Value Is Found In Creating More Hours In the Day
I've often thought to myself how cool it would be if I, and only I, secretly had 36 hours in a day while everyone else had only 24. With that extra time I would have the luxury of being able to sleep in, work a long workday, and still have time to do all of the things I wanted to do and more. I could weight train and stay in shape every day. I could prepare and eat the best meals all the time. I could practice any number of different skills, read, write, and just generally get ahead in all aspects.
Fantasizing about this inevitably brings one to the realization that you can get some of that stuff done by maximizing your efficiency. There are many aspects of this, such as listening to an audiobook to and from work instead of music or the radio. You've multitasked and effectively crammed your hour of reading into an activity where you were previously unengaged in learning or improving (unless you're trying to become a professional racecar driver and decide to practice on the california freeways - trust me, the cops out there don't care).
From a working perspective, a way to get more done is to hire someone to perform your duties, and pay them less than you are getting paid. Suppose You're earning 30 dollars an hour mowing lawns. You build up enough clients so you're mowing 12 hours a day. You can earn more money by raising the price of your service, providing more of that service, or outsourcing your duty to someone else and paying them less - then shaving off the top for yourself. Tadaaa! That's called a business. Paying someone less than you are being paid to do a job for you. It all comes down to efficiency really, because you don't have a business if you don't have an exit strategy. It's like treading water instead of swimming - in business your objective should be to work yourself out of the job - but not out of the income stream. As an employee in an organization, this can be difficult to obtain since it's likely that you don't have the capacity to hire people to perform your work for you - at least not until you're in middle management. So what is one to do? I go back to my previously discussed concept of minimizing your TBT - or "Time Between Tasks." You've seen and heard of the studies about how workers lose productivity by being interrupted, and it takes a while for them to become engaged and productive in their work again after such a disruption. You have to recognize those moments when you see them at work and harness the opportunity to become more productive by getting back on task faster.
The same principle can be applied at home. This is one of the reasons why I find it valuable to have a structured and written morning routine that I write before I go to bed each night. My foggy morning brain does a piss poor job at regulating my necessary tasks to get going each morning - so I take the responsibility off of hard thought and replace it with simply following instructions from the night before where my mind is (most of the time) sharp and laser focused on producing a plan that will make the next day as successful as it can be. If people waste 2-4 hours of their waking hours in moments such as losing productivity between tasks, being distracted, and so on, you can effectively gain that time relative to those around you if you have the discipline to take the time when you see it - and the presence to know when you're being robbed of that time. A facebook notification? One minute turns into five as you scroll through your feed. Text message? Gotta decide what to say and how to say it so it doesn't get misinterpreted. All of these moments add up to a significant amount if you're not paying attention and mediating them.
Since we all get 24 hours, no more, and no less, we'd be fools to let time slip away when all it takes is paying attention to when it's slipping away.
Stay hungry - and don't get distracted.