The Full Article: 13 Daily Habits That Add Hours Back To Your Life
Wake Up Earlier.
I get up early so I can do yoga and go to the gym. This gets me energized for the day, and if I go to the gym after work, this cuts into time for family and friends. Plus, it allows me to get to my day's work earlier.
Set Your Routine On Auto-Pilot.
Have you ever noticed how many highly successful Silicon Valley executives wear the same thing every day? There's a reason for that. They don't have to spend any time thinking about what to wear. Many also eat the same breakfast every day. There are many things you can set on auto-pilot. For instance, Wednesdays are lunch at noon at Mac's with my friend Gary. What things can you develop a routine for?
Have A Plan.
As a famous life coach, The Cheshire Cat, once told Alice in Wonderland, if you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter which road you take. At the end of each day, plan what you need to accomplish the next day. This way, when you reach your desk the next morning, you know where you are going. You are not dithering, wondering what needs to be done. You have a plan of attack and can hit the ground running on the right road, in the right direction.
First Things First.
As Roy T. Bennett said, "Life is short. Focus on what really matters." What are the core activities you must accomplish or your job falls apart? Most of the things you do during the day are tasks which could be left unattended for a while. But there are certain things that are must-dos. Figure those out and do them before you tackle the less important tasks, like checking email and making phone calls.
Write It Down.
Most people have terrible memories, me included. I'm old school and keep a pad on the desk to write things down when I think of them. Remember that plan for the day we talked about? It's on the pad, too. Feel free to use whatever tool - legal pad, Evernote, OneNote, SimpleNote, Google Keep - you want. Then, instead of losing time trying to remember what needs to happen, I know where to look during the day.
Find ways to break up your day into chunks of time and write it down in your day's plan. Place your core work activities into the day's first 90-minute chunk. This allows you to focus on the most important items, and to remain energized. Always take a break between chunks. This allows you to stay fresh and to make the mental switch between work activities. And during the chunks of time, don't do anything that is not scheduled for that time period.