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The Ultimate Time Hacking Guide

Seth Goodluck

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 30, 2018
66
165
141
26
Pacific Northwest
This is a copy of my reply to another post in Fastlane. I realized that the content here might be useful to the community at large. Thus the repost (with necessary edits). Please, by all means add your own hacks/wisdom/advice. I expect this to grow and change over time and will be adding quotes to this that include your recommendations.

--------

Why are you here right now?
Seriously, why are on the this forum and reading this post? Chances are you're either an aspiring fastlane entrepreneur, a successful fastlaner, or, like me, somewhere in-between.

We keep hearing that everyone has the same 160 hours in a week. Yet, some of us have full-time jobs and all of the other stuff in addition to our fastlane dreams. Some people seem to perform magic with their limited time while others obviously blow it away. You might be here because you're curious about how other people leverage their time. You might be here because you feel like you really need to get an edge on it.

Whatever your reasons, keep reading. Even if you disagree with or have counterpoints to mine, being reflective and self-aware is already have the battle.

Caveat - this post isn't a silver bullet. Like everything worthwhile, the advice takes time, effort, and consistent persistence. But it does pay off.

What I can say is that it summarizes my favorite and most effective ways of leveraging time. We all have the same time. There's no changing that. But you can sure as heck optimize how you use it. So, with that, let's get started.

There's an old poster from big union days that goes something like:

24 Hours a Day
8 Hours for Work
8 Hours for Play
8 Hours for Rest

Now, it can be viewed as 'scripted hogwash' and to a degree that's true. But let's think about that for a moment and specifically how it can be leveraged.

8 Hours for Work... if you're working a full-time job there is no easy way around this (yet). Call it 9 after commuting.

8 Hours for Rest... very dependent on who you are. I'd say I've only met a handful of people in my life who can legitimately function at a high level for a long time on 5 or fewer hours of sleep. But 6, 6.5, or 7 hours of actual sleep can happen. Let's call it 8 hours when you count falling asleep and the waking up/making coffee process.

You're down to 7 hours to 'squeeze' everything else in. What else 'needs' to be squeezed in here?
  • Your Business (...)
  • Your Leisure (Friends, Family, etc)
  • Your Education (Books, Podcasts, etc)
  • Your Health (Meditation/Exercise)
Does it seem a little daunting to stuff all of that into your last 7 Well, that's because it is. In fact, it's almost unreasonable to think that you can. So, what can you do then?

Here are some things I've found to be useful also working a 40-60 hour week (up to 70+ after you factor commuting). Do I do it perfectly every time? No. But I sure as hell keep trying and can confidently say even one or two things off of this list can make a huge difference.
  1. Kill Your 'Dead Time'
    • Bring a journal and development book/audiobook (marketing, sales, strategy, mindset, etc etc) everywhere
    • Waiting in line/doctor's offices/toilet time/brushing your teeth are necessary time sinks. But they are dead time. Read or listen to that audiobook OR work on whatever comes to mind with your business here.

    • I love my 2 hours a day public transport commute to work. It's the best part of my job right now (wtf, really Seth?). Yeah really.

      I get 2 hours a day to listen to audiobooks, read, or work on business stuff by way of hotspots, pencils/paper, and public transportation.

      Don't take public transpo? Fine. Stop listening to music on your commute and start listening to audiobooks to educate yourself. Fit education or some business work here. Alternatively, listen to comedy or music and turn this into a period of leisure.

      Time commuting can be seen as 'fuuuuu*k I'm going to work' or as 'sweet, I get to listen to that new album and write and effectively get paid to do it'

      You have the opportunity with dead time to transform it. Dead time is defined as time that you aren't actively growing/improving yourself. We all have it. But you can nix a lot with a journal and an audiobook.
  2. Supercharge Exercise & Chores
    • Audiobooks, podcasts, inspirational stuff, whatever. Learn while you're working and doing the menial that we all need to. Dishes, clothes, cooking... this is time you can listen to stuff. Have a journal close on hand so if you have an idea or something to hang onto, you can jot it down and get back to it.

      For me, doing this has made my every boring chore a lot more enjoyable(?) because I'm learning stuff and coming up with ideas while my body does autonomous things. Your every chore is an opportunity to improve yourself because your brain is damned good at performing basic autonomous motor skills.
  3. [Contentious] Stop grocery shopping in person. Grocery shop online if it is available in the area. I know, I know. They charge a small delivery fee and all that jazz. But here's the thing, how much is your time worth?

    I did the math and I was effectively paying myself sub-minimum wage for the privilege of saving a few bucks by not online grocery shopping.

    Now, I spend the extra 8 or 10 bucks, click 8 buttons in about 5 minutes (as opposed to driving, getting a cart, wandering around a poorly lit store, checking prices, standing in line, checking out, loading my car, driving home, unloading, and finally getting back to my time). My groceries are delivered in a few hours and it's awesome. And all the time I would have killed shopping, I can justifiably play a game, exercise, get laid, or whatever else I want for leisure/education/business.

  4. Limit yourself to 40 hours of work a week. Again, you might have to do this slowly because of bad habits that you've developed for yourself and bad expectations your bosses are having. Read 4 Hour Work Week as it gives some ideas for how to converse with bosses into wasting less time at work.

    Seriously. Every hour you spend over 40 hours working for someone else is an hour of your life you are effectively giving away for free to someone else for no additional benefit whatsoever. It may feel like you sometimes have 'too much work' but that's an illusion your trapped brain is telling you. Come 8 hours, come 40 hours, you are done. Period. No exceptions. This will give you two things:

    First - you'll get back hours and hours of your time
    Second - you'll be more efficient at work and easily fit all of the b.s. into 40 hours. I'm convinced a 30~35 hour work week would be more than sufficient in almost any salaried job these days...

  5. Do not neglect yourself as a habit
    (physically, mentally, emotionally)
  • Need a solid 8 hours of sleep? Get it.
  • Eating like sh*t? Stop it.
  • Never exercising? Get off your a$$.
  • Never tried meditation/mindfulness? Download the app Insight Timer (10K+ free guided meditations from hundreds of teachers all over the world)

    Your vehicle (you, your brain, your body) is a vital piece of the equation. Yes, we've all had uber long days with no sleep and we all will have them. But they should be a welcome exception and not a rule, your business can't get started without you being able bodied/minded. And beyond that, how the f*ck could you enjoy yourself if you're 2/3 dead by the time you get there (if you ever do at the rate you're going).
Tools and Useful sh*t
  1. Physical Journal + Mechanical Pencil
    • Seriously, you can work on business stuff/ideas anywhere. Or just vent. It doubles as leisure.
  2. Audio Books
    • In our vein of killing dead time. Stay educated. Educate your higher brain while your lower brain works the monotony (chores, sh*tting, etc).
  3. Insight Timer Phone App
    • Meditation/Mindfulness. Anyone who hasn't gone down that route or has given up or who claims it doesn't work for them is cutting their feet off and bragging about the lost weight. Not learning mindfulness/meditation is as idiotic a move as not exercising. You hurt yourself.

    • This app is free and has 10,000+ meditations on every topic with filters on length and content and subject from hundreds of different guides. Have 5 minutes? perfect chunk for meditating. Want your chakras aligned? There's one for that. Don't want any chakra or chi crap? Great, there are purely secular ones too.
  4. StayFocusd Chrome Extension
    • Waste too much time on Reddit, Facebook, or even this forum (sorry @MJ DeMarco)? There's an app for that. It'll block you from those sites after a time you specify for a duration you specify. Great way to stay focused.
  5. Jefit Phone App or FitnessBlender Youtube
    • Exercise is to the body as meditation is to the mind. Not sure where to begin? No gym membership and no equipment? No problem! These give you exercises, routines, and the whole shebang and can be done anywhere. No membership, no equipment required necessarily. And they are free.
  6. Loop Habit Tracker [Android... maybe iPhone?]
    • Great way to track and check off habits. Mine are: Meditate, Exercise, Write, Learn, and Build
That was long. I hope at least one thing in there you find useful. The only other thing I'd say is ease into the changes. You can try cold turkey, but that many habit changes are hard to track. Good luck - keep going.

Additional Awesome Fastlaner Advice:


@Jeff Noel
If you're just starting, I would add:
Uninstall those apps. You know, THOSE apps. Clash of Clans isn't worth your time, unless you're making money out of it (YouTube?). For a long time, I would tell myself "Yeah but I only use those at the bathroom". Then my bathroom breaks would end up taking twice the time simply because I was playing some game.

I could've been working on ads, writing article ideas, finding more opportunities all from the porcelain throne instead of getting gold coins to hopefully get my castle to level 13 (or whatever).

If you can, use a todo list on your cellphone when you cannot carry your physical journal. It helps a lot to give yourself tasks and type them down... and it feels good when you complete them !
Great write-up. Rep++

I would also add to disable all notifications on your phone/computer as every one is a distraction.

The default setting is for you to get random notifications, which do nothing but distract you...

Before changing the setting, I'd get a notification every few minutes.

"CNN reports Trump said mean things! Orange man bad! OMG!"
"Your XYZ App Needs Updating!"
"Groupon 25% off sale!"
"Joe Blow commented on your FB post!"

It was IMPOSSIBLE to concentrate. (Deep Work for all you Cal Newport fans)

Disable it.

All of it.
 
Last edited:

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Jeff Noel

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 26, 2018
512
1,009
369
Quebec, Canada
jfnoel.com
If you're just starting, I would add:
Uninstall those apps. You know, THOSE apps. Clash of Clans isn't worth your time, unless you're making money out of it (YouTube?). For a long time, I would tell myself "Yeah but I only use those at the bathroom". Then my bathroom breaks would end up taking twice the time simply because I was playing some game.

I could've been working on ads, writing article ideas, finding more opportunities all from the porcelain throne instead of getting gold coins to hopefully get my castle to level 13 (or whatever).

If you can, use a todo list on your cellphone when you cannot carry your physical journal. It helps a lot to give yourself tasks and type them down... and it feels good when you complete them !
 

Seth Goodluck

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 30, 2018
66
165
141
26
Pacific Northwest
If you're just starting, I would add:
Uninstall those apps. You know, THOSE apps. Clash of Clans isn't worth your time, unless you're making money out of it (YouTube?). For a long time, I would tell myself "Yeah but I only use those at the bathroom". Then my bathroom breaks would end up taking twice the time simply because I was playing some game.

I could've been working on ads, writing article ideas, finding more opportunities all from the porcelain throne instead of getting gold coins to hopefully get my castle to level 13 (or whatever).

If you can, use a todo list on your cellphone when you cannot carry your physical journal. It helps a lot to give yourself tasks and type them down... and it feels good when you complete them !
Hoorah
 

Xeon

All Cars Kneel Before Pagani.
Speedway Pass
Sep 3, 2017
1,097
2,392
562
Singapore
I agree with everything in the first post.
The only thing I never get is, how do people drive and listen to audio books at the same time?
It's either your mind+eyes on the road or on the audio book.

If it's a strategy / business tactics sort of audio book, you will definitely need a lot of brainpower to absorb, digest, think about how it can be applied to your biz.....what's there left to drive a car safely?
 

Jeff Noel

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 26, 2018
512
1,009
369
Quebec, Canada
jfnoel.com
I agree with everything in the first post.
The only thing I never get is, how do people drive and listen to audio books at the same time?
It's either your mind+eyes on the road or on the audio book.

If it's a strategy / business tactics sort of audio book, you will definitely need a lot of brainpower to absorb, digest, think about how it can be applied to your biz.....what's there left to drive a car safely?
People already do not have their attention on the road. They're busy playing with X or Y in their car or lost in their thoughts. I find the best thing to listen to is your vehicle's reaction to your driving. I often lower or mute the radio in my old 2005 Ford Focus to hear if everything's alright when I take a steep turn, how the tires react, etc.


I used to do this even more with my motorcycle, but mainly to listen to the exhaust note :blush:
 

Seth Goodluck

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 30, 2018
66
165
141
26
Pacific Northwest
I agree with everything in the first post.
The only thing I never get is, how do people drive and listen to audio books at the same time?
It's either your mind+eyes on the road or on the audio book.

If it's a strategy / business tactics sort of audio book, you will definitely need a lot of brainpower to absorb, digest, think about how it can be applied to your biz.....what's there left to drive a car safely?
I'd say, give it a try. They may not work for you. And that's fine.

Truth be told, I only started audiobooks a few months ago and I had the same reservations. How could I do ____ while listening to something.

It turns out, the brain is pretty good at learning to do both. Very action oriented books are harder. Mindset/perspective books seem to be easier.

Just give experimenting a go. And if the audiobooks while driving is a no go for you, then it's a no go for you. Simple :)
 

Seth Goodluck

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 30, 2018
66
165
141
26
Pacific Northwest
People already do not have their attention on the road. They're busy playing with X or Y in their car or lost in their thoughts. I find the best thing to listen to is your vehicle's reaction to your driving. I often lower or mute the radio in my old 2005 Ford Focus to hear if everything's alright when I take a steep turn, how the tires react, etc.


I used to do this even more with my motorcycle, but mainly to listen to the exhaust note :blush:
You make that sound almost meditative
 

Jeff Noel

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Oct 26, 2018
512
1,009
369
Quebec, Canada
jfnoel.com
You make that sound almost meditative
Riding my superike (RIP poor machine) has been one of the most beneficial things that happened to me. Everytime I'd hop on it, I wouldn't think about anything but, the road, the bike, the crazy drivers, and me.

When I would arrive home, my thoughts were ordered, my mind was clear and I had a million ideas. I would also feel extremely happy. I would call that meditation, yes!
 

MJ DeMarco

Raving Lunatic
Staff member
FASTLANE INSIDER
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 23, 2007
28,269
94,476
3,751
Phoenix, AZ
getUnscripted.com
This is a copy of my reply to another post in Fastlane. I realized that the content here might be useful to the community at large. Thus the repost (with necessary edits). Please, by all means add your own hacks/wisdom/advice. I expect this to grow and change over time.

--------

Why are you here right now?
Seriously, why are on the this forum and reading this post? Chances are you're either an aspiring fastlane entrepreneur, a successful fastlaneer, or, like me, somewhere in-between.

We keep hearing that everyone has the same 160 hours in a week. Yet, some of us have full-time jobs and all of the other stuff in addition to our fastlane dreams. Some people seem to perform magic with their limited time while others obviously blow it away. You might be here because you're curious about how other people leverage their time. You might be here because you feel like you really need to get an edge on it.

Whatever your reasons, keep reading. Even if you disagree with or have counterpoints to mine, being reflective and self-aware is already have the battle.

Caveat - this post isn't a silver bullet. Like everything worthwhile, the advice takes time, effort, and consistent persistence. But it does pay off.

What I can say is that it summarizes my favorite and most effective ways of leveraging time. We all have the same time. There's no changing that. But you can sure as heck optimize how you use it. So, with that, let's get started.

There's an old poster from big union days that goes something like:

24 Hours a Day
8 Hours for Work
8 Hours for Play
8 Hours for Rest

Now, it can be viewed as 'scripted hogwash' and to a degree that's true. But let's think about that for a moment and specifically how it can be leveraged.

8 Hours for Work... if you're working a full-time job there is no easy way around this (yet). Call it 9 after commuting.

8 Hours for Rest... very dependent on who you are. I'd say I've only met a handful of people in my life who can legitimately function at a high level for a long time on 5 or fewer hours of sleep. But 6, 6.5, or 7 hours of actual sleep can happen. Let's call it 8 hours when you count falling asleep and the waking up/making coffee process.

You're down to 7 hours to 'squeeze' everything else in. What else 'needs' to be squeezed in here?
  • Your Business (...)
  • Your Leisure (Friends, Family, etc)
  • Your Education (Books, Podcasts, etc)
  • Your Health (Meditation/Exercise)
Does it seem a little daunting to stuff all of that into your last 7 Well, that's because it is. In fact, it's almost unreasonable to think that you can. So, what can you do then?

Here are some things I've found to be useful also working a 40-60 hour week (up to 70+ after you factor commuting). Do I do it perfectly every time? No. But I sure as hell keep trying and can confidently say even one or two things off of this list can make a huge difference.
  1. Kill Your 'Dead Time'
    • Bring a journal and development book/audiobook (marketing, sales, strategy, mindset, etc etc) everywhere
    • Waiting in line/doctor's offices/toilet time/brushing your teeth are necessary time sinks. But they are dead time. Read or listen to that audiobook OR work on whatever comes to mind with your business here.

    • I love my 2 hours a day public transport commute to work. It's the best part of my job right now (wtf, really Seth?). Yeah really.

      I get 2 hours a day to listen to audiobooks, read, or work on business stuff by way of hotspots, pencils/paper, and public transportation.

      Don't take public transpo? Fine. Stop listening to music on your commute and start listening to audiobooks to educate yourself. Fit education or some business work here. Alternatively, listen to comedy or music and turn this into a period of leisure.

      Time commuting can be seen as 'fuuuuu*k I'm going to work' or as 'sweet, I get to listen to that new album and write and effectively get paid to do it'

      You have the opportunity with dead time to transform it. Dead time is defined as time that you aren't actively growing/improving yourself. We all have it. But you can nix a lot with a journal and an audiobook.
  2. Supercharge Exercise & Chores
    • Audiobooks, podcasts, inspirational stuff, whatever. Learn while you're working and doing the menial that we all need to. Dishes, clothes, cooking... this is time you can listen to stuff. Have a journal close on hand so if you have an idea or something to hang onto, you can jot it down and get back to it.

      For me, doing this has made my every boring chore a lot more enjoyable(?) because I'm learning stuff and coming up with ideas while my body does autonomous things. Your every chore is an opportunity to improve yourself because your brain is damned good at performing basic autonomous motor skills.
  3. [Contentious] Stop grocery shopping in person. Grocery shop online if it is available in the area. I know, I know. They charge a small delivery fee and all that jazz. But here's the thing, how much is your time worth?

    I did the math and I was effectively paying myself sub-minimum wage for the privilege of saving a few bucks by not online grocery shopping.

    Now, I spend the extra 8 or 10 bucks, click 8 buttons in about 5 minutes (as opposed to driving, getting a cart, wandering around a poorly lit store, checking prices, standing in line, checking out, loading my car, driving home, unloading, and finally getting back to my time). My groceries are delivered in a few hours and it's awesome. And all the time I would have killed shopping, I can justifiably play a game, exercise, get laid, or whatever else I want for leisure/education/business.

  4. Limit yourself to 40 hours of work a week. Again, you might have to do this slowly because of bad habits that you've developed for yourself and bad expectations your bosses are having. Read 4 Hour Work Week as it gives some ideas for how to converse with bosses into wasting less time at work.

    Seriously. Every hour you spend over 40 hours working for someone else is an hour of your life you are effectively giving away for free to someone else for no additional benefit whatsoever. It may feel like you sometimes have 'too much work' but that's an illusion your trapped brain is telling you. Come 8 hours, come 40 hours, you are done. Period. No exceptions. This will give you two things:

    First - you'll get back hours and hours of your time
    Second - you'll be more efficient at work and easily fit all of the b.s. into 40 hours. I'm convinced a 30~35 hour work week would be more than sufficient in almost any salaried job these days...

  5. Do not neglect yourself as a habit
    (physically, mentally, emotionally)
  • Need a solid 8 hours of sleep? Get it.
  • Eating like sh*t? Stop it.
  • Never exercising? Get off your a$$.
  • Never tried meditation/mindfulness? Download the app Insight Timer (10K+ free guided meditations from hundreds of teachers all over the world)

    Your vehicle (you, your brain, your body) is a vital piece of the equation. Yes, we've all had uber long days with no sleep and we all will have them. But they should be a welcome exception and not a rule, your business can't get started without you being able bodied/minded. And beyond that, how the f*ck could you enjoy yourself if you're 2/3 dead by the time you get there (if you ever do at the rate you're going).
Tools and Useful sh*t
  1. Physical Journal + Mechanical Pencil
    • Seriously, you can work on business stuff/ideas anywhere. Or just vent. It doubles as leisure.
  2. Audio Books
    • In our vein of killing dead time. Stay educated. Educate your higher brain while your lower brain works the monotony (chores, sh*tting, etc)
  3. Insight Timer Phone App
    • Meditation/Mindfulness. Anyone who hasn't gone down that route or has given up or who claims it doesn't work for them is cutting their feet off and bragging about the lost weight. Not learning mindfulness/meditation is as idiotic a move as not exercising. You hurt yourself.

    • This app is free and has 10,000+ meditations on every topic with filters on length and content and subject from hundreds of different guides. Have 5 minutes? perfect chunk for meditating. Want your chakras aligned? There's one for that. Don't want any chakra or chi crap? Great, there are purely secular ones too.
  4. StayFocusd Chrome Extension
    • Waste too much time on Reddit, Facebook, or even this forum (sorry @MJ DeMarco)? There's an app for that. It'll block you from those sites after a time you specify for a duration you specify. Great way to stay focused.
  5. Jefit Phone App or FitnessBlender Youtube
    • Exercise is to the body as meditation is to the mind. Not sure where to begin? No gym membership and no equipment? No problem! These give you exercises, routines, and the whole shebang and can be done anywhere. No membership, no equipment required necessarily. And they are free.
  6. Loop Habit Tracker [Android... maybe iPhone?]
    • Great way to track and check off habits. Mine are: Meditate, Exercise, Write, Learn, and Build
That was long. I hope at least one thing in there you find useful. The only other thing I'd say is ease into the changes. You can try cold turkey, but that many habit changes are hard to track. Good luck - keep going.

Additional Awesome Fastlaner Advice:


@Jeff Noel
Great write-up. Rep++

I would also add to disable all notifications on your phone/computer as every one is a distraction.

The default setting is for you to get random notifications, which do nothing but distract you...

Before changing the setting, I'd get a notification every few minutes.

"CNN reports Trump said mean things! Orange man bad! OMG!"
"Your XYZ App Needs Updating!"
"Groupon 25% off sale!"
"Joe Blow commented on your FB post!"

It was IMPOSSIBLE to concentrate. (Deep Work for all you Cal Newport fans)

Disable it.

All of it.
 

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