You don’t actually do a project; you can only do action steps related to it. When enough of the right action steps have been taken, some situation will have been created that matches your initial picture of the outcome closely enough that you can call it ‘done.’ — David Allen
The terrible mistake that many of us make, is whining all the time “I wish I had more time,” “If only I used my time better during the last 5 years,” giving up on half the tasks to complete.
If you have this attitude towards your job or your studies, you must change it immediately.
The secret is having good organizational skills and good time management.
Remember The Pomodoro Technique?
As we mentioned in the Pomodoro Technique article, you can greatly improve your time management by just using a timer.
The Pomodoro Technique, suggests to work during 25 minutes without interruptions, taking a 4-5 minutes break, starting a new “pomodoro” (= a 25 minutes session) after the break.
This is really helpful for your productivity. Imagine that you are working for a project, or that you are preparing an exam. And imagine how such a method can improve your results and achieve your daily goals in a shorter period of time.
When we try to be productive, our worst problem is distraction. But if during these 25 minutes you don’t let anything distract you, staying focused all the time, you will double your daily productivity.
The Orange Technique: and incredible time management tool
Since we already talked about the Pomodoro Technique, today I would like to introduce you to a very similar method, the “Orange Technique”. The only difference is the length of time.
Once you get used to the Pomodoro Technique, you can try to “upgrade” by switching to the Orange Technique.
Instead of working or studying for 25 minutes, you will do it for 30 minutes, and you will always take a 4 to 5 minutes break.
By only adding 5 minutes to each session you will increase a lot your daily, weekly and monthly productivity. Plus, this will definitely avoid waste of time.
Let’s say for example that you were used to study every day 15 sessions of 25 minutes each, this means 6 hours and 15 minutes per day, which means 31 hours and 15 minutes per week, and 125 hours per months.
Try to imagine what happens if you add 5 minutes to each session. You will study 7 and a half hours per day, 37 and a half hours per week, and 150 hours per month. This means that you will add, with almost no effort, 25 hours of study every month.
Interesting, isn’t it?
What you accomplish every day is to your self-esteem, what water is to your life.
— Sira Masetti
The Saturday Pill (Don’t Waste your Saturday!)
After a working or studying week you want to rest, and this is more than normal, you must rest!
But, what if you try to take advantage of your Saturday by studying or working just for one, two or three hours?
You see, it’s just our lazy mind that tells us that we need to rest 2 days per week.
If you just rest one and a half day you won’t lose energy, rather you will gain more vitality and enthusiasm and you will feel more motivated and satisfied.
This way you will increase your monthly productivity by 8 hours. If we add these 8 hours to the additional 25 hours gained with the Orange Technique, you will increment your monthly productivity by 33 hours!
Can you imagine how many things you can do during all this time?
Of course, the “Saturday Pill” is not compulsory, but I suggest you just try it, or start by working two Saturdays per month. It’s always worth it to work a little bit more on your projects, and this way you make sure to spend well your time. And it’s one of the best time management tools.
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
— Abraham Lincoln
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