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Busy Lifestyle? Here’s How to Utilize Time and Stay Productive

Lifestyle

Those who have a busy life and their careers may often say that there isn't enough time to achieve everything they want, or else, something must be sacrificed to fulfill another task. However, time is what you make of it, and by using your time wisely, you will always find that you can achieve exactly what you need to – when you need to.


So how can you use time more sensibly and stay motivated?

Shop Online

Shopping online can be a godsend when you're extremely busy, especially in the category of grocery shopping. Often finding time to go to the store and fulfill a big shop, including the travel time to get there, is a major inconvenience if you're too busy – or maybe just plain exhausted.

Gift shopping online is also a great way to save time, especially during the busy holiday periods when you might be working extra hours – or just struggling to juggle your extra holiday responsibilities. You can order a variety of gifts or items online like women's perfume with quick delivery so that you never have to sacrifice large chunks of time for errands.

Write To-Do Lists

Plan out your day, your week, or even your month – writing lists in advance, which are realistic and achievable means you wholly understand how your time needs to be distributed and spent. Prioritize your lists so that you put the most important tasks first – that way, if something unexpected does happen, you can shift the less important tasks to the bottom of the list or have them roll over for the next day.

Lists can also help hugely with productivity levels because you can physically see your notes and goals, and have the satisfaction of ticking off their completion one by one.

Set Boundaries

Especially for entrepreneurs who work for themselves, work time and personal time can slowly start to become the same – which isn't ideal. By setting clear time boundaries, you're ensuring that no time is wasted, and you have a clear focus at all times.

You could:

  • Avoid taking personal messages or phone calls, or fulfilling personal errands, during your working hours
  • Have a set starting and finishing time for your work schedule
  • Turn off your work phone and emails during your downtime
  • Communicate to colleagues, employees and loved ones when your schedules are, so that they know when they can and can't contact you
  • Have set days off

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions are the worst for soaking up valuable time. Even ten-minute procrastination sees you ten minutes behind schedule – and it all adds up. Eliminate your distractions as much as possible, in every sense, and make sure your mind is free to concentrate.

Take care of personal errands in your free time so that you're not thinking about them during your work. Set up a workstation that is free of distracting technology, such as televisions, tablets, or mobiles. Be sure to communicate when you need a quiet working space so that other colleagues (or family and friends) know when not to distract or disturb you.

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.

Pre-Read

When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.

Highlight

Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.

Summarize

If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.