The 9 Secrets To Hacking Time And Increasing Your Productivity 1000%

  Photo by    Seth Macey    on    Unsplash

Photo by Seth Macey on Unsplash

Irecently read an article written by Ryan Holiday .

In the article, Holiday talks about his affliction or perhaps disorder:

Calendar anorexia.

He wants you to take note that he doesn’t use this term lightly and in fact, while it may have a negative connotation to it, he sees this disorder as a positive means to the overall success and effectiveness of his career and fulfillment.

So what does he mean by this?

Well, he likes to structure his day with as little scheduling outside of his primary career tasks as possible.

He doesn’t want necessarily to do book interviews.
He doesn’t want to grab coffee with you.
He doesn’t want to meet a new auxiliary network.

It’s not because he’s cold, callous and a Regular Ol’ Scrooge.

It’s because he understands how important his time is to him in getting what he needs to get done.

He understands his priorities.


 Photo by  Gaetano Cessati  on  Unsplash

I connected a lot with this article when I read it.

I found myself going over with a plethora of anxieties all the times I sacrificed my time for either a futile endeavor or perhaps the time of someone else.

I thought about and tried to rationalize the hundreds of hours I potentially threw out the window and will never get back. It killed a part of me on the inside.

I don’t know why I have it, but every morning I awake to the thought of a “Better Jon.”

This person exists in full and pushes me to work towards something everyday.

This Better Jon is more handsome, better with women, makes more money, is happier, can workout harder, gets better sleep and has better sex (perhaps I’m forgetting a few elements).

My daily goal is to beat him in tackling the day’s obstacles.

Structuring my day has a lot to do with that. I have found that with managing my time, I need to organize some of my checkpoints of the day into an autonomous routine.

After knowing I need to setup certain autonomous structures throughout my day it opens up the idea of priorities.

“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.” -John C. Maxwell

For me, I cannot fully feel that I have beat Better Jon unless I automate a certain portion of my day and put in place some regulatory measures. This helps streamline less thinking and more doing.

1. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday.

Like pretty much everyone (though many refuse to admit) I am subject to my circadian rhythm.

I need to fall asleep and rise in the morning at the same time everyday.

Only when I accomplish this do I feel I have risen refreshed. If I stay awake and watch Netflix it will ruin my sleep cycle thus destroying the rest of my day.

2. I watch what I eat before I go to sleep.

This can be very hard at times. Every once and a while, whatever be the reason, I get a hankering for some food at night. I find myself opening the refrigerator and grabbing some snacks.

When I eat before I go to sleep, again, I tend to wake up with a lethargic feeling. I tend to stop eating after 8pm.

This allows my body to fully digest and work towards slowing down for slumber.

3. I box and do my workouts in the morning.

For me, this is important. I always experience resistance when it comes to working out.

I feel I need to “swallow the toad” with this early in the morning before all else or I won’t do it at all.

Twice a week I train with a private coach and other days I will do HIIT workouts. I find it kicks my ass and also is relatively quick in terms of time allowance (3 minute rounds of workout with 1 minute breaks and 12 rounds total is only 48 minutes).

4. When I wake, I have my alarm clock on the other side of the room.

This is a trick I have been using for quite some time. For better or worse, I spent some good money on the bed I sleep on.

Sometimes, it’s harder than hell to get off that cozy son of a bitch. I have found that when I stand up and have to walk a few steps to turn off the sounding alarm, it helps me get up and at it quicker.

5. I make a high protein, high fat breakfast.

I used to be a cereal addict. I would get the sugariest, crunchiest cereal I could find from the super market.

I would get a burst of energy and head towards either work or the cafe I do my writing and side business.

I realized, however that once I was at work/cafe, I would crash hard. I changed up my morning breakfast to eggs, greek yogurt sprinkled with peanuts and a plant based protein shake.

I can eat this and feel fueled and full for hours thus opening up productive time to work.

6. When I get to work, I setup “mindfulness alarms.”

It’s easy to confuse productive work with busy work. When I’m writing, sometimes I can get lost in the internet.

I can be researching a topic and find myself scores of pages removed from where I started. I will find myself tweaking my site rather than creating content.

I might even land on a new LA restaurant’s cocktail menu page (don’t know how that happens).

When I get to work, I set 90 minute “mindfulness alarms.” This helps me keep track of the quality, mindfulness and productivity of my work.

I’ve found in the past, I start working at say 12pm and look up to see it’s 3pm and notice I haven’t done anything. This counteracts that issue that I have experienced. I’m also able to stand up and take a quick breather and reduce fatigue and diminishing returns.

7. I eat a light lunch.

This is a measure I have put in place, again to reduce fatigue and maintain mental energy during the midpoint of my day. I will grind it out in the morning (perhaps like a lot of people).

In order to keep that hunger going (metaphorically speaking) I like to keep the hunger going (literally). I feel that when I am satiated and numb I tend to ease off the grind. I need fuel, that’s a given, however I don’t need too much fuel.

I tend to eat a healthy granola bar, perhaps crumble the granola into more yogurt, eat a veggie and bean stir-fry with brown rice. I just need a little fuel to keep me going.

8. At this point, some days I then go for an 8 hour shift in fine dining.

I work part time for a top LA fine dining restaurant to help me with health insurance, a supplementation of my income and because of a passion for food, wine and drinks.

Already, I feel I have put in a health day’s amount of work with my blogging and writing. Now, I find I am going to grind it out in a physically demanding profession till about 12:30–1am. It’s tough work.

You know what?

I feel so good though. My energy levels are primed because I have managed my time well.

9. Other days, I look towards reflection and planning.

The days I don’t work, I read and work towards structuring the rest of the week. While there are tasks I try to dominate in the micro (daily) there are times I look to the macro (weeks, months, years in advance).

I’m always educating myself. I will find an hour or two to read (currently reading 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaosby Jordan B Peterson — Highly recommended).

At other points I’m batch cooking my dinners/lunches for the rest of the week. I will batch my laundry on certain days. I will catch up on some news or perhaps I topic online I want to read more about.

“I think time management as a label encourages people to view each 24-hour period as a slot in which they should pack as much as possible.” -Tim Ferriss

The structure of your day says a lot about and be a clear precursor to the rest of your life.

Many people feel the pressures of time in a similar fashion to the above quote. They feel that it’s a race to get the most done (I know I’ve experienced that in the past).

I find that structuring your day with priorities works as a better than trying to manage an element of the universe that bows to no one (except perhaps the future astronauts that will circumnavigate a Super Massive Black Hole…)

 Photo by  Aron Visuals  on  Unsplash

Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

Everyday we are given 24 hours. That’s a fact. It isn’t contingent on race, religion, creed, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

With that understanding, I feel your priorities need to be defined.

Who do you want to be and more importantly, who do you not want to be?

When you have figured this out, put in proper autonomous measures into your day so you can utilize the 24 hours to bring you closer to your “Better You.”


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