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Buy Time or Buy Stuff? 1.1 Make Time or Make Money? 1.2 Section I: Smart cut and Time 1.3 The Hidden Potential of a Morning Routine 1.3.
1 The Secret Place Where All Great Ideas Are Born 1.3.
2 Jotting Down Ideas Makes You Smarter 1.3.
3 Start Looking for Problems, Not Great Ideas 1.3.
4 Creativity Is Not Inborn 1.3.
5 The Decreasing Value of Creativity 1.3.
6 The Anatomy of Procrastination 1.3.
7 Your Workstation Might Be Making You Unproductive 1.3.
8 Deadlines Push You to Work Harder, but Not Smarter 1.3.
9 Stop Waiting, Go Ask for Your Dream Job 1.3.1
0 Re-learn How to Learn in the Information Age 1.3.1
1 Program Your Mind to Kick the Bad Habit 1.3.1
2 Remember More with the Second Brain 1.3.1
3 The Only Way to Remember Everything You Have Read 1.3.1
4 Stop Offensive Criticism from Reaching You 1.3.1
5 Don't Focus on Improving Your Faults 1.3.1
6 Control Your Mind, Set the Right Goal 1.3.1
7 3 The Top 10% Practice Deliberately 1.3.1
8 Why Bother Learning New Stuff? 1.3.1
9 Taking Classes Isn't Learning 1.3.2
0 The Relationship Between Decision Fatigue and Bad Decisions 1.3.2
1 Make Right Decisions Fast Like a Fighter Pilot 1.3.2
2 Doom Looping a Mistake Is Dumb 1.3.2
3 You Don't Need Much, Keep Less Stuff 1.3.2
1.4 Section II: Social Animal and Time
The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You 1.4.1 The Only 4 Types of Friends You Need in Life 1.4.2 4 5 6 Disclaimer 1.7 Acknowledgement 1.8 7 Buy Time or Buy Stuff? Buy Time or Buy Stuff?
Think of the last time you bought something you really wanted. How did you feel
afterwards? It felt good. Now, is there something else you really want? Maybe a new laptop, smartphone, or some
nice clothes. Buying that thing, whatever it is, will bring you happiness. When you finally
have it, you will be excited to try it out. 8 Buy Time or Buy Stuff? As cliché as it says "money can't buy you happiness", we feel happy when we buy the things
we want. Sorry, This Happiness Is Fake
Human beings are hardwired to seek instant gratification. You've probably heard the phrase
instant gratification hundreds of times. To get that thing we want, the moment we want it.
This desire for instant gratification came to us as a survival mechanism. I'm not going to talk
about instant gratification in details here, if you want to find out more about it, take a look at
5 Ways to Get Over Approval Addiction and Instant Gratification .
While instant gratification is in human's nature, we live in a society driven by delayed
gratification. Delayed gratification is the desire for something but the inability to get it when
you want. In our society, you have to wait for your pay day, your meal at a restaurant, your
coffee at Starbucks. When the thing you want finally arrives, you get excited. Your excitement for this thing, the delayed gratification often elicits stronger emotional
responses in you than when you get it. This feeling comes from dopamine a chemical that
influences the pleasure centers in our brains. ((Psychology Today: Shopping, Dopamine,
and Anticipation)) When you become excited for something, you are actually enjoying a
release of dopamine into our system. The thing you are actually excited for is almost
secondary to it. 9 Buy Time or Buy Stuff? Think about it, how did you feel a couple hours after buying something you waited a long
time for? It was probably not nearly as good as when you first got it, or when you're waiting
to get it. It's natural, it's a part of human nature. In this way the happiness you feel isn't true happiness. In fact, biologically speaking, you're
just enjoying a blast of dopamine. When this blast of dopamine is gone, you want something
new again, which is secretly, more dopamine. This is what that old saying "money can't buy
you happiness" really means.
There is, however, a way in which money can buy you happiness. It's just not in a way you
think. If You Want Happiness, Buy Time
Recently Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA conducted a study
where two groups of people were given $40 each.((PNAS: Buying time promotes
happiness)) One group was told to spend it in buying a possession, an object, som ething
they wanted. The other group was told to spend it in ways that would enable them to have
more free time, for example, having food delivered to save them from cooking, or hiring a
cleaner, instead of cleaning their house themselves. When each participant in the study
were to measure their happiness to a 10-point scale, those who spent their money on more
free time were almost always one whole point ahead of those who spent their money on
stuff. 10 Buy Time or Buy Stuff? In a sense, they were happier because they brought themselves out of doing something
they didn't want to do. Just buying more stuff, in the long run didn't have much of an effect
on their happiness, when those who spent money on time found an increase in life
It was the free time that made people happy. It was the quality time that contributed more to their happiness, the money was just a tool
they used to get more time. But the money ultimately is unnecessary. All that is required is a
re-adjustment of how you measure time. Everyone has 24 hours a day. The life expectancy
for females is 81.2 years; for males, it's 76.4 years. Most people have more or less the same
time of living. To make every hour, or minute count is the way to create your own happy
time. If you are always feeling busy and don't think you have enough quality time for
yourself, you need to make a change to turn things around. 11 Make Time or Make Money? Make Time or Make Money?
Time is finite. Each of us on this planet are here only temporarily. It's important to use time
wisely, yet it is easy to get caught up spending your time doing things that don't really matter.
Most people act in ways that are only sustainable if we had an infinite amount of time. But
Imagine you were able to save $10 per day, and let it build. After a year you will have
accumulated $3,650. Equally, if you were able to save 10 minutes of a day to be reused
later, by the end of the year, you would have saved 60 hours.
What would you choose?
Most would go with the money. It's understandable. Humans like tangible rewards.
However, money by its nature is salvageable. If you lose money, you may have the
opportunity to make it back again. But time is different. Once an hour passes, you lose that
hour forever. What many people often forget is that those accumulated 60 hours can
become something far more valuable than $3,650. To truly value our time, we must convert
it into something tangible in our minds. Money Is Tangible but Time Is Not?
Our lives are a series of experiences. Everything we pursue is, at the end of the day, aimed
at creating positive meaning out of these experiences. Everyone wants to have more
enjoyable experiences than unenjoyable ones, and want the same for those they care about.
But what is the currency that you must trade to have these experiences?
That currency is time. Everything is just a means to this end. Without time to spend,
everything else is meaningless. You can be a billionaire, but if you had only 1 hour to
experience its value, those billions are suddenly not worth so much. We are generally much
more conscious of how we gain and lose money. For example, if you dropped $100 on the
floor, I'm pretty sure you would immediately turn around and pick it up. On the other hand, if
you wasted 100 minutes doing nothing, it might barely register. 12 Make Time or Make Money? Although we know that time is limited, we often think and act as if it is not. It's obvious that
treating your finances in this way, like having a $100 budget but spending as if it was
$10,000, would soon get you bankrupt. Treating time like this is far more damaging.
"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon
The reason that money seems so tangible is because dollar figures are attached to
everything around us. It helps us to assign relative value between things. But it can be the
same for time. The Proper Way to Measure Time
A day will always be 24 hours. There will always be 60 minutes in an hour, and there will
always be 60 seconds to a minute. Some lives are longer, some are shorter, but let's
assume you're lucky and get around 70-80 years. How many of these years are the prime of
your youth, or in good health? How many of these years are just short windows in time that
you have with your loved ones? Instead of just considering time as a quantity spent in
minutes or hours, how we spend it is more important. Your quality of life is basically
defined by the quality of your time. And you should also look at it from more than one
dimension. 13 Make Time or Make Money? For example, ask yourself these questions.
How many hours in a day do you spend being angry, anxious, dissatisfied, or
unhappy? How much time do you spend actually connecting with a loved one as
opposed to just being in the same room as them?
How much time do you plan for improving yourself each day, or each week?
How many hours of your life do you spend doing things you don't enjoy for reasons
that you don't really understand?
We sleep on average 6-8 hours a night, but how many hours are quality rest? How
many, then, are just wasted lying in bed?
If these are typical questions that you regularly take actions to address, then you're well on
your way to being in charge of the quality of your life. If you don't, then it's a great time to get
I'm not suggesting to quit your job, and spend every day however you like. That is
unreasonable and unrealistic. However, there are countless choices that you make every
day about how you think about things and what you decide to focus on. You're constantly
making these choices whether you're aware of them or not. If you take charge by being
consciously aware of these choices, you can gain countless hours, days, and even years
meaningful time spent. Everyone has the same 24 hours a day, but you can take control
over more of this time than you think.
The first step is to make quality time a true value in your life, and not just a cliché.
Your quality of life is basically defined by the quality of your time. 14 Make Time or Make Money? What if you could take small actions during the day that vastly improved the quality of your
sleep? Or boost your productivity and energy through the day by investing in a 20 minute
nap. How about spending time connecting more deeply with friends and loved ones in the
short time you have with them? These are only the tip of the iceberg in an encyclopedia of
ways to increase the quality of your time, which is one of our core values at Lifehack. Some
of the greatest regrets we have in life are those valuable moments lost because of how we
chose to spend our time. Imagine the millions we would pay to be able to go back in time to
re-spend those moments, or to make different choices. So, make the choice to truly value
your time. While you're still alive and breathing, it's never too late! 15 Section I: Smart cut and Time Section I: Smart cut & Time
For individuals, productivity is about how well you utilize time and resources to perform the
best. For teams and organization, it's about creating and improving resources such as raw
materials, labor force, skills, capital and managerial capabilities to achieve greater goals.
This section will provide you with all the necessary tricks to get more things done faster and
better. The Hidden Potential of a Morning Routine
Having a solid morning routine is one of the best ways to increase your productivity and
improve your overall well-being.
My morning routine was in need of a serious overhaul. I went through a phase where I rolled
over and checked my phone before I got out of bed. I just had to know what I had missed
while I slept. You may be able to relate. Many of us start our days by checking our emails
and social media, but this might not be the best thing for us.((Fortune: Why You Should
Never Start Your Day Reading Emails))
Starting our morning off incorrectly can drain our productivity. The typical work day lasts for
eight hours, but we all know that our energy fluctuates during the day. ((The Path: How your
energy levels fluctuate throughout the day )) You may start your day feeling perky, but as the
day wears on, you might find yourself in need of a nap. You have to make the most of
periods of high energy. Learn to work when your mind is at its
Benjamin Hardy's "This Morning Routine will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week" offers helpful
insights about the best ways to make the most of our time. The basic premise is that you are
at your sharpest and most energetic first thing in the morning. Many people do not make full
use of this productivity window. 16 The Hidden Potential of a Morning Routine How much work you did actually means nothing. What you
did is key
It can be tempting to start your day by ticking a number of items of minor importance or your
checklist. The problem is that by the time you dig yourself out from under a mountain of
small tasks, you'll probably be tired. This makes it so much harder to do the bigger and more
important things on your list.
For example, checking 100 emails might feel like you are being productive, but they're just
keeping you busy. Try doing one high-value action item first thing in the morning, and save
those emails for later. Plan your first three hours carefully because you are at
your productivity peak
Provided that we've had enough sleep, our minds are at their freshest within the first three
hours of waking. When you take full advantage of this productivity window, you'll be able to
do better quality work in less time.
If you save your most important work for the afternoon, you put yourself at a disadvantage.
By then, you are already tired, and it will take more effort for you to get the same results that
you could easily get in the morning.
It helps to start out by plotting out the tasks that you have to do and prioritizing your
schedule. David Allen's Getting Things Done method is one of the best productivity models
for helping you prioritize and organize. ((Samuel Thomas Davies: Getting Things Done by
Allen's method is simple. Write down the items that need your attention, decide which pieces
you need to work on yourself, which ones can be delegated, and which ones are not
actionable. After you've determined what you need to do, break big projects into smaller
steps, set deadlines to prioritize action items, and execute.
At Lifehack, we love using the Getting Things Done method. You can read more about how
we've implemented it from Brian Lee ((Lifehack.org: Think Less and Get More Done By
Using The "Getting Things Done" Model)) and CM Smith. ((Lifehack.org: Why Getting
Things Done is the Best Productivity System )) 17 The Hidden Potential of a Morning Routine Never underestimate the power of your rest and recovery,
they determine large part of your productivity tomorrow
So many of us have been brought up to believe that tireless work and constant availability
are the hallmarks of a great employee. In fact, failing to unplug from work can be
detrimental to your health, happiness, and work.
"When you’re at work, be fully absorbed. When it’s time to call it a day, completely
detach yourself from work and become absorbed in the other areas of your life."
When you are working, engage completely in whatever you are doing. When it's time to
come home, refrain from checking your email or taking late calls. You need the time to
unwind so that you don't burn out.
When you come back to work after keeping your free time sacred, you'll be better equipped
to tackle challenges. You won't dread your job, you'll be less likely to procrastinate, and
you'll be more effective. It's time to adopt a new morning routine
If you're squandering your most productive times by playing with your phone like I was, it's
time for a morning routine overhaul. Before I read "This Morning Routine will Save You 20+
Hours Per Week" I didn't realize how much time I was wasting.
Instead of spending my first three hours scrolling through my Facebook and clearing my
inbox, I start my day with mindfulness. I have a healthy breakfast, take my dog for a 20minute walk, where I think about and prioritize my schedule, and then I get to work right
I've noticed that I can work for a solid three to five hours by putting aside menial task until
later in the day. When I do stop to take a break, I disconnect completely for a few minutes.
Even if my day stopped here, I can already say that I accomplished a great deal.
I worry about my emails and social media after I've worked solidly on a high-priority project
for at least three hours. Since those tasks don't require too much creativity or deep-thinking,
I can do them when my energy is lower without making any sacrifices. 18 The Hidden Potential of a Morning Routine Changing my routine has made it easier to get
Rethinking my morning routine has enabled me to get more out of short periods of intense
focus than I used to get out of working a full eight hours. Since I end my work days feeling
like I have accomplished a lot, I don't feel any guilt over taking the time to recover when I go
home. I commit to rest and relaxation with the same zeal that I pursue my priorities at work.
Hardy's method has restored balance to my schedule. I feel a greater sense of satisfaction
from the work that I do, and I'm present in every situation in a way that I simply wasn't
before. 19 The Secret Place Where All Great Ideas Are Born The Secret Place Where All Great Ideas
Where do great ideas come from? The cliched view is that they come fully formed in a flash
of inspiration. You've probably seen this in films or on TV, a character might be working over
-night trying to come up with a big idea, and suddenly their idea hits them.
However, the reality is actually far more complicated. The truly great ideas, are the product
of processes. They are the product of what a person sees and gets in touch with every day
that combine to influence a thought. A random thought turns into an idea, then the idea is
Consider twitter, twitter was originally not conceived as a social network, but instead as an
alternative to SMS messaging. The original 140 wasn't a creative gimmick, but was instead
reflected the technological limitations of the mobile phone format (at the time). ((Lifewire:
The Real History of Twitter, In Brief))
Uber came from a conversation between friends where they were complaining about how
hard it was to find a decent taxi. ((Gulf Elite: Startup From The Bottom: Here Is How Uber
The idea for Airbnb came when the founders were struggling to pay rent, and needed a way
to earn some extra money. Most of the hotel rooms in the city were booked up thanks to a
local conference, so they thought that they could exploit this by providing extra space in their
apartment for overnight guests. ((Get Paid for Your Pad: The Airbnb Founder Story: From
Selling Cereals To A $25B Company))
All of these ideas came to revolutionize their respective fields, and none of them came fully
formed at the very beginning. Our view of how great ideas are born is thus inaccurate and is
even potentially harmful. We murder good ideas that are incubating
Usually when we hear about these ideas, it is when they are at their most successful. We
don't see the weeks, months, and years where the initial idea was developed, or the
successes and early failures of the business. As a result, we naturally assume the ideas
were fantastic and fully formed from the start.
We assume that is where good ideas come from. A study has shown that the human brain
favors any action or option which uses the least amount of energy.((The Globe and Mail:
Humans are hard-wired for laziness, study finds)) So where it might be more ...
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- Winter '17
- mrs. smith