Reclaiming 40 Hrs/Week [One-Time Decisions]
Reclaiming 40 Hrs/Week
SUPERHUMAN SCORE: 8.75
“There’s just so much to do and so little time,” my client told me.
Observation: Most people don’t need more time. They need more focus and intention behind how they spend their time.
Time is the ultimate equalizer. We all have 24 hours in a day. Yet most people spend time carelessly. They spend it on activities that DON’T help them learn, earn, or bring joy.
So what if there was a way to streamline the things you don’t care about so you can focus on those you do?
Enter Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism. One passage in there hit me like a ton of feathers (weighs the same as a ton of bricks).
Prepare yourself, here it is:
“We can learn to make one-time decisions that make a thousand future decisions, so we don’t exhaust ourselves asking the same questions again and again.”
This is good advice. So today, I’ll show you 8 one-time decisions to reclaim 40+ hrs/week (without quitting your job).
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First, let me be clear: Today’s newsletter is NOT about becoming a robot.
It IS about eliminating decisions that you don’t care about. So you can focus on those that you do.
In other words, courtesy of Dr. Michael Joyner, “You got to be a minimalist to be a maximalist.” (Source)
With this newfound time, maybe you’ll:
- Deepen your relationships
- Get in the best shape of your life
- Start a side hustle
8 one-time decisions to reclaim 40 hrs/week, here we go…
Either go full Steve Jobs and wear the same outfit every day. Or put together a minimalist “capsule wardrobe.” Either way, reduce the decision-making involved in getting dressed.
Reclaim: 2 hrs/wk
People spend 1+ hrs/day sourcing and preparing meals. Save time with:
- Grocery delivery
- Full-meal delivery
- Bulk cooking on Sunday
- Meal replacement shakes
- Eating similar meals every day
Feed your purpose.
Reclaim: 7 hrs/wk
3. Distracted Work
The best productivity app on your phone is called Airplane Mode (use it).
Would you rather multitask for 6-8 unfocused hours OR work 4 laser-focused hours and complete ALL your important tasks? The choice is yours.
Reclaim: 10 hrs/wk
4. Long Meetings
You know the default “time blocks” for meetings: 30 or 60 minutes. Most can be shorter.
A productivity tip courtesy of Elon Musk: Set meetings in 5-minute increments (5, 10, 15, etc.). Or avoid unnecessary meetings altogether.
Reclaim: 5-10 hrs/wk
On average, people watch TV for 3 hrs/day. You could be living your dreams, but you decide to live someone else’s instead. Cancel your subscription, and thank me later.
Reclaim: 10-15 hrs/wk
6. The News
Avoiding sensationalized news is self-care. Consider batching news consumption on a weekly basis. I like the Economist. Also, try Morning Brew—a short, daily newsletter that’s rationally optimistic.
Reclaim: 3.5 hrs/wk
7. Personal Inventory Management
Figure out your burn rate. Do you go through razors monthly? Cool, subscribe to them on Amazon (or even better, purchase them in bulk locally.) Ditto for other personal care items, pens, batteries, etc. Never waste time running out to the store for a single item.
Reclaim: 1.5 hrs/wk
8. Home Cleaning and Laundry
Outsource these if you can. Psychology says, purchases that save us time make us happy.
Reclaim: 3 hrs/wk
Bonus Tip: Make ‘No' Your Default
Whether it’s new work projects or social gatherings. Saying “Yes” to things you don’t have time for leads to unnecessary future decisions. In the words of Derek Sivers, if it’s not a ‘Hell yeah,’ it’s a no.
Reclaim: 5-15 hrs/wk
The goal isn’t to do everything at once; it’s to have a menu of options. Depending on your life circumstances, some plays will work during some times and others at others.
It’s a playbook, not a “follow all these steps.” And, like in sports, there is a time and a place to run certain plays.
That said, if you’re facing a decision, always ask whether you can make it a one-time decision.
Consider this: “When you live your life on principle, 99% of your decisions are already made.”
BRINGING IT HOME
Summary of Weekly Hours to Reclaim:
- Clothes: 2 hrs
- Meals: 7 hrs
- Distracted Work: 10 hrs
- Meetings: 5-10 hrs
- Netflix: 10-15 hrs
- The News: 3.5 hrs
- Personal Inventory Mgmt.: 1.5 hrs
- Home Cleaning + Laundry: 3 hrs
- Make ‘No’ Your Default: 5-15 hrs
Savings: 47-67 hrs/wk
Commit to just a few of these time-savers and rapidly transform your life.
All systems go,
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