translate into better earnings over time, and as you know, time = money.
Get out of the house.
The University of California conducted a study showing that couples spend less than 15 minutes a week in home gardens. Why pay for unused property? If you are going out to meet someone, make sure the appointment is scheduled for an exact time. This will always save the exchange of hundreds of e-mails or messages.
Even if you are very tired, try not to cancel plans that give you a lot of joy. It may surprise you how much energy you will regain by realizing them. Try to go to bed with the feeling of a well-realized plan of the day. If you're having trouble with this, consider setting an alarm clock to remind you that it's time to calm down. Just don't forget to set a bright spot for your day so that you will be eager to hear the alarm clock… go off in the morning!
The text is based on advice from the book "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast" by Laura Vanderkam, Helion Publishing House. For the purposes of the book, the author interviewed a wide variety of successful people: executives, artists, and freelancers, and did extensive research on time management. The book will tell you how to change your bad habits, will amuse you and make you think.