I am a Millennial. I eat avocado. I read Shantaram whilst on my Gap Year. I drink coffee like it is a life-giving elixir.
My phone is almost always with me. You get the picture.
Living my best Millennial Life encompasses trying to fit as much as possible into my day, I am sure that there are other people who can share this sentiment. It is not so much about living for the moment, but how many moments can I pack into my time that will be beneficial or effective and help me get to where I want to be? Time is my most powerful currency, not just because ‘time is money’ but because it really is the only thing that I have control over. The message of this blog is how I’ve learnt to protect, save and maximise my time, and how you can apply 3 simple things (with a couple of sub-tasks) to your daily work life straight away that will allow you to start saving time and pack your days with good stuff that will ultimately be valuable to you in ways money cannot buy.
Three simple things
“Prioritise and time block”
If you struggle to get going in the morning, never make your most important task of the day the first thing you do. Start with something easy, you could even use your commute in to flick through your emails so that once you arrive at your workplace, you can address the first task of the day straight off. Once you have geared up your mind to focus, get cracking on what you consider to be the priority task of the day. If you don’t know which priority to start with, take a few moments to block out your time so you can address each portion of the day with renewed vim. This is where Audacity is great, allowing you to pool all your tasks on to a one-page view, but with the ability to swiftly move tasks into time buckets.
Taking a few minutes to organise your day will save time floundering or deciding what to do next, as a wise person once said: “Prior preparation prevents poor performance”.
“Turn off and zone in”
For the phone and internet loving Millennials and Generation Z, it is so easy to allow yourself to be distracted by every notification that pops, slides, or pings to your attention.There is indisputable evidence to show that your brain can only concentrate on two complex tasks at one time, and once interrupted it takes, on average, 23 minutes to get back into focus. Do yourself a favour and when there is something that simply must get done, turn off and zone in. You’ll start to get more done in less time.
“Set yourself deadlines – and stick to them”
When trying to save time, we want to take the path of least resistance. It is a natural human instinct, how many times have you found yourself putting things off, but what do you do when “tomorrow never comes” (queue you singing that a la Ronan Keating)? Tomorrow will never come, well it will, but your task without a deadline will just roll on for eternity. That is not satisfying, but marking something as complete is, in fact, our brain releases dopamine each time we do. Satisfy your dopamine hungry grey matter with some achievable deadlines, and feel that rush when you get tick happy. The completed task sound in Audacity is what dreams are made of.
It isn’t easy to break old habits (enter shameless plug for the next ‘Three Simple Things’ blog). With a little persistence, you will find doing these 3 simple habits creates not only a neurotransmitted sense of self-gratification but start saving time and the minutes in your day will turn into useful hours. It isn’t magic, and it is no secret but if I was going to recommend a cheat I would tell you to download Audacity and let yourself be guided to a time rich life!