November 19, 2020
By: Dr. Abeer Elgamal
Time and energy are the most precious commodities in man’s life. Without both, you cannot be what you want to be, do what you want to do and have what you want to have. The big question is how can I make the best use of these priceless resources which can be easily misused or wasted?
There are only two ways: to create and follow a clear plan of action for each day and increase your energy levels so that you can accomplish in an hour what used to take you a day.
Time and energy saving quick tips
1. Use the Ivy Lee Method to plan your night
Ivy Lee was a productivity consultant back in the early 1920’s who was known among the rich as an icon in this field. He was invited by Mr. Charles Schwab (the richest man in the world at that time) to consult his executives and help them improve their time management to increase their productivity.
Ivy was so confident of himself that he told Charles to pay him only “What he thought his advice was worth” and then sat down with each of the executives. He told them to do only one thing. Every night, they were to make a list of the SIX (no more, no less) biggest priorities for the next day and then clearly schedule them out on a sheet of paper.
That was it.
But guess what?
Three months later, Mr. Lee received a check from Charles for the equivalent of $400,000!
His advice was that effective.
Why don’t you give this method a try; I have done it and it proved right. If you want to make better use of your time, you need to limit and clearly schedule your biggest priorities for every day. Write down the biggest things that you need to accomplish and schedule them each day. I promise, it will revolutionize your time management. By doing this before you sleep, you are enlisting the huge powers of your subconscious mind to help you set the stage for the work to be done the next day.
2. Create locational anchors
Your brain works through the power of association. If you habitually do a certain task in a certain place, your brain will begin to associate the physical and psychological states you are in with that specific location.
For example, when you lay in bed, you typically feel relaxed and sleepy even if you have only been awake for a few hours. When you go to the gym, you immediately get a burst of energy even if you were tired before.
Use this to your advantage and create specific location based anchors for important tasks. Make it a ritual to help your brain get into a productive state. A well-organized work place will definitely add to your productivity. If you have multiple different tasks to accomplish, assign a different location for each one. Test it out and I promise you will find yourself being far more productive throughout the day.
3. Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night
You cannot sustain high levels of productivity when you are sleep deprived. It is scientifically proven that getting at least 8–9 hours of sleep a night, can transform your energy levels and your time management and productivity overnight.
4. Use a Timer
Every time you sit down to work, write down the ONE task you are committed to accomplishing in the next 50 minutes. Then, set a timer for 50 minutes and work with a single minded focus on that task. When the timer goes off, get up, stretch, and take a 10 minute break. Come back to your desk refreshed and repeat this tactic until the day is over.
5. Outsource low-level tasks
If you think having a personal shopper, and a housekeeper is only for the very wealthy, think again. Even though these services cost an arm and a leg on the long run, the amount of time and money that they can save is incalculable.
Think about it this way.
If your time is worth, say $100/hour and you can pay someone to clean your house for only $20, is it worth it for you to spend your time cleaning your house?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! You haven’t saved $20, you’ve lost $80.
Identify low level tasks that are currently eating away at your time and pay someone else to do them immediately. I know this sounds scary, but if you use your new found time effectively, their services will pay for themself in less than a week.
6. Do your most important tasks during peak mental energy hours
Think about it. You have 24 hours in a day. But how many of those hours are you physically capable of sustaining productivity?
A significant body of research has concluded that most people’s mental energy levels peak around 2–3 hours after they wake up. Therefore, you should schedule ALL of your most difficult tasks during your peak hours to get more done faster and make far better use of your time.
7. Say “no” more often
The most effective way to get more done is, quite simply, to commit to fewer things. The #1 reason that people are stressed out is because they do too much. Learn to prioritize yourself and say “No” to the bad and even the good so that you have time for the great.
Have loads of positive energy and a great time doing your tasks.
Dr. Abeer Elgamal is associate professor of English Literature and Head of the department of foreign Languages, Faculty of Education, Mansoura University. She has studied and taught for over twenty-five years in various universities in Egypt, USA and the gulf and she takes great pride in her academic career and her role as an educator. She considers herself lucky since her career allows her to follow her passion for creative writing, reading and translating literature. She is a published author and translator. She believes her family is the main source of her inspiration and is immensely grateful for the love and support it offers.
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