You may have heard many “experts” out there preaching statements like – You can feel less busy, less distracted and enjoy the present moment more, or else, work, study, take care of children and have time to do whatever you want. . However, always after such an assertion comes the dreaded and misunderstood “but you will have to…”
We know that you can’t change your life overnight after reading an article on a blog, especially with the busy routine of a real estate agent, and we know that drastic changes in your lifestyle are not the answer. For this reason we have compiled this article with 3 tips that will help you not fall into the traps of wasting time and manage your time “in your time”.
Do you know the book “Make Time”?
“Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky” is a book about slowing down the mad rush to do everything and failing to do anything. However, it is not a book on productivity, but a simple four-part structure (featured → laser → energize → reflect) that addresses more than 80 different tactics that promise to help you create more time in your day for the things that really care.
Most of our time is spent by default, without realizing it we use the valuable time we have for activities that we can regret later. The authors divide the causes of this phenomenon into two main pieces, in the so-called infinite pools, which according to the authors are:
“Apps and other content sources that refill without stopping”, also known as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, News Portals, Netflix, HBO, etc.
In addition – a simple rule of thumb is that if you can easily update and / or receive content instantly, it is an infinity pool. “This entertainment that is always available, always new is your reward for the exhaustion of constant occupation”.
The second piece is what the authors call the occupation tram, also known as “a culture of constant occupation – it’s overflowing email inboxes, stuffed calendars and countless task lists”. “According to the occupation tram mentality, if you want to meet the demands of the modern workplace and function in modern society, you must fill every minute with productivity. After all, everyone is busy. If you slow down, you will be left behind and you will never catch up with others. ”
After this brief summary about the work, we will go to the list of tips to better manage your time, and the main thing, not to fall into the traps of the “infinity pools” and the “occupation tram”.
By itself, the feeling of productivity only leads to more occupation
Being busy all the time doesn’t mean productivity.
You have a job to do, let’s call it TaskX. If the amount of work on TaskX gets full all the time, the solution will seem simple: make TaskX faster to have more free time!
Unfortunately, TaskX is variable, not constant, so things are not so simple. In today’s world, always asking for more is the rule, and there are an endless series of tasks that we could be doing. You empty your inbox and another email appears. You finish a request, your client sends another one.
Consequently, you can scroll through your task list as quickly as possible, hoping to mark the last task as complete, only to realize that another item will appear faster than you think.
Prioritizing tasks is also not the solution, because when you prioritize them, you devalue yourself. By subordinating yourself to other people’s priorities, you waste time and energy on your own passions and projects. You end up postponing it to “another day”, which never happens. Exhausted from running on the productivity wheel (like a hamster), you fail to make progress in relation to your real goals, and you are especially prone to falling into the endless pools of distraction.
Willpower alone doesn’t work
Willpower is a scarce commodity, use it wisely
If you don’t want to be stuck in an infinity pool, like Facebook or Instagram, couldn’t you just avoid getting into it in the first place?
Use your willpower and just say no?
Unfortunately, the idea of “saying no” to elements that are within our reach all day long is an illusion. The infinity pools of content were designed to overcome your resistance and suck you into your “infinite” content.
Get out of the routine of searching for infinite content
The companies that create the most popular apps of the moment (Facebook, Alphabet, ByteDance) are interested in doing so. The more you use your apps, the more money they earn by showing advertising and gaining influence.
That is why the combination of applications designed by giant companies and our “prehistoric” minds is too powerful to resist just by willpower. We need strategies and tactics, which we will start to win!
To overcome distractions, you need to change your pattern.
Change your pattern
If the willpower does not work, failing in the face of the power of the infinity pools. And, even when we try to be productive, we end up getting into the occupation trolley that focuses on the wrong tasks, how are we going to win and have control over our time?
Well, we can sum it all up in one word: reactivity. The two pieces exposed here derive from manifestations of the subconscious that have become standard responses.
Escape the standard responses
A colleague sends you an email with a question and you feel compelled to answer it immediately. Your phone vibrates with a notification and you feel obliged to look at the screen. You have work to do, but you are tempted to look at another story on Instagram (and when you saw the account you saw more than 30). Your email box has no important messages, but you continue to access it every 5 minutes, disrupting your current task.
You do all of this without even thinking, and that is exactly the problem.
Plunging our lives into infinity pools has become automatic behavioral reactions to professional demands and digital technologies over time. If we make an analogy in our minds as computers and our behaviors as applications, we could say that reactive behaviors are the factory default settings. The goal is to change these factory defaults so that we are proactive about our environment.
Focus on the present by choosing an activity or project that will be the highlight of your day.
Prioritize what really matters
As we have seen, just being more productive does not solve the problem of being busy. Now that we know that your to-do list is endless and can even make the problem worse by feeding the focus on less important tasks.
Importantly, this article is not intended to discourage the use of task lists, schedules and objectives. Long-term goals help guide your journey in life. To-do lists, schedules and short-term goals help you track your progress and get things done on a day-to-day basis. They are important, but in isolation they are not enough to help you recover your time.
However, there is an optimum point between your short and long term goals: one that you can focus on today, but that can also serve as your GPS when navigating through it.
Ask yourself the following questions to choose your highlight of the day:
- Instead of waiting until the end of the day to see what the answer is, provide an answer in advance, adjusting it slightly: What will be the highlight of my day?
- What is my most urgent and absolutely necessary activity or project that I need to do today?
- Choose something that takes about 60 to 90 minutes. Shorter activities do not give you enough time to focus. For longer ones, you are unlikely to be able to keep your focus.
- What will make me feel most satisfied at the end of the day?
- What will bring me the most joy?
- How can I make this highlight today?
Technology is your ally
With so many strategies and tips to choose from, you may end up feeling overwhelmed. We recommend that you start slowly and apply new techniques over time.
To make it work, just take a few minutes every day to write down what was your highlight, if you had time, what worked and what didn’t, what changes you can make and what technique you will use tomorrow.
Finally, if we had not yet recommended reading the book Make Time, the time has come. Add this bestseller to your reading list as soon as possible, if you have a choice, we recommend the print version as it allows for quick notes and consultation.