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How to Organize Your Life to Get More Free Time

Most people feel as if there is too much to do every day and not enough time to do it. But, how does that explain those people who are super-productive and seem to get so much more done than the average person? The way to explain it is that they’ve found what they want to do, and they do what they want to do, and nothing else.

  • Determine What’s Important – There are some things that really aren’t that important but you do them anyway. Maybe you talk on the phone to a relative every day for an hour but you really don’t want to and don’t have time to, but you don’t know how to stop it. Sit down and brainstorm what is important in your life and who is important in your life so that you can focus on those things.

 

  • Schedule Everything – Once you know what’s important, use a good calendar to schedule everything, including leisure time. It might not sound romantic, but scheduling in date night with your spouse and sticking to it will ensure that it happens, while spontaneity is usually impossible for most people. Ultimately, if something is important to do, it’s important to get it into your calendar. When you schedule things, be realistic about the time factor so you don’t overbook yourself.
  • Learn to Say No – You probably have a lot of people, family, friends, co-workers and bosses asking you to do all sorts of things that you really don’t want to do, don’t care about doing, and don’t really make a big difference in your life other than to suck time from your day. Realize that it’s OK to say no to things that just aren’t important to you. It’s okay if people think you’re a horrible person too. They’ll get used to it and find someone else to sucker into doing everything.
  • Start Your Own Business – There is a saying that only entrepreneurs quit a 40-hour-a-week job to work 80 and call it freedom. But, it doesn’t really have to be all that bad. Entrepreneurs often have a great work-life balance that you can’t have working for someone else. The trick is to pick a business that can eventually be handed off so that you only manage it, and other people do the work.
  • Turn Off the TV – It’s amazing what kind of time TV sucks from your life these days. Now that we have Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming technology, anything we want to watch is available on demand. This makes binge watching a real thing. Save binge watching TV for when you’re sick, the weather is bad, or it’s that time of the month. Try to limit your TV (show watching) time to less than one hour a day. Then only watch it if you can combine it with physical activity to help you stay healthy.
  • Get Off the Internet – A lot of people get online and call it “work” or “research”, but all they’re really doing is messing around. Reading Facebook for hours on end is not work or research; it’s a time sucker. While it’s fun, try to let go of doing it. Time yourself to find out how much time you’re wasting, then set a limit. Everyone deserves fun, and if this is fun for you, you should not give it up. Just limit it.
  • Automate What You Can – There are so many things these days that can be automated, with the right time and money. For example, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can get many things auto shipped to you, which will save you a trip to the grocery store. Look up “the internet of things” and you’ll be amazed at the type of automation that exists today. You can outsource a lot of things such as yard work, housework, and even cooking if you have the funds to do it. If you don’t like doing it, you can outsource it to someone else, giving yourself that added time to do what you do like doing.
  • Follow Your Body’s Rhythm – Many people are running around trying to beat the clock while running on fumes. They are doing that because their internal body clock is not set to run from morning to night like our society tries to run. It’s easier to do this if you have your own business, but try as much as you can to work and sleep when your body wants to do that instead of forcing it out of its natural rhythm. You’ll be more productive; thus, you’ll save more time.

Getting more free time in your life might seem difficult. You might think you’ll always be on that treadmill of working and sleeping without any breaks. But, if you schedule things better, find a better job that works with your needs, and focus on what’s important in your life, you can manage to find more free time in your life.

The Problem With Too Much Information

Information is everywhere. Louis Freeh once said that, “Collecting intelligence information is like drinking water out of a fire hydrant.” While you’re not likely collecting intelligence information, that’s what information overload is like: drinking water from a fire hydrant. Much of it will spill out and be missed. The same can be said about information overload.

  • Feeling Too Much Stress – One of the main symptoms of information overload is to feel stress. Some people say it feels like their brain is being so bombarded by information that as information goes in one side it’s coming out the other. This causes people to forget things, which makes the stress build.
  • Lack of Confidence – When there is so much contrary information available, it’s hard for people to choose the right course of action. For example, there are numerous reports that spanking is both bad for kids and good for kids. How do you know what information is right and what is wrong, and how do you proceed? The lack of confidence can cause people to not make any choices or feel bad about the choices they make.
  • Improper Information Filtering – When too much information is transmitted, the person receiving it often shuts off in a way. Normally the filtering process categorizes information as important or not important, but when there is too much there is often improper filtering called twigging. This essentially means that everything is general and all information is the same.
  • Not Knowing What’s Right or Wrong – When there is so much information with seemingly factual studies supporting them, it’s hard to know what’s right or wrong. For example, is a Paleo diet better or a vegan diet better for humans for weight loss and health? Which studies are right? Is there any way to know?
  • Feeling Confused about Common Knowledge – When you don’t know what information is real, what’s right and wrong, and you can’t see the details for the forest, it leads to confusion about things that people generally know to be true about the world.
  • Increasing the Fear of Change – When you can’t determine what the information you receive means, it can cause you to fear change because you don’t know if that change is good or bad. Since information overload leads to black and white thinking, this can increase the fear of change that most people have naturally.
  • – Sometimes information overload can make people feel as if they can multitask everything and do more than they can. But the truth is, as shown in study after study, humans aren’t designed for multitasking. If you don’t believe that, read this Forbes article about multitasking:

You can work toward controlling information overload. Limit your exposure to screens and try to focus on what you’re doing at the time you’re doing it. Avoid multitasking whenever you can if it’s important to absorb the information properly.

What is a Morning Ritual and Why Should You Create One?

You probably have several rituals in your life. You go to bed at the same time every night. You drive the same way to work each morning, take the same route home every evening, and unconsciously reach for the remote as you fall onto your sofa at the end of your workday. Perhaps your morning ritual is

1) turn off alarm clock

2) put on the coffee

3) hit the shower

4) start your day.

Regarding the word ritual, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as …

“noun – always done in a particular situation and in the same way each time ”

It is important to create a morning ritual because of the way your brain is hardwired. The human brain loves standard operating procedures and reliable routine. Those people who map out their lives with rituals and schedules tend to be healthier, they get more done, and enjoy less stress. You can do the same thing by creating your own morning ritual.

Upon rising, your brain is fresh, recharged and ready for input. When you begin each day with the exact same routine, your mind understands that this is the start of your day. When you simply approach each morning with a “whatever happens” attitude, you give your brain no signal that a particular, recurring response is required. This means that your daily performance can be all over the road.

Because of this, some mornings you are productive, some mornings you are not, and you can’t count on any reliable productivity or efficiency tackling your personal and work responsibilities. You can fight this inconsistency by having the first 1 or 2 hours of your day vary as little as possible. Do the same things, in the same order, and in the same amount of time, over and over, until these actions become unconscious habits.

The human brain craves order. It loves routine. If the first thing you do each and every morning is meditate for 10 minutes, your brain eventually understands what is coming next. If that activity, that part of your ritual, follows meditation with a morning shower and then dressing for the day, each of these habits stack upon each other for predictable results.

There is significant research which shows when you have a repeatable morning routine, you experience less stress throughout the day. Stress is a productivity and efficiency killer. It also creates mental and physical health concerns. Minimize distraction, create your own personal morning ritual, and you will find this simple, orderly routine can positively impact every aspect of your life.

11 Tips For Becoming A Morning Person

Introduction

Research shows that the early bird actually does catch the worm. Early risers are inclined to better grades in school, more productivity, faster career advancement, less stress, and a feeling of greater happiness than their late-waking counterparts. Unfortunately, studies also reveal that your late-sleeping or early-rising inclination may be genetically hardwired.

About 1 or 2 in 10 people are natural morning birds, or Larks. Night Owls comprise roughly 2 or 3 in 10. The rest are Hummingbirds, arising early sometimes, late on other days, flitting back and forth between Night Owl and Lark status.

If your sleeping habits are pre-destined because of your genes, is it possible to reset your biological clock? Sleep researchers have proven you can. To reap the many benefits of getting up early, follow these tips for a transformation from Hummingbird or Night Owl to morning Lark.

1 – Set a Waking Schedule… And Stick to It

Natural early risers get up at the same time every day, even on holidays or weekends. You should do the same. Your internal clock is just like a mechanical one. It can be programmed. You can’t

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change your natural sleeping and waking inclinations overnight, but you can do so over time. You may find yourself, from time to time, staying up late.

Regardless, don’t sleep in the next morning.

You have to aggressively set a waking schedule for early in the morning and stick to it. You may find this process difficult at first. Going to sleep earlier than usual could lead to sleepless nights of tossing and turning. If you find yourself tired in the mid afternoon, treat yourself to a 20 or 30-minute nap. Only do this as long as your nap-time does not leave you foggy and drowsy.

2 – End Your Sleep with Sunlight

Night owls and hummingbirds can become morning larks by sleeping with their blinds or curtains open. When you let daylight awaken you naturally, this gentle process can help slowly reset your biological clock. You should still set an alarm, timing your alarm to go off when the sun rises.

3 – Go Outdoors Early in the Morning

As soon as possible after waking up, go outside. Take your dental floss or cup of coffee outside to add part of your morning process to this new routine. Exposing yourself to daylight in the morning helps make you alert. You can trick yourself into getting up early by having someone set your clock ahead. Don’t watch them do it.

This way, you don’t know if your clock is 5, 10 or 15 minutes fast. This gives you a small and simple safety net that guarantees you are up early enough to enjoy a morning outdoors. If weather or some other reason keeps you from going outside upon rising, head for the sunniest window in your home. You can alternately buy daylight bulbs that effectively reproduce artificial sunlight.

4 – Kick the TV Out of Your Bedroom

You have to understand that your bedroom is for sleeping. This means removing your television, any electronics with LED displays, excess furniture, clothing and any other items that don’t promote a sleep-friendly environment. Don’t kid yourself, saying that you are only going to watch TV for “a few minutes” before bedtime. Just 10 or 15 minutes of watching television, texting on your smart phone or checking in on Facebook alerts your brain and all of your senses. This makes it very difficult to fall asleep.

5 – Read a Good Book Before Bedtime

Reading somehow lends itself to sleep-promotion, unlike watching television. So does listening to soothing music. However, you should limit the amount of time you spend on either one of those activities. If you decide to read or listen to calming music before you shut your eyes at night, do it for the same period of time every night.

You will notice that routine and repetition are mentioned throughout these tips. That is because your brain responds best to consistent and repetitive action when you are trying to break an old habit or adopt a new one.

6 – Prep for the Morning the Night Before

Night owls are usually rushing around in the morning because they hit the snooze button several times and are running late. You can help your early morning rising by making it relaxing and easy on your nerves. The night before, set out the clothes you’re going to wear the next day.

Pack your lunch if you take lunch to work. Prepare your kid’s lunch boxes, program your coffee maker to go off automatically in the morning, and do as much as you can for your morning routine the night before.

7 – Use Mood Lighting at Night

Only use dim lights at night in your bathroom. If you have to answer the call of nature in the middle of the night, a blast of bright lights can make it difficult to go back to bed. The same is true for your pre-bedtime rituals. Brushing your teeth or removing your makeup should be done with minimal lighting, and the lighting you use in your bedroom at night should also be soft and sleep-friendly.

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8 – Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

People who hate getting up in the morning tend to do it several times. That doesn’t make much sense, does it? A night owl is blasted awake by his morning alarm. He dreads the thought of getting up, so he hits the snooze button for 5 more minutes of rest. 5 minutes later, the alarm goes off again, and the whole feeling of hating to get up is repeated.

Morning people arise immediately upon hearing their alarm. You should do the same. You actually make yourself more tired and cranky by trying to catch several 5 or 10-minute snooze button naps before you decide to finally, begrudgingly get out of bed in the morning.

It will be difficult at first, but after a few weeks you will have programmed yourself to live without your snooze button. If this process means immediately enjoying a cup of caffeine-rich coffee in the morning so you can stay awake, that’s fine, but don’t overdo it with more than 1 cup.

9 – Use the “Inverted Snooze Button” Maneuver

Hey, it may be tough to give up hitting the old snooze button in the morning. If you just can’t help but slap mister snoozie in the morning when your alarm goes off, do this. Go ahead and hit the snooze button, but … get out of bed immediately.

This reverse snooze means mentally you are still not getting up and beginning your day. You are snoozing on your feet. Take this 5 or 7 or 10-minute period to make coffee, shuffle your feet and grumble, take a shower, whatever. Just don’t go back to bed, and definitely stay on your feet. When your alarm goes off again you should be awake enough to start your day.

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10 – Eat and Drink Right

Proper nutrition is required for all aspects of health. It is also important for getting to sleep early, sleeping restfully, and rising early. Don’t eat or drink too much within a few hours of bedtime. The key is to hit the bed with a Goldilocks level of hunger and thirst – not too full, not too hungry or thirsty, just right. You should drink plenty of water throughout the day, avoid fast and processed foods, and eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and berries.

11 – Seek Professional Help If All Else Fails

If you simply can’t get to sleep before 3 or 4 in the morning, talk to your doctor or a licensed sleep therapist. The same is true if you could sleep every day until noon or later if allowed to do so. There is a condition called the Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome that affects a very small part of the population. No matter what you do, you can’t reset your biological clock without professional help if you suffer from this condition.

Admit That You Waste Time and Then Get Hard on Yourself

Admit That You Waste Time and Then Get Hard on Yourself

One thing that will ensure your online business failure is wasted time. Don’t confuse “wasted” time with the time it takes to renew your physical or mental power. That’s important, too.

Exercise is good for both – and you need it to keep yourself primed and ready for what’s ahead. You know what you’re doing to waste time – it could be watching reruns on television for hours at a time, playing games with your friends online or on your smart phone – or being nosey on Facebook.

If you think your wasted minutes and hours are getting out of hand and causing a downturn in your business efforts (and it’s time to be tough on yourself and honest about this), then it’s time to rethink how you manage your time.

Good time management skills can set you on the right track for success. Without them, you can falter and all of your dreams for the future can wither and die. Here are some good time management tips to add to your daily routine, if you’re ready to turn up the heat on your progress.

Put some pressure on yourself to get it in gear! Decide how much time you’re going to spend on thoughts, conversations and actions. You may want to monitor yourself for awhile by recording how much time you spend on the three categories of your day during working hours.

At the end of the week, you should know where (in which category) you’re wasting the most amount of time. Don’t fudge the numbers just so you can get away with more. You have to be tough on yourself to make progress.

Block distractions. Tricks like blocking email and Facebook alerts, turning off your phone and hanging a “do not disturb” sign on your home office door can work wonders. Many entrepreneurs use programs such as Facebook for business reasons, but when you’re on the site, don’t let yourself be distracted by anything other than business.

Set a time to begin work – and stick to it. After you turn on your computer for work, give yourself a certain amount of time (5 minutes or so) to surf the ‘net and review your email.

Then, switch to work and don’t look back until you’re finished. Going back and forth between email, Facebook and work muddles your mind and makes it more difficult to focus.

End your work at a set time. We all have times when our backs are against the wall and we have to spend more time meeting deadlines. But on an ordinary day, set a time to stop work and renew your physical and mental health.

If you have to work longer than the stop time, take frequent breaks, get up and walk around and do something to get your mind off work. You can’t be chained to your business 24/7 – even if you think you want to be – it’s just not beneficial for your success.

Distinguish busy work from working toward goals. Busy work can be a waste of time. You may be procrastinating because you’re not ready to meet the goal or you’re scared of failure if you do complete it. The best way to beat procrastination is to take action.

Don’t coddle yourself by wasting precious time. Set some hard and fast rules of time management and stick to it. Think of yourself as an employee. Would you tolerate your paid worker surfing the ‘net or playing a game app on his or her phone?

Of course not – so don’t allow yourself to do it, either!

Learn to Say No

One of the very best ways to manage your time is to learn to say no. Saying no is a great way to control how you spend your time and take your power back. Most of us don’t know how to say no because our parents taught us very well not to say no. Many two-year-olds love saying no, but they are quickly taught that the word no is very unacceptable. But, it’s time to take back the power of no and earn more time in your day for doing what you really want to do.

* You’ll Reduce Your Stress – One of the worst things about overscheduling your time is the stress that it will cause. Learning to say no will automatically reduce your stress, even if the first few times you say no will be a little stressful. The freedom you experience will soon overshadow the fear of saying no.

* You’ll Be Perceived as More Professional – No one person can do everything. If you already have something scheduled and can’t do something, it is to be expected of a professional person. You don’t even have to provide a reason; just say that your calendar is full.

* You’ll Improve at Tasks You Really to Want to Do – If you’re not spending time doing stuff you hate doing, you’ll get to spend more time doing things you want to do. That means you’ll get more practice and become better at the things you already like doing.

* You Get to Spend Time Doing What You Want to Do – No one wants to spend time doing things they dislike doing, but they tend to say yes due to the lessons their mom taught them. If you really want to spend more time writing or helping your clients solve their problems, say no to doing things you don’t want to do and recommend someone else.

* People Will Respect You More – Even really good people lose respect for those who act like doormats. You probably don’t want to appear as a doormat; you’re just trying to be helpful. But even nice people will take advantage of those who say yes all the time. That’s why you’ll notice it’s always the same three people doing all the work in any group. The yes people.

* Saying No Gives You the Opportunity to Say Yes – This may sound counter-intuitive but it’s true. If you learn to say no to things that don’t advance your business or life in any measurable way, you’ll have more time to say yes to things that do.

* You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew – People who say yes to everything tend to do most things half way. They don’t mean to, but they get too much on their plate and end up not being able to do the tasks they agreed to do to the best of their ability. If you say no, you can avoid this embarrassment.

* Pause, Breathe Deeply, Check Your Calendar – In order to say no without a problem, when someone asks you to do something, even if it’s something you know immediately that you do want to do, make it a practice to take a pause, take a breath, and check your calendar. The act of calendar checking can give you time to give some thought to whether or not you want to say yes or no.

Saying no can truly give you back enough time to create the life that you really want to live. If you’re feeling hurried and overwhelmed take the time to practice saying no. By saying no you’ll take control of your schedule and feel like you get more time in your day.

How To Eliminate Time-Wasting Tasks

In order to completely eliminate bad time management habits and stop wasting precious time today, consider developing a routine that will help you avoid wasting time. Things that we feel like reacting to such as: phone calls, emails, news stories, text, etc. are known as urgent tasks. According to Brett McKay, “Important tasks contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals.” Understanding all the basics of time management is a very valuable lesson because they can be incorporated in all aspects of your life. Below are some remedies to set you on the path to productivity.

1) Avoid Multitasking
For a lot of us, multitasking is a way to keep up with the flow and feel like we are not getting left behind. But only 2 percent of the population can multitask successfully. It actually reduces our ability to focus, lowers the quality of our work, and can actually cost us time. It is very important to stop multitasking as soon as you realize you are doing it. Instead, try to minimize and manage interruptions, and work on improving concentration by scheduling your day into blocks of time.

2) Put an End to Silent Procrastination
If you procrastinate a lot, then you must understand the pains and stress that comes with putting things off. Procrastination is always easy to spot, especially when you are scrolling Facebook, playing solitaire, or gazing out the office window. Though it might seem like an innocent waste of time, this can lead to stress due to missing a very important deadline or inability to complete simple tasks. To overcome this, create task reminders by making use of your day planner. If your work requires the use of computer, then make sure you avoid time-wasting websites so you are not tempted.

3) Learn to Say No
If you have already planned your schedules, you are working as effectively as you possibly can on important tasks and you have found ways of dealing with things that distract you a lot, but you still don’t have enough time? Probably you are trying to do too much. You need to learn to say no. You can’t always take care of everyone else. But you can still care and say “No” and look for another way to help without sacrificing your own success. You want to slow down and remain focused on the biggest pay-off activities that’ll give you the best results in a time frame you prefer, personally and professionally.

4) Continue With What Works for You
If your morning ritual is to “warm up” first and ease into each day by grabbing a cup of coffee, answering email and checking in on Facebook, then that may be what you need to do to start your day. Activities that eat up your time can only be referred to as problems if they continue to get in the way of getting things done. However, you have to be honest with yourself about how much time that is being spent on such activities and whether it is really a time waster or a tool.

5) Do the Most Difficult things at Your Peak Time
It is always better to handle or tackle the most difficult tasks whenever you are at your peak performance as this will help you schedule your day properly. You don’t want to make important decisions when you are not efficient or energetic. If you perform best whenever you are awake first thing in the morning, then tackle those jobs first. Avoid using your peak performance time for easy assignments or for socializing and playing.

In conclusion, being organized and productive in the areas that are very important to you will be rewarding. As discussed above, avoid procrastination, do not multitask, work on your more difficult tasks whenever you are most alert and learn to say no – because most of our time wasters come from a courage problem and not a time problem. Hope this helps. Wish you the best in your efforts to eliminate time-wasting tasks.

 

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7 Lifehacks For More Focus

The dawn of the information age has brought its own problems with it and one of the major problems is the ability to focus. The ping of a What’s app message, the need to constantly check the number of likes we got for our Facebook posts, so much so that even when we are driving 70 mph on a highway we can’t resist the temptation to text, instead of focusing on driving and end up playing with our own lives as well as the lives of others on the highway.

Let’s take a look at 7 lifehacks for more focus in our lives.

1. Switch off Multi-tasking
Multi-tasking, the word itself has become fashionable these days. The root cause of losing focus can be this very thing, instead of doing something that we enjoy and taking pleasure in what we are doing, we end up doing a lot of different things while enjoying none of it.

2. Get Away from Distractions
The world DID function when there weren’t any cell phones. So for God’s sake put your phones in silent mode and resist the temptation to constantly check for social media updates when you’re watching a movie, at friend’s dinner party etc. Cell phones are just one example, the same applies to tablets, computers, the ubiquitous TV etc, all of which vie for our attention and can distract us in a jiffy.

3. Set Clear Goals
Being clear about what you set out to do gets half the job done, even before you start it. By meandering about the job and not able to clearly define what you are going to do, you lose focus midway and may be leave the job half done. For example if you want to clean your house, set a date and say to yourself that you will clean the house and finish the job by 5:00 PM on a Sunday.

4. Time slot method
Research has show that you are most productive at certain time of days, like early morning or late at night. Delegate tasks that are toughest and need most of your attention to these time slots.

5. Prioritize Work
In your to-do list, set the work that is most important on top and work towards it. If some tasks can wait, let them wait, don’t lose focus on your current job by worrying about less important things.

6. Take Breaks
If you are not making headway in your current task, walking away from it and coming back to it after sometime can get things done. Instead of just breaking your head against a wall, take a break and come back to it with a fresh new perspective.

7. Exercise
Make exercise a part of your daily routine. It increases the blood flow to your brain, sets you in a positive mood and helps you stay focused for the day ahead.

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