“You control your time. Sitting and thinking may be a much higher priority than a normal CEO, who has all this demand and feels like they have to see all these people, [thinks]. It’s not a proxy of your seriousness that you fill every minute of your schedule.” –Bill Gates on what Warren Buffett taught him about productivity.
Today, I want to share with you how to improve personal productivity without burning out. As hinted at by the quote, I’ve spent a few years studying the best in the world when it comes to time management.
It turns out there are different paths to success. And some let you feel more relaxed and at peace. Bill Gates fills out every minute of his calendar. He even budgets a specific time for showering.
Warren Buffett, on the other hand, has three or four tasks per month on the calendar he carries around. And it’s not because he’s light on tasks he could be doing. It just goes to show you the importance and value of focus and prioritization.
In this podcast episode, be prepared to learn some interesting productivity habits and techniques you can test out immediately at work or at home. Listen below:
Bonus Show Notes
A more advanced but highly useful productivity tip I want to emphasize is the act of cutting down the time it takes to do daily or weekly activities you do every day. If you’re going to be doing the same task over and over for most or all of your life, it adds up. 15 minutes may not seem like a lot but it can add up to thousands of hours of wasted time.
Here are a few examples of activities like this:
- Computer related tasks, like checking your email and typing on your keyboard.
- Chores, like washing your clothes or dishes and taking out the garbage.
- Driving to work, the groceries, the mall, or anywhere else.
- Choosing and preparing your clothes for the next day.
- Waiting in line to buy food or anything else.
- Reading books or articles online.
- Listening to audiobooks.
- Mowing your lawn.
There are plenty more out there. Be creative and find ways to get the same task done in less time, so you can use it for more profitable or valuable activities. If you still can’t, find ways of multi-tasking and killing two birds with one stone.
Here are examples:
- Listen to audiobooks and podcasts at double or triple speed.
- Listen to audiobooks and podcasts while you’re waiting in line.
- Take a speed reading course to read faster. Warren Buffett said in a Q&A with Bill Gates with students that he probably wasted ten years of his life reading slowly.
- Decide what you will buy before buying food or clothes so you don’t waste time wandering around when you get there.
- Master keyboard shortcuts, take a typing class to type faster, and get a DVORAK keyboard (which is proven to let you type much faster).
- Outsource lawn mowing, cleaning your room, and washing your clothes. If you can make $100 per hour, why are you spending your time on a $15 per hour task? Hire someone else and you have just bought back your time.
Other Useful Resources:
Remember, time is your most important resource because you can never get it back, so it’s important to master it first.
“I can buy anything I want. But I can’t buy time.” –Warren Buffett
Here’s a question for you. Leave your answer in the comments. If you could wave a magic wand and fix one issue related to productivity what would it be? Did this podcast episode help you solve it? If not, how could it be better?