Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.
Here's how to hack your happiness and productivity to get more done and enjoy it.
We have a fucked-up perception of time. We count hours but discount how they’re spread out. It’s binge-learning and it’s no way to grow.
Check out writer and designer Jack Cheng’s great piece from a couple years back, Thirty Minutes a Day on the best way to learn something new.
Cheng mentions the same Seinfeld calendar productivity trick that helped spark the creation of iDoneThis, pointing out that “When trying to develop a new skill, the most important thing isn’t how much you do; it’s how often you do it.”
We’re here to help you record your 30 minutes a day!
Jason Fried, co-founder of 37signals and co-author of Rework, found that when people wanted to get stuff done, their answer was rarely the office but instead someplace where they wouldn’t encounter externally imposed distractions.
What’s perhaps most insightful about Fried’s 2010 TEDxMidwest talk is his comparison of work to sleep when thinking about why stretches of uninterrupted time are important. This sleep comparison is applicable to your productivity no matter what work situation you’re in — whether you’re studying for school, writing a novel, working at a small start-up, for a large company, or for yourself.
“[S]leep and work are phase-based, or stage-based, events. So sleep is about sleep phases, or stages … There’s five of them, and in order to get to the really deep ones, the really meaningful ones, you have to go through the early ones. And if you’re interrupted while you’re going through the early ones … you don’t just pick up where you left off… .
You’ve got to go through these phases and stuff, and if you’re interrupted, you don’t sleep well… . Why do we expect people to work well if they’re being interrupted all day at the office? … .
Giving someone for hours of interrupted time is the best gift you can give anybody at work.”
Remember that rules – even productivity rules – are made to be broken.