Managing Your Time

Around these parts we’ve spent each month of 2018 exploring a different topic for self-improvement.

As we approach the end of 2018, we’re spending the last several weeks of the year reviewing what we’ve learned.

We’ve already recapped our January deep dive on life planning and our February explanation of personal finance basics. The next subjects we dove into were time management and productivity. Continue reading “Managing Your Time”

Better Life – Second Quarter Update

2018 is a year of self-improvement.

I’m spending each month exploring a different area of life and figuring out how best to improve and optimize.

So far we’ve covered life planning, personal finance basics, time management, the science of happiness, money and happiness, and health.

We’re halfway through the year, so it’s time for a quarterly check in. Continue reading “Better Life – Second Quarter Update”

When is Good Enough Good Enough?

Welcome back to time management month at Optimize Your Life.

I hope that what we’ve covered so far has been helpful, but maybe you’re already maximizing your efficiency.

Maybe you’ve already tracked your time and made a plan.

Maybe you’ve scheduled your unscheduled time and gotten enough sleep.

Maybe you’ve quit multitasking, started working in blocks, and cut out your time vices.

If you’ve already done all of that and you still don’t have time to do everything that you want to do, it’s time to bring in the Pareto Principle. Continue reading “When is Good Enough Good Enough?”

What Are Your Time Vices?

March is time management month around here, and we’ve already explored a lot of different topics.

We’ve learned how to track our time and how to plan what we want to do with our time.

We’ve explored why it is important to schedule unscheduled time and to sleep more.

We’ve figured out how to be more efficient by avoiding multitasking and utilizing time blocks.

You may have noticed something missing.

We are 22 days into time management month and I have yet to tell you to stop wasting time on things that don’t matter.

Well…here you go. Continue reading “What Are Your Time Vices?”

Get More Done by Working in Blocks

Hi, friends! Before we start – the voting is open for the Elite 8 in the Rockstar Finance contest to find the best personal finance article of 2017! I would greatly appreciate your vote. My article is “Pay” in Game 4. Thanks!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming…


As part of our month exploring time management, we spent the last article focused on decreasing multitasking.

Multitasking is harmful to our productivity because our brain is actually switching modes back and forth between the two things that we think we’re doing simultaneously.

In getting rid of multitasking, we eliminate that “cognitive switching” that slows our brain down.

But why stop there? Why not take this to the next level and work on making transitions between tasks easier on our brains?

Today, we’re going to explore blocking our time. Continue reading “Get More Done by Working in Blocks”

How You’re Killing Your Own Productivity

We’re spending the month of March exploring time management and how to optimize it.

On Tuesday, we looked at sleep. Cutting back on sleep seems intuitively like a good way to increase productivity, but actually makes things worse.

Today’s topic is similar.

When we struggle to get as much as we want done, we often fall back on multitasking.

Like sleeping less, this makes intuitive sense, but ends up hurting us according to the data. Continue reading “How You’re Killing Your Own Productivity”

Sleep Your Way to the Top

During this year of improvement, we are taking the month of March to explore time management. Once you’ve tracked your time, set your priorities, and scheduled a bit of unscheduled time, then it is on to getting the most out of whatever is left.

When trying to find more time for something you want to do, the easiest approach is to take time away from something else.

Sleep takes up hours of our day every single day.

These two facts make it tempting (and common) to try to get more done by sleeping less.

While this may make sense intuitively, research shows that it is actually making things much worse. Continue reading “Sleep Your Way to the Top”

Schedule Unscheduled Time

We all want to do more with our time.

There are all sorts of books, blogs, podcasts, and seminars about how to be more productive. We are constantly inundated with productivity hacks and listicles.

We turn ourselves into productivity machines trying to get more and more done in our days. Because of this, it can feel like any time that we are not checking things off of our to do list is wasted time.

This is a counterproductive mindset to fall into. We need to fight back against this tendency.

To do that, we should schedule unscheduled time. Continue reading “Schedule Unscheduled Time”

Control Your Time

When we looked at personal finance basics last month, we explored how our budget should reflect our values. We should be spending money on the things that are important to us.

In the day-to-day grind, this often gets away from us and we end up spending money on whatever is in front of us.

The same is true for our time.

We should be spending our time on the things that are most important to us. But in the day-to-day grind, we often end up spending time on whatever gets dropped in our lap. Continue reading “Control Your Time”

Master Time

This year is a year of improvement.

In each month of 2018 we are exploring a different area of life and figuring out the best ways to improve it.

In January, we looked at life planning and how best to look at what we want out of life in the big picture. Then we looked at the basics of personal finance in February.

For March, we will be exploring time management. Continue reading “Master Time”