Written under the influence of two cups of Yerba Matte at my desk in Cerritos, CA on October 28th at 7:18am
What would you do with an extra 21,900 minutes? That’s 365 hours and roughly 15 days. How would you spend your time? What would you do?
Catch up on work
Spend more time with your kids
Start a side hustle
There’s no wrong answer here. So what would you do?
So many of us complain that we don’t have enough time in the day to get the things done we want to. Never enough time to work on that side project, not enough time to workout, not enough time to prepare healthy meals, not enough time for adventure, insert your not enough time excuse right her ____________________.
I’m not immune to this excuse myself. I used the not enough time excuse to justify all sorts of things. I didn’t have enough time to start a blog, to spend with my lady friend, or to have fun. But the real problem wasn’t enough time it was an unclear set of priorities.
It wasn’t until recently that I figured out that the key to achieving anything you want in life is to hyper-focus on one thing at a time and to commit daily to its practice. I’m going to tell you how I found more time to get sh*t done and won a life long brawl with time.
How to do the impossible and create 21,900 extra minutes out of thing air.
An hour a day keeps the blues away
Let’s kick it real for a minute with each other, after all honesty is the best policy. We live in a world now where we work more hours than we ever have before, have longer commutes, and if you add-on family and social responsibilities to that mix most of our days are jam packed. It’s hard to find any extra time to pursue goals, ambitions, and dreams.
One of the biggest problems I use to run into was that I wanted to do everything! I wanted to learn how to surf, how to dance, rock climb, paint, start a business, write, start a non-profit, you name it and I wanted to do it. It was a cluster f*ck of hopes and dreams that I could never really get a grasp on. Constantly trying to do everything at once.
It wasn’t until a stopped adding things to my “to-do” list and started make a “one thing at a time list” that I actually started to get stuff done. Here’s how to do it.
Decide what is most important to you right now. Decide what is the most important goal or task you want to accomplish right now. Is it exercising, eating right, starting your own business, learning how to cook? This will probably be the most difficult process of creating more time but definitely the most important. An easy way to figure this out is to ask yourself where you want more happiness.
Make a weekly selective to-do list. A selective to do list has nothing on it but tasks related to this specific goal. If starting your own business is something you want to do take some time out on sunday and jot down what you feel would be a productive week in accomplish that goal. What are some things you would like to get done related to that goal and that goal only.
Break it up and simplify From that weekly list break it down into a daily task list. These daily tasks should take you no longer than one hour. So be smart about what you decide to do each day. It’s very easy to want to try to do as much as we can in one day but simply give yourself an hour each day to work towards your goal. Schedule this hour into your daily routine. If you need to get up an hour earlier, work on your lunch break, or spend an hour each evening than commit to it. Make it an appointment with yourself that can not be broken.
Create a distraction free environment We can get a lot done in an hour but not if your dog is running wild in the house, your kids want to play, or dinner needs to me made. It’s important to let everyone in your life know about your hour. People are one of two things, enablers or hinders. They will either help you in achieving your goals or keep you from them wether it be on purpose or not. Let everyone know of your power-hour.
Make sure to remove other distractions as well. Turn off the notifications on your email, turn off your phone, remove everything from your desk, hell put a do not disturb sign around your neck if you have to. There are some great programs like rescue time and cold turkey.
Stop after an hour Use that hour and that hour only, no more and no less. At first you might not get done what you wanted to but that’s ok. The longer you do this the better you’ll get at figuring out how long it takes you to get certain things done. At first if you are unable to get what you wanted to get done in that hour simply reassess for the next day and adjust accordingly.
Hack your way to getting more done
So some of you still might be saying to yourself I don’t even have an hour a day that I can commit. Well I call bullish*t. Make sure you’re not creating the busy in your life.
But if you are still finding it tough to find that hour each day try the following.
Outsource:When I say outsource your mind probably goes to some call center in India or Pakistan but that’s not really what I’m talking about. Outsource some of your daily obligations to friends or family. Tell them about your goals and ask for their help. Can the kids start doing their own laundry? Can your significant other pick up the groceries this week? Try and delegate some of those daily tasks that take up some extra time.
Batch: Can you set aside one day a week to knock out a few tasks all at once. This works great for errands. Cooking meals for the week, laundry, and house work can all usually be done in a few hours one day a week. What are some other daily tasks that you can get dedicate to one day so that time is free for you to focus on a current goal?
Productive peeps: Can you feed of anthers energy to accomplish your goal. This works well if you are trying to get in better shape. Working out alone can sometimes get a little boring and it can be easy to get distracted or not put in a good effort. Try calling up a friend that you know is a workout machine and seeing if you can join them. Or participate in a group boot camp, Crossfit class, or Yoga session. Feeding of others energy and having that accountability will do wonders for accomplishing any goal.
Know what you want
One of the most important things you can do for yourself when looking to create an extra 21,900 minutes is to check-in with yourself.
Why am I doing this?
What will I have accomplished once this is complete?
Am I doing this because I really want to or because someone else expects me to?
It’s so important to make sure we are pursuing things we are truly excited about and invested in. It would be a shame to get half way through a project only to realize you have no love for it what-so-ever. Not only will you not feel fulfilled at the end of it but your effort during the process will suffer and you may even come to resent the work that it takes to get there.
Hard work isn’t what is needed but consistency is
While it’s important to work hard it’s more important to work consistently. Setting aside that hour everyday for some “you time” to hyper-focus in on your goals will not only allow you to get one step closer to achieving them but you’ll start to notice your happiness rise as you are not doing something on a daily basis that means a lot to you.
This crazy world does a hell of a job helping us to get lost in all the hustle and bustle that it can be easy to lose yourself and forget exactly what it is that you’re living for.
Lastly, if an hour everyday is just too much for you that’s ok, commit what you can. When I started meditating I literally had to do a few minutes a day until I became comfortable with it. The most important thing was that I practiced every day. Now I’m borderline pro 🙂
So what would you do with an extra 21,900 minutes each year? What could you get accomplished?
I’d finish my non-profit company, The Ultimate Recycling Project. 21,899 minutes to go.