Know what your time is worth

Most people indulge in some amount of procrastination. Some of them even brag about it. Procrastination, however, is an enemy of productivity.

I had some of my most productive days when I was working and preparing for my masters at the same time. Blossom is a witness to this! I'd wake up at 4:30 or 5AM to study, start work at 9 or 10 AM, then go to college in the evening, come back and resume work (and study if I had any time left). I do not get stressed out easily – so that worked to my advantage I guess 😬

I've always known that time was precious and that I shouldn't waste it, but I generally followed my intuition. And intuitions can be stupid sometimes. For instance: I rarely watch TV shows or movies alone – because it makes me feel like I'm wasting my time. (In case I really want to, I'll binge watch so I get done with it asap. 😅)

Working on your productivity, however, calls for more than merely following baseless intuitions. It calls for knowing what your time is worth. Two years back, I read a blog post by Troy Hunt titled How I optimised my life to make my job redundant. He makes a point about how he knows what his time is worth – and that stuck with me ever since I read that post.

I remember striving for productivity. I'd plan the day and try to get more work done in less time, read what others had to say about time & productivity, and most importantly I'd spend a few minutes every night and think about how well I faired that day and how the next day could be better.

Here are a few things I find myself doing on my productive days:

  1. Waking up at 5:30 AM – helps me be more productive during the day.
  2. Resting enough – if I end up sleeping at 2AM for instance, I'm only waking up after 7AM. Oh and resting ≠ procrastinating: you need to feel rested not distracted.
  3. Surrounding myself with people that value their time – people that value their own time tend to value other's time too. People in my close circles value their time a lot too, and it keeps me motivated.
  4. Prioritizing daily time with the people I care about – it's a win-win and the amount of strength all involved can draw from this little effort is incredible.
  5. Limiting my social media usage – most of my social media time is on twitter. A fraction of it on Snapchat. Instagram not more than twice a week. Facebook about once in 3 months. As a rule, any time I spend on social media, I ensure it's for a purpose.
  6. Limiting my time on IM apps. Except for a select few that I try to text every week – I keep every other conversation short and only text if I really need to. I also usually keep my phone away from my desk while I'm working.
  7. Planning out weekends – I've been planning lunch/dinner most weekends with someone or the other for the last couple months. I also go through my reading list, or write some evlog code, or practice some music, or go out on a drive, or whatever I feel like doing in the weekends. I joined a choir group recently! While it's nice to just sleep through the weekend once in a while, it can start to feel like a wasted weekend and that's when I know I must be doing something in that time.

If there was one single rule (by me) for getting the most out of your time, it'd be this:

Everything you do, do it with a purpose; because the moment you lose purpose you're going to begin procrastinating.