Why We Are More Productive When Our Schedules Are Full

On leaving high school, I made an interesting observation: My grades were higher when my schedule was busier.

It was easy to make the distinction between busy semesters and less busy semesters. You may have guessed based on reading around here for a bit that I’m a nerd. Befitting that, I was in the marching band in high school.

A marching band that was regularly the number one band in New England.

For those of you who have not been in a competitive marching band, it is very time consuming.

We practiced for three hours after school two days a week and practiced all day on Saturday.

Once competition season started, we would bus out to competitions on Saturday and Sunday each week.

That’s a lot of hours.

Continue reading “Why We Are More Productive When Our Schedules Are Full”

On Quitting and Time Management

I debated quitting this blog recently.

When I started writing last summer, I put some rules in place. I assumed that there would be some valleys, and I didn’t want to give up when things got tough.

First, I agreed that I would write for at least a year before I reassessed. That year isn’t up until July.

A few months in, I also signed up to attend FinCon (the annual financial writer/blogger/podcaster convention) in 2017. FinCon isn’t until the end of October, so I figured I would push through until at least then to meet and learn from some of the great people that I’ve connected with in this community.

I took both of those steps before the election. Continue reading “On Quitting and Time Management”

You Do Have Time

It has become a sign of success in the modern world to say that you’re busy.

Being busy signifies that you are a hard worker. You have plenty of opportunities. You are important. And everyone wants to be important!

So you will often hear “I don’t have time.”

“I’d love to have a weekend away with my family, but I don’t have time.”

“I’d love to take up skiing, but I just don’t have the time.”

“I wish I could read as much as you do, but I’m always so busy that I don’t have time.”

You do have the time, though. We all do. We’re just choosing not to use it on that particular activity. Continue reading “You Do Have Time”

Do More in Less Time

Have you ever wondered why a project that you have two weeks to complete ends up taking the whole two weeks, when you can finish a similar project with a shorter deadline in 48 hours?

Remember when you had a whole semester to complete a paper for class? We would always plan to get it done early so that we weren’t writing our paper while also taking final exams. And yet, how many of us ended up still writing the night before the paper was due?

Continue reading “Do More in Less Time”

Make a Plan! (Or Don’t)

Here at Optimize Your Life we’ve talked about the need for more focus in our lives.

One way to achieve that, which we have explored previously, is to avoid multitasking.

But multitasking is not the only force assaulting our focus. One other major distractor is unfinished tasks. Continue reading “Make a Plan! (Or Don’t)”

Being More Productive By Doing Less (At Once)

In my last post I discussed multitasking as something to avoid. I pulled one quote and one experiment to show that multitasking was bad and then moved on with my point.

As a lawyer, I feel the need to double back and support my argument. While many of you agreed, I recognize that I have not actually done the work to convince you that multitasking is, in fact, bad for productivity.

Everyone does it these days. There is so much going on and so many different sources of media that you can’t always help it.

Plus, aren’t you getting more done by doing multiple things at once? Doesn’t squeezing more things into the same time slot mean that you can accomplish more?

Well, no. And here’s why: Continue reading “Being More Productive By Doing Less (At Once)”

Five Tips for Better Time Management in 2017

Last week I talked about some time management goals that I had for 2017 and some things that I still need to work on in that area. I said, “I’m pretty good at time management, but I want to be better,” and that “I’ve completed the entry level time management tips.”

I also said, while discussing my prioritization issues that I’ve read around 100 books this year, which was flagged in the comments as a lot of reading.

And it certainly is. There is no doubt that I did better with time management in 2016 than I had in previous years.

Today, I want to share with you five of the tips and tools that I used to get there. Continue reading “Five Tips for Better Time Management in 2017”

New Year Adjacent Resolution

I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for setting goals and building habits. I am all about self-improvement. I just don’t usually tie it to the turn of the calendar year.

I am a proponent of constant self-improvement, which includes setting goals and building new habits at multiple points during a given year. Basically, whenever you discover that there is something that you could do to improve yourself, you sit down and make a plan to start working on it as soon as possible.

That said, I suppose the beginning of the calendar year is as good a time as any to induce some self-assessment.

Plus, this year I have an area of improvement that I want to work on for which the timing coincides roughly with the new year.

Continue reading “New Year Adjacent Resolution”