December 3rd, 2010
Total Distance for today: 0 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 553 miles
LOCATION: Raleigh, NC
STATUS: Closing on some speaking engagements in the area!
More from Less: Rescue your Time
The whole purpose of “rescuing your time” is to free it up, not just for more work, but for more life. It should be your goal to minimize unpleasant tasks, maximize results, and maximize the experiences that make your life and the lives of those around you great. Sound good? Read on…
I’ve made multiple posts about the importance of focusing on high impact tasks and activities that move you closer to your goals. I’ve also talked a little bit about the importance of shortening the amount of time allotted for tasks to ensure that you focus on what’s important (see best post about that here). Additionally, I highlighted the fact that you cannot possibly hope to stay focused unless you create some form of flexible schedule to keep you coming back to the most important tasks. That post can be read here.
Even with all of those great tools, it is easy to get off track and start wasting your time. For me, wasting time looks like this:
1. Checking emails obsessively, because I don’t know what to do next or don’t want to do what I need to.
2. Getting overly side-tracked by tasks that either should wait or don’t need to be done at all.
3. Inventing ways to stay “busy” instead of actually accomplishing the tasks that will help me achieve the goals I set before myself
4. Inventing work instead of living life
To be honest, just 1 hour of highly focused and efficient work per day should be enough to produce better results than most of us achieve in a full 8 hour day. We spend so much time in transition and distraction (read about that here), that we never actually get to most of the simple things we needed to achieve.
My Prescription to rescue your time:
1. Limit the number of tasks you perform to those that actually produce results
2. Shorten the time allotted for tasks to ensure that you stay focused on what’s important
3. Follow a flexible schedule that includes a short planning period each day, to ensure that you know what you need to do and do it.
Also, checkout Rescue Time. Its a web-based service that monitors your computer activity and sends you weekly reports about your overall efficiency relative to other users. It also provides a ton of other useful data about your computer usage. It has helped me considerably since I started using it, and I’ve actually seen measurable improvements in my efficiency.