Where most people spend (or waste) their time
now that you have some priority items you want to work on. Let's discuss where most people spend and waste the most time. Now. I along with some other prominent thinkers have identified a number of areas where time is wasted. This isn't to say that these activities are always a waste of time though they definitely are sometimes or that they're inherently unimportant. When I say that time is wasted on an activity, I'm more suggesting that more time is invested on that activity than is absolutely necessary. It's in these areas where we're going to make our biggest wins. So what are these things? Well, let me start with an example, have you ever sent an email to someone with a question or concern only to receive a reply that requires even further follow up pretty soon. You're sending back and forth emails trying to understand each other when a simple phone call would have been so much more effective. That's a perfect although a very basic example of time wasted and it happens every single...
day. Now we'll get to email and communication later. But for now here are some of the key areas where we're going to tackle and find a lot of lost productivity Of course, how we spend our time is variable for each person and so giving you stats or averages like the average American watches, 2.2 hours of TV per day or the average sales professional spends minutes a day on email. These stats are ultimately useless and meaningless. If you're interested, I've posted a link to a highly detailed and interactive breakdown by the new york times, showing how different groups spend their time down to the nitty gritty. It's absolutely fascinating, but it's not really important for progressing through the course. Instead let me give you some more generic observations of some categories. These types of time wasters don't correspond to the sections of the course though. Instead, each section will invariably have techniques for avoiding each of them. In any case, it's good to talk about them and get you to start thinking about them well in advance. And yes, this is another one of those learning philosophies that I mentioned in lecture two. So how do we waste time? Well, the first one might surprise you. It's communication scheduling and planning with other people, basically situations where our productivity or efficiency is dependent on someone else. This includes emails, texting, and other inefficiencies. It also includes waiting three days for an email reply from your boss before starting to work on a project. See when I first started teaching this, people used to be surprised that communication was an inefficiency, but these days when most of us spend half our day answering slack messages, facebook posts and WhatsApp messages, Oh and emails. I think you already know exactly what I'm talking about. The second category is unnecessary effort or doing things slowly or ineffectively. A good example of this would be running on a treadmill for an hour and a half when in fact you can generate the same health benefits in a properly designed intensive 12 minute workout. Another example might be searching through folders on your computer for a file that you need three times a day. Or how about sleeping? eight hours when you know the last 30 minutes of sleep are just tossing and turning. You get the idea the next area where people waste time is in ineffectively structuring or stacking tasks. If you are the kind of person who folds one shirt at a time on the table and then turns around to put it in the closet. Well, this is the kind of stuff we're going to try and eliminate with different strategies and hacks. We're going to try and figure out how to make the most of our attention and our effort by structuring our activity intelligently. Now, finally, there's the element of choice and placing your efforts wisely on the things that you're good at and giving up on the rest if you've ever met on someone who insists on fixing their own car, even if it takes them six hours, then isn't a perfect job. Well, this is the kind of stuff that I'm talking about here. We're going to talk about how to decide what is and isn't an effective use of your time and how to be honest with ourselves about how much time should be invested. Hopefully you already see some of these elements in your day to day life and you're both ready and excited to tackle them, because now we're finally ready to dive into some hands on techniques and strategies.