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June 1, 2015

The Minimalist Guide to Getting More Done in Less Time.

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“At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it.” ~ Joshua Becker

Distractions! We’re bombarded with them constantly from all directions. Whether you notice it or not, they effect your productivity.

From relentless checking of emails to your sore aching back, something’s gotta give.

We work so hard to get results yet there seems to be not enough time in the day to accomplish everything we set out to do.

Our productivity can suffer when our health is poor, and our priorities aren’t straight.

What can be done to increase the items we tick off the to-do list daily. I’ve got some strategies for you to get more done in less time, every single day.

Fundamentals of Minimalism

Modern life can be filled with hysteria, especially when you’re a passionate entrepreneur working hard to fulfill your dreams. The process of finding efficiency and a system that works to get results is a completely internal process.

When it comes to getting more done in less time, check yourself: do you know what your priorities are? Likely, health, happiness and abundance are high on the list but in order to achieve these dreams a system must be put in place.

Enter Minimalism:

In this mind frame we emphasize what is truly important and allow the rest to fall to the wayside. There’s only so much time in a day, so lets be realistic about what we can do with it.

First and foremost, we need our health if we want to be happy. The two go hand in hand, there’s even been studies pointing to happiness lengthening life.

Taking care to eat nourishing whole foods instead of convenient junk is a priority.

So is watching our alignment and making sure we aren’t slouching or getting lazy while sitting at our desk. Check out these tips for healthier alignment strategies at work.

Eliminate the complexities of healthy living—it doesn’t have to be that hard and it’s really important. We can apply principles of minimalism in all aspects of our lives.

Take a look at your work space: Is it tidy and organized or is it a catastrophe of papers? A clean and organized work space makes for a clean and organized thought pattern.

Start with a Goal

When we start with the end in sight we’ll be more likely to get there. What does your ultimate business goal look like?

If the ultimate goal is more freedom, then we have to stop thinking from a 9-5 perspective. It might be helpful to consider the average work environment, where people waste a lot of time socializing, answering useless emails or surfing the web.

Once we address those typical distractions, we can focus on eliminating time wasting activities until we’ve accomplished our daily to-do’s. This will help us achieve our goal faster.

Make it a habit to ask the question, “will this activity get me closer to my goal?” If it’s going on Facebook for “just 5 minutes”, the answer is no. If it’s taking an extra long lunch break so that you can refuel on good food and be more productive afterwards, the answer is more likely yes. Always remember to prioritize.

Delete Distractions and Forget About Multi-tasking

In the business world we’re taught that multi-tasking is an admirable quality and should help us get more done in less time. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Studies show that for every additional task you try to accomplish at one time your productivity goes down.

The key is to choose one thing at a time and focus all your energy on that task until it is accomplished.

As humans, it is in our nature to experience a feeling of satisfaction when we complete a task. That feeling will carry you onward with a better attitude, which will help you complete even more tasks.

I know it’s hard to ignore email for an afternoon, and the allure of searching the web is constantly just a click away. That’s why I recommend using the free application known as Self Control for blocking distractions for a set time frame.

Take Care of Your Health and Your Health Will Take Care of You

I can’t emphasize this enough, our health should be our number one priority! When we ignore our health it might give us more free time in the short term but long term we’re only causing ourselves undue pain.

Take the time to make a dedicated list of health promoting activities to fulfill every day and just do it.

This list might include:

– Breaking a swear daily during your favorite form of exercise

– Incorporating daily health supplements to promote long term wellness

– When sitting at your desk, remember to have good posture and take mini stand up breaks for every 30 minutes of sitting.

– Stay away from refined sugar, carbohydrates and all processed food. Remember the 80/20 rule.

The basics of the 80/20 rule, also called Pareto’s principle, is that in life 20 percent of our activities account for 80 percent of our joy and outcomes. How does this rule apply in your life? Think about when you are in “the zone” when creativity is at its highest and you are able to produce your best work. This is likely the basis of whats bringing you the most happiness and success.

When we can zoom in and focus on that 20 percent of activities which bring us the most fulfillment, we can improve our productivity and get more done in less time.

Procrastination, relentless emailing or doing a job half-heartedly when we could outsource someone to do it better—these activities are using up valuable time where we could be focusing on the 20 percent.

What aspects of your daily life do you think you could ditch to maximize productivity?

~

Author: Dr. Alan Chong

Editor: Alli Sarazen

Photo: Aurimas/Flickr

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Dr. Alan Chong