How to Win Back More Time: Hacks You Should Know
1. Stop Investing Time Doing Long Workouts at the Gym.
Yes, you read that right. To become more productive in less time you should eliminate your hour-long workouts at the gym. Instead, aim to start exercising every morning for just twenty minutes or less.
A scientific study discovered that just 10 minutes of exercise a day markedly improved the health of a sedentary group of people over the age of 50. After 24 weeks of daily 10-minute jogging sessions, all groups experienced reduced cholesterol, fasting blood glucose levels, and high-density lipoproteins, which are indicators of better heart health and lower risk of diabetes.
In fact, the study compared those doing just 10 minutes of jogging to those doing between 30 and 60 minutes of jogging three to five times a week.
The results of the research concluded that the daily 10 minutes of exercise were as good as going for long runs 3-5 times a week!
Do you get your blood circulating every morning at the same time?
Moving your body at the same time every morning will drastically reduce the willpower you require to get in your exercise.
In between sixteen and forty days, you will create a habit that moves your body and mind to take action without you needing to motivate yourself to do it.
What kind of exercise should you do first thing in the morning?
Engaging in any kind of movement each morning is going to increase the circulation of blood through your body and to your brain. It will release stress and tension from the body and mind, stimulate your digestion, and elevate your well-being.
My personal recommendation is to start your day with 10 to 20 minutes of yoga, but hey, I’m a yoga instructor who has had a daily morning yoga practice for the past twenty-two years. I am passionate about yoga.
Additionally, yoga is perfect to add to your morning routine effortlessly because it is something that you can do at home in your pajamas.
Each person’s constitution, fitness, and personality differs so there is not a one-size-fits-all best solution for exercise. Instead, focus on doing an exercise program that:
1. You enjoy! This is the critical element.
2. Gets your heart rate up, but not racing.
3. Improves strength, flexibility, balance, and lung capacity.
4. You can do at home or somewhere you can quickly get to each morning.
Options include yoga, tai chi, qi gong, or a program that combines strength training and stretching with cardio work such as biking, running, swimming, and walking.
You will be more productive the entire rest of your day when you commit to doing at least 10 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning. Just a few minutes daily adds up to massive returns in terms of heart health, fitness, and how good you feel in your body all day long.
Additionally, just 10 minutes of exercise in the morning can even boost your brain functioning, which primes you to work smarter.
How to be More Productive with Less Time HACK: Start Moving Your Body at the Same Time Every Morning for 10-20 Minutes.
2. Start a Morning Routine Leveraging Habit Stacking
Have you consciously designed your morning?
Some of the most successful, joyful, and healthiest people in the world have sat down, put pen to paper, and designed an ideal morning routine for themselves.
In the first half hour to two hours, you can schedule time to invest in your health, spirituality, well-being, knowledge, skills, pleasure, and dreams.
While I may believe I have the best morning routine, someone else, like the Dali Lama may have a completely different morning ritual that works for his unique personality, life situation, and goals.
First, start with what emotions you want to experience more of in your life.
What do you want to feel more often?
Care-free? Inspired? Blissful? Excited? Serene? Playful? Strong? Balanced? Healthy? Connected? Contributing? Relaxed? Exhilaration? Pride? Confidence? The list goes on…
Step 1. Start by naming 3-5 emotions you want to feel more of in your life.
Step 2. Brainstorm what activities, goals, or dreams can flood you with more of your desired emotional states.
For example, if you would like to walk around in your daily life feeling more connected, serene, strong, flexible, and blissful. Then investing time in the morning into a daily yoga session, followed by meditation and some time for spiritual reading while drinking a favorite hot beverage would be the answer.
Or, if you would like to feel more exhilaration, pride, confident, and carefree, then a new morning ritual could be training for a marathon, followed by qi gong to stretch and relax, and some time studying for a new skill acquisition via an online course.
Step 3. Believe it’s possible.
Now, you may be thinking that you don’t have enough time in the morning to add in 5 minutes of meditation, let alone training for a marathon.
Believe my friend. Start small.
Start with just 10 minutes of each new habit you want to add to your morning. Begin with just two to three habits that you stack one on top of the other.
Always do the activities in the same order and you will build a groove in your mind and your body will switch from one action to the next without large doses of effort. Not only will you save your willpower energy, you will save time because you won’t need to decide what to do next.
It’s amazing how just a short amount of time can accrue over time into massive results.
Imagine you want to feel healthier, stronger, fitter, and more self-confident. You decide to add fitness into your morning routine, followed by some time for journaling and meditation. Just 20 minutes of slow strength training, three times a week, will add massive amounts of change to the strength of your body. On alternate days 15 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of walking improve your flexibility, and heart health, and boost your well-being. Starting your day with 5 minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of journaling allows you to access your inner voice and get insight into what you think, value, feel, and believe, which boosts your self-confidence.
Let’s say you want to feel more inspiration, creativity, flow, and contribution so you want to write a book or a blog. So you aim to start writing. Just 10 minutes of writing a day only adds up to an hour by the end of the week. But by the end of ten months, you’ll have spent over 43 hours writing! That would be like taking a full week off of work to write the entire day. Except you will have BETTER results writing 10 minutes a day over writing 8 hours a day for a full work week because:
· You will improve over time,
· You will be giving your unconscious mind time to deliver inspiration creativity, and
· You will get faster at writing.
Over the course of ten months you will have the opportunity to read books and articles on the art of writing, perhaps take a writing course, and edit your work. As you do chores, exercise, and sleep your unconscious mind can filter, process, and deliver inspired ideas. Last of all, just setting a timer for 10 minutes and aiming to write a specific number of words a day will improve how fast you can write.
3. Give Every Item in Your Environment a ‘Home’ if you LOVE it, or TRASH it Now.
I’m not just referring to physical objects. All digital files, programs, connections, and activities also need a ‘home’ if you either LOVE it, or need it for work or functional reasons.
I’m talking about those apps on your phone you don’t love, the hundreds of digital photos you have that don’t elicit joy when you look at them, and the documents and downloads that you haven’t filed on your hard drive.
Take time once a day or once a week, before leaving work for the day, to sort through and organize or delete all electronic files, emails, apps, and bookmarks on your computer.
Physical objects in your workplace and in your home should elicit joy. Lighten up your life and win back more freedom by reducing the number of objects that weigh you down. After purging your spaces of all that no longer serves or delights you, give each object a home.
4. Clean or Organize for 5 minutes Twice a Day
You may work in an office, be a caregiver, a doctor, or a homemaker. Your life quality and productivity will be higher if you live and work in organized and clean environments.
Do not wait for dirt and clutter to accumulate into a massive chore. Instead, take action twice a day for 5 minutes to create a clean and clear space for yourself and those around you.
Turn this action into a habit by doing it at the same time every day.
For instance, invest 5 minutes into cleaning files on your laptop and desk right before your coffee or lunch break, and clean and clear your desk of everything before leaving work for the day. Take things one step further and keep yourself healthy by wiping your keyboard, mobile phone, and desk with a disinfectant wipe.
At home, you can do the same thing, but perhaps increase the time from 5 minutes to 10 if you are a caregiver or homemaker.
Every day, at the same time, such as right after breakfast, invest 10 minutes into cleaning the kitchen and returning articles to their ‘homes’ or to the trash. Give another ten minutes before showering into doing a quick vacuum and disinfecting and wiping down the bathrooms.
You will be amazed at how much easier it is to keep a clean, organized, feel-good environment with little input of energy and attention. You will save not only time, but will also work, relax, and enjoy life more in high-energy, clean, beautiful spaces.
5. Read More Books by Reading Faster
Investing time into learning to read faster can increase the number of books you can read in a year, which can improve your skills, knowledge, and personal transformation and evolution.
You may be reading slowly due to information overload, sleep deprivation, or failing to focus.
The first step to reading more books is to acquire a hard copy version and sit in a room free of electronics. Preferably you will sit outside. This will cut off the temptation to switch to reading a different book on your Kindle, phone, or computer. It will also reduce the temptation to check emails, and social media, or cruise the internet.
Once you sit down with your book, set a mental intention for how many minutes you want to read and how many pages you want to read in that space of time.
Read faster by using your finger to flow under the words as you read and eliminate the, perhaps unconscious, habit of ‘reading aloud’ in your head. Read the words as fast as you can without losing comprehension of the material.
Once you have finished a book, place it in a pile. At the end of the month return to the pile of books and take time to skim the contents of each book you finished reading in the past month.
Most people forget up to 80% of what they have learned by the next day. Returning to the material will allow you to refresh and retain another slice of the information in the book.
1. Magutah, K., Meiring, R., Patel, N. B., & Thairu, K. (2018). Effect of short and long moderate-intensity exercises in modifying cardiometabolic markers in sedentary Kenyans aged 50 years and above. BMJ open sport & exercise medicine, 4(1), e000316. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjsem-2017-000316