“I’m too busy to tell people how busy I am.” – someecards
Charlie Munger, the long-time business partner of Warren Buffett, once mentioned that there are weeks when the only thing scheduled on Buffett’s calendar is a haircut. His calendar will literally say,
“Tuesday: Haircut day.”
Buffett also doesn’t use email or a smartphone.
Without an overly busy schedule, without email, and without a smartphone, he manages to run a company with $240 billion in revenue and 377,000 employees.
I think we all can be a little less busy.
This is the final part in a three-part series I’m sharing with you using research from positive psychology to improve your well-being.
In the first part, I shared with you that research shows you create happiness by how you think and act on a daily basis.
In the second part, I shared with you that increasing your happiness doesn’t require the same strategies for everyone. You can pick and choose which strategies are more natural for you for faster and longer-term results.
Your Time is Everything
Today, in the third and final part, we’re going to talk about time.
Yep, it’s that elusive currency we seem to never have enough of, yet we’re willing to give it up for just about anything…
Watch a TV show? Sure, why not.
Watch a movie? Sure, why not.
Gossip about someone you saw at Walmart? Sure, why not.
Check Facebook, email, Slack, text messages, Skype, and Messenger 98 times per day? Sure, why not.
Eh, it’s just my life I’m giving up, right? We have lots of these, don’t we?
We are all so busy, yet we wonder why we’re not getting the things we want done and why weren’t not feeling fulfilled.
The Time Killer?
According to one study, regaining our initial momentum following an interruption (such as an incoming message on Skype, Slack, text, email, or Messenger) can take, on average, 20 minutes or more.
This means everytime you’re trying to do something important and get distracted by a message, you just lost 20 minutes of your life.
Additionally, one experiment found that we may lose as many as 10 IQ points when we allow our focused work to be interrupted by distractions such as emails and text messages.
Attempting to multitask causes lost productivity, reduced intelligence, and stress.
Do Less to Create More.
If you want to live a better, more productive, happier life, start doing less, not more.
When you’re doing focused work such as learning or building a business, shut everything else off. This includes your email, text messages, phone calls, Messenger, Slack, Skype, and every browser you have on your computer you’re not using.
In fact, I personally have my smartphone set all the time so that I get zero notifications – this means no dots, no beeps, no screen lighting up, nothing. I can’t see if I have a text message unless I physically unlock the phone and click on the messages icon.
Focused Blocks for Powerful Productivity
Aim to work in 30 to 90 minute blocks of completely focused time. During those periods, shut out the entire outside world.
Then, take a 10-15 minute break without a phone or email to recharge.
If you do this just twice a day, you’ll likely be more productive than 99% of the world.
You’ll get more done and be less stressed.
The Richest American Ran His Business by Snail Mail.
One of the most amazing anecdotes about huge success that’s stuck with me for years is that, at one time, Andrew Carnegie, likely the richest American of all time, ran his empire from thousands of miles away in a Scottish castle by letter sent through physical mail.
If Carnegie was alive today, he would be more than three times wealthier than the wealthiest person…and he ran his business, at times, by letter.
I think you will survive 90 minutes without checking chat messages.
Learning how to focus has become a competitive advantage in today’s world.
You’ll be more successful and happier.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this three-part series.
We’re living in an amazing time. For the first time in history, we’re learning what really creates geniune happiness and well-being.
I firmly believe that you can achieve just about anything you want in life. You just need to manage how you show up each day, focus well, and keep moving forward.
The future is bright for the world and bright for you.
I’ll be in touch 🙂
Matt Clark is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Amazing.com, a serial entrepreneur, and investor. He’s been featured on Forbes, CNBC, and Entrepreneur.com.