Monday, May 22, 2017

Productivity Cheats

Productivity Cheats

There are only 24 hours in each day, and until someone starts selling time turners on Amazon, that’s all we’re going to get. The good news is that 24 hours translate into 1,440 minutes in each day. And a lot of yours are going to waste.

From time soaking in the shower, to waiting for the toast to pop, to commuting to work, chances are you actually have quite a few unused minutes strewn throughout your day. If you could sweep up all those scattered minutes into one big pile, you’d have a chunk of change you could do something with!

While Amazon may not be selling time turners (yet), there are some handy dandy ways to use those minutes that are just lying about, waiting for you to claim them.

1.     Bluetooth headsets. This marvelous invention allows you to set the phone down (or stick it in your back pocket—just watch out for accidental toilet splashes!) and get things done while you make those important calls. Plan the family get-together with your sister while working out. Decide on your next corporate move while biking through the mountains. The possibilities are endless!

2.     Audiobooks. Similar to (and often in conjunction with) Bluetooth headsets, audiobooks allow you to get through your reading list while getting through your life. Have you been wishing you had time to read the classics, find out what wisdom the bestselling guru is sharing, or catch up with the book club reading? Audiobooks allow you to “read” while soaking in the shower, picking out your clothes, and making your toast. I love the Audible app, since you can get books for no more than $14 each (and often much less) and most libraries have audiobooks you can check out for free!

Toilet Time. Ahem. Yes. We’re talking about all those minutes you spend on the throne. What do you do with them? I mean, other than the obvious. Are you simply… flushing them away? I recommend grabbing your phone (out of your back pocket before you de-robe and accidentally drop it in the toilet) and using this time to check email, catch up on Facebook, and respond to text messages. I know you’re probably already doing this, but since the average person spends 42 minutes per week on the toilet (pregnant women much more), it’s worth deciding what to do with all that time. The one thing I cannot recommend using this time for is phone calls. J

4.     Driving Time.  Americans spend an average of 1,466 minutes each month driving. That’s more than an entire day! Did you realize you have an entire day each month that is, in many ways, available? At least for some things. NOT FOR TEXTING. But consider the audiobooks I mentioned above, not to mention audio language classes (want to learn Spanish? Arabic?), news broadcasts, classical music, audio magazine subscriptions… the list goes on and on. An entire day each month to spend on any audio source you choose.

5.     Lists. I know. This is so old school. But you’ll be surprised how grabbing a sheet of paper (really old school) and writing down the things you’d like to accomplish today can help you find and use those scattered minutes. When you finish one project and realize you have 15 minutes before your next meeting, grab your list and look for something on it that you can knock out in the time you have! I don’t know why paper is more effective than phone apps, but I swear it really is. 

What are your favorite productivity boosters? I’m compiling ideas for future posts and a possible book and would love your input! Please comment!  

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