You have hopefully made some good changes to your life by now and have started taking some time back for you or your family. This week we are working on further life optimizations. Make a list of EVERYTHING you normally do down to half-hour increments. Do this by month or by week depending on how regular (or irregular) your schedule is during the month. Place a checkmark next to necessary things you NEED to do, place and ‘X’ next to things that either: don’t really positively add value to your life and things that you can perhaps offload to someone else to do (work stuff) – even pay them to do it if the time saved is worth it. Just don’t fill that newly found time with other ‘busy stuff’. Make sure the new time goes to your family or improving yourself.
If you are reading the 80/20 book, this is in-line with the premise that 80 percent of what we do does not really add positively to our lives. It’s the 20% that contributes to 80% of our success, wealth and happiness.
One of the most powerful ideas I have implemented is to create a checklist of only 2-4 items that NEED to be done per day. No more than four though! These items are the 20% of the things you do that create 80% of your income or gets the most important things done everyday. Hopefully you can fill the other 50-80% of the things you do everyday with things that enrich your life. Do these things without ANY distractions. Just knock them out one right after the other and don’t leave your seat until done with all of them.
Frequently we wait until the last deadline moment to accomplish the really important things or projects. We drag it out over days or weeks where once done, they actually only took several hours of focused worked but in the meantime ate up hours and hours of time being distracted away from the real work. Remember book reports?
Try to eliminate another 5 hours per week or 20 hours per month of ‘unnecessary’ work from this list. This sounds like a lot but only ends up being 5% of our time awake during a month. Some examples are:
1 - Unnecessary driving – don’t go to the store if you just need one item! This is a waste of time and gas. Plan ahead and try to do all of your shopping at once to take advantage of efficiencies.
2 - This is a great principle to use if you are self-employed or work from home. Many times we create unnecessary work that really doesn’t contribute to our happiness, wealth or the immediate job.
--> OPTIONAL READING: The 4 Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.
3 – Do you pay your bills everytime they come in? Can you pay them all at once or twice per month only?
*Find more example like this. When listing all the areas you spend your time, look for the same things that you do multiple times per week or month that you can perhaps reduce the frequency of doing them.