We all need more time in the day, but short of waving a magic wand to stop time or creating more hours in the day, the only thing we can do is run around in a mad rush to get everything done, right?  Wrong.

It is possible to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time – and all with less stress!  It only takes discipline, focus and learning to say “no.”

Discipline: to eliminate (or outsource) internet “surfing” —
Focus: to tackle tasks with efficiency — and
No: to extra things with no value that add to an already crazy schedule.

Without further ado, here are 10 tips on how to save two hours per day (while regaining your sanity)…

  1. Check e-mail only at specific times — Of all the time consuming tasks each day, this one has to take the cake.  As I’m living prove, you can easily save 2 hours per day just on this one task by implementing a two rules: 1. Save the personal e-mails for off-work hours. 2. Establish set times to check e-mails, preferably twice a day max.

    Even better yet, hire assistants and have them filter your e-mail messages, only forwarding the essentials.

  2. Use a daily planner — This can take a little getting used to, but it’s worth it.  Include everything in your daily planner… appointments, “to-do’s,” and phone calls.  Be sure to add travel times and an extra 15 minutes on the end of everything for a buffer.  You’ll be surprised when you have time left over at the end of the day.
  3. Focus, Focus, Focus — It’s easy to get stuck in the trap of multi-tasking only to spend the entire day scrambling.  Concentrate on completing the tasks at hand until it’s done, and then move on to the next, again, until it’s done.
  4. Avoid personal phone calls during work hours — We all love our friends, but we have to make a living.  At the end of the day, our friends don’t pay our bills, so reserve working hours for Internet business only and call friends after work.
  5. Learn to wrangle in “needless conversation” — We’ve all been victim to the occasional rambling co-worker or employee.  Be tactful and courteous, while gently leading the conversation to its purpose and conclusion.
  6. Consider different working hours — These days, people sit in traffic every day all around the world.  In case you still have and need to get to a day job, consider alternative times when getting to and going home from the office will not be spent in traffic.  Did you know the average person spends 38 hours per year in traffic?  Glad that excludes me!
  7. Consider telecommuting from home — More and more people are working from home either full-time or part-time.  Eliminating the drive to the office just one day a week could save time and money.
  8. Give up the TiVo — I talked about this a few times already… The tube is everyone’s friend : – ) but it also takes up valuable time.  Reducing time spent in front of the TV allows for the time to do so many other things—like building your Internet business!
  9. Switch it up — Try a new routine. Talk to friends, co-workers, business associates—or better yet, a Mentor.  Ask them how they save time and balance life with a demanding schedule; they might just provide a gem of a tip.
  10. Plan the next day the night before — Before going to bed, go over your daily planner for the next day.  The mind is amazing at accomplishing goals, and while you’re sleeping it will be working everything out to save even more time and increase productivity. This 10th tip is well worth a separate post as it can give you another 2 hours per day. So stay tuned!

There you have it.

Now, the goal is to pick the one that you like most and implement it. Don’t play with all 10 by “trying” here and there a bit. Instead, choose the one tip that you think brings the most rewards in terms of saving two hours per day and act upon it to its fullest.

Then and only then pick another one with the aforementioned approach.

—Marcus Hochstadt

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25 Responses to How To Save 2 Hours Per Day

  1. haleyhughes says:

    Give up the TiVo? Nnnnnoooooo! :)

    I’ve actually found that my TiVo reduces my time in front of the television. When I do sit down to watch television, my time is more efficiently spent watching the shows that I really want to watch, and zipping by the commercials, to boot. If there’s nothing on TiVo that I want to watch, I’m more likely to get up and do something else, rather than mindlessly surfing the channels.

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  4. Fitz says:

    This is a very useful article.

    Personally, giving up television made a really huge difference in my life. Putting a conscious effort to avoid it as much as I can really gave me time to spend on more important things.

    Furthermore, aside from a schedule for checking my emails, I also needed to take control of my internet surfing and blog hopping. One person could easily lose hours on “stumbling”, “digging” and watching YouTube videos.

  5. Good post! Reminds me of some tips I recently discussed and applied to my life. Thanks!

  6. MakaPalm says:

    A lot of people need these tips. Some of them are Entrecard addicts. Hehe. ;)

  7. Sometimes I use the trick that I learned from couple of cross-country moves. Start tossing. Clear and burn your tasks. Use Post It’s to create to do lists and only things that fit on the paper will be written down. You can only do so much. Sometimes you need to make the spaces you fill smaller.

  8. SexyOldBroad says:

    It’s posts like this that motivate us to get more done and have more time to play. Thanks for reminding me to concentrate on what’s important and what’s fluff in my life.

  9. Great tips. If you haven’t read the “4 hour work week” – its amazing – and includes several other time savers. Like voice mail checking – once per day. Checking the mail once a week… etc.

  10. Thank you all.

    Yes, some Entrecard addicts need to read these tips, too. ;-)

    Stephan, you give some great tips, too. Thanks a bunch for that. Make the spaces you fill smaller. Like that.

    And Matt, yes I’ve read Tim Ferriss’ 4 hour work week. The first change I did was checking e-mail from every 2 minutes to twice a day, which saved me a lot more than 2 hours/day. So yes, definitely, I highly recommend his book and blog!

  11. Thank you! Excellent stuff, have nice night.

  12. Wow! Fantastic Tips!

    I cut down and almost out my television time. I watch one show a week at the moment and that can sometimes increase to two or three. It is amazing how much time (and creative consciousness) you gain by spending less time in front of the tube. Especially if you make your time spent there count.

    The primary tip I need to work on now is to FOCUS! I need to make my work day WORK DAY instead of constantly getting sidetracked. Procrastination is my nemesis and there are so many ‘other’ things that distract me. It’s time to get that schedule happening and commit myself to certain hours that are ONLY WORK each and every day.

    Thanks for the reality check and some brilliant ideas.

  13. Mohanraj says:

    Hi! nice post! sure this gonna make some difference in my life. thanks!

  14. Rebecca, I know where you are coming from. There was a time where I got sidetracked all the time. It seemed as if checking e-mails was more important than finishing the task at hand.

    Focus was–and sometimes still is–something I constantly improve. I feel like a beginner at times, but once I get into a really focused mood, current tasks are finished in an instant.

    Or in other words, the feeling I enjoy when I really focus is an incredible one. :-)

  15. Luke says:

    Excellent tips, Marcus. It’s a matter of focus, eliminating time drains, and planning. I liked #10, it’s really a good idea to harness the subconscious like that.

  16. Limiting TV time or just getting rid of the damn box is some of the best advice you can give or get. I got rid of my TV about a month ago and don’t miss it at all. Instead of mindlessly sitting and watching the tube I now have plenty of time to read (books, blogs, or newspapers), exercise etc. etc.

    When I get the urge to veg, I just watch a movie which to me is much more intellectually stimulating than the boob tube.

  17. Luke says:

    So true, Adam. Books can drain just as much time, but are far more intellectually stimulating. I can actually write an intelligent blog post after three hours of book reading. Can one say the same for TV? And don’t get me started on the ads. Movies (in moderation) are also far superior to TV. Unlike the drawn-out constantly manufactured plots TV shows have to have to stay alive, movies have to compress their plot and actually come to a conclusion within an our or so.

  18. I don’t know if the time is going faster or what but now a month seems like a week and a week seems like a day.
    Thanks for these helpful tips.

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  21. […] do all the task at hand? Perhaps you should get rid of the tube! That alone will save most people several hours each day. Next step is to realize that multi-tasking is insane. Focusing on one task at a time is what moves […]

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  23. Kwirk says:

    Nice guide, thanks. Im always in a lack of free hours and hope these tips will work for me.

  24. Cherry says:

    I always see to it that I’m
    at par with the activities I need to do. Forgetting is not an option and if I
    tend to, I leave that for the next day no matter how important just so I could
    save more.

     

  25. I agree that it only takes discipline, focus and learning to say “no” and also, you need to know your priorities in life.

    Travis Wagner

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