Today, we are going to learn about 10 genius habits that will save you time. Now, let’s begin
- Optimizing Intervals
Most people have a surprising amount of free time during the day. After a long workday it may feel like you worked for eight hours straight, but your day is actually peppered with short intervals of unoccupied time. Ranging from 5 to 30 minutes in length, these short intervals are often wasted on social media, games, and other distractions.
You can’t remember all the free time you wasted. Why? Because you spent those precious minutes with your brain off. But there’s a better way to use your free time.
Instead of reaching for your phone, spend each 5-10, or 15-minute interval doing small chores, like taking out the trash or organizing your space. Spend these short intervals wisely, and you can save yourself hours of time.
- The Worry Timer
Anxiety can steal huge chunks of your day. When you’re anxious, it’s almost impossible to be productive or efficient. So, what genius habits can you use to escape the anxiety in your life? Like many habits on this list, spending a little time can save a lot of time down the road.
In this case, a short, five-minute period can spare you from hours of unproductive anxiety. For five minutes, set your work aside and concentrate 100% of your attention on your anxiety. Open the flood gates and let your worries, fears, and doubts come pouring out. After five-minutes, you may discover a huge change in your state of mind.
By releasing all these negative thoughts, you’re clearing the muck and fog from your brain, freeing up mental space for new information. In other words, directly addressing your worries is the best way to move past them.
To make the most of this habit, set a timer for five minutes. Then, grab a piece of paper, and write down everything terrible that’s on your mind. When the timer goes off, crumple up that sheet of paper and throw it in the garbage. Not only does it feel incredibly satisfying, but throwing your worries away reminds you of something important: no matter how scary something seems, you have the power to conquer your fears.
- Efficient Automation
Many people use to-do lists to stay organized and productive throughout the day. Ten years ago, a to-do list was a simple bulleted list, handwritten on a piece of paper. But nowadays, digital list-making opens up new possibilities for productivity and efficiency.
There are dozens of these applications designed to help you you’re your life in order. They vary in size, specialty, and complexity, but when used correctly, these applications can save you hours of time every week. The key is automation.
Instead of writing a new list every morning or night, take advantage of the shortcuts your application provides. For example, if you perform the same task at the same time every day, what’s the point of writing down that task over and over again? Instead, automate a repeating task to appear at the same time each day. In other words, let your technology do the heavy lifting.
Find applications that streamline your workflow, keep track of your responsibilities, and help you organize your priorities. Not every application works for everyone, but with the right setup, you can manage your life like a well-oiled machine.
- Response Blocks
Every day, your inbox is flooded with messages. Coworkers asking your questions. Family members making holiday plans. Every five minutes, some notification ruins your concentration and steals you away from your work.
If you want to save time during the workday, eliminate notifications, by setting aside specific blocks of time, dedicated to your emails and messages. In other words, reserve all responses, outside of emergencies, for this one block of time. You might think, “what if someone really needs me?” But the truth is… most messages are less important than you think.
99% of the time, your messages and emails can wait until later in the day. In fact, creating response blocks can make you a more reliable communicator. Creating a response block gives people a specific time when they can get a hold of you. You may discover friends, family, and coworkers are willing to hold their questions until you’re available.
So, don’t let notifications steal any more of your productivity. Spend your work hours more efficiently by reserving all messages and emails for a single block of time.
- Tricky Timing
Are you notoriously late? If you’re always the last one anywhere, this genius habit will help you consistently stay ahead of schedule. Let’s talk about the reason most people show up late. 9 times out of 10, people overestimate how much time they actually have. If you have to drive downtown for an event, you assume it only takes 15 minutes to get from your house to the city.
But what about parking? What about walking from your car to the event? And what happens if you get lost along the way? People who are notoriously late rarely leave room for error. But there’s an easy way to create the extra time you need. Every time you schedule an event or set an alarm, add 10 extra minutes. It doesn’t matter where you’re going or what you’re doing. You need 10 minutes longer than you think you do. If you have a meeting at 3:00, write down 2:50 on your schedule. That way, you always have breathing room, no matter how many things go wrong.
- Forgetting Perfection
Perfectionism is another popular source of wasted time. Think about how long you spend obsessing over the tiny details of an email, a proposal, or a presentation. The longer you spend worrying about tiny changes, the less time you invest into the things that matter, like big picture ideas and long-term goals.
In other words, the small stuff isn’t nearly as important as you think. If you want to save time, limit yourself to one edit. One read-through. After you’ve put your ideas on paper, look at it one time and make all the edits you can. Eliminate careless mistakes. Rectify inaccurate information. Then stop.
Any changes you make from after the first edit are not going to affect the outcome of your work. So, put your work away and tell yourself, “It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough.” More often than not, good enough is really all you need.
- Track Your Time
Do you know how much time you waste every day? Do you know which distractors are stealing hours and hours of your time? If you want to save time, grab your phone or computer, and download a time tracker, which measures how you spend your time each day.
Let your time tracker collect data for at least one week. Then, look back at how you spent your time. You may discover you aren’t wasting time in the ways you thought. Once you have a clear picture of your biggest distractors, you can design specific solutions to save you hours and hours of time.
- A Lean Schedule
Is your calendar overloaded with tasks that interfere with your productivity? Many people write down every single thing on their schedules and calendars. You write down all the books you want to read, every place you want to visit, and the people you want to call.
This creates clutter in your schedule, which ultimately distracts you from your most important tasks. If you want to save yourself time, and increase your productivity, keep your schedule lean and clean.
Instead of looking at your schedule and feeling overwhelmed, your schedule should motivate you to keep working. That’s the power of a simple, strategic schedule. When you only have a handful of things to accomplish, you’re less likely to procrastinate and more likely to achieve.
- Conscious Distractions
Watching TV is one of the most dangerous distractors. You can spend hours every day watching TV shows and binging new series without realizing how much time you’re wasting. Now, it’s not entirely your fault.
Entertainment is designed to be entertaining, but there are habits you can use to stop TV from taking over your life. Don’t worry, you don’t need to cut TV out of your life completely. But you do need to limit the amount of time you are watching TV each day. As a general rule, your goal is to cut your TV time in half.
If you’re currently watching 3 of television every day, 90 minutes is your limit. No matter what, you are not allowed to watch more than 90 minutes of TV. You may be thinking, “how is a time limit going to control my habits?” But it’s not about controlling your habits. It’s about paying attention to the time you’re wasting.
By setting a time limit, you may find yourself waiting until later in the day to watch TV. You may accrue extra time from day to day, so that you can watch something special at the end of the week. Ultimately, you don’t need to eliminate TV from your life. As long as you’re conscious of how you use your time, you’re much more likely to use it wisely.
- Instinctual Decisions
Indecisiveness can be a surprising waste of time. Each time you panic about making the right decision, you waste hours or even days on something that should have taken 30 minutes or less. Luckily, there’s a habit you can use to expedite your decision-making and develop a more decisive mindset.
The habit is simple. Each time a decision falls into your lap, spend 15 to 30 minutes outlining possible choices. Once those 30 minutes are up, no matter how many good or bad ideas you came up with, choose the best option for you and move on. This genius habit takes advantage of your natural instincts.
Most of the time, we make the right decisions in the first few minutes, but we spend so much time overthinking that we lose track of what we want. By limiting your thinking time to 30 minutes, you can make quick, confident decisions without wasting hours of your precious time.