In an age where busyness is at an all-time high, productivity becomes extremely important. Whenever you can do your work in less time, you free yourself up for more projects. More projects equals more progress. There are many ways to save time and maximize production capacity, and below are some of my favorites.
Ways to Save Time
Time is the only non-renewable resource we have. We can find ways to make more money, boost our energy, and focus our attention, but we can’t give ourselves more time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. The difference between successful people and the others is how this time is utilized.
Rory Vaden in his TED Talk describes these time savers as “multipliers.” The basic idea is simple: focus your energy on the right things now to save yourself time and energy down the road. Like compound interest, these multipliers will exponentially increase your time available. See the below video for detail on saving time.
So what should you focus on exactly to save yourself some time? Here are two of my favorites.
Setting Up Automatic Payments
This is often the most simple, and most neglected, option to save yourself some time. If you have any recurring bills that you are paying manually, give yourself a break and set up automatic online payments (if possible).
In this age of digital subscriptions especially, people have tons of recurring payments. In any given month, someone might have bills from 10+ different vendors. Car payments, car insurance, mortgages, rent, home insurance, Netflix, the Wall Street Journal, student loans, utilities, TV, internet, a wine-of-the-month club membership, and your monthly scotch allotment are examples of a few.
Now imagine paying each one of these individually…every month. Simply logging into each of these websites would take you 30 minutes. And don’t even get me started on paying each bill in person. If there is an option to set up an automatic payment, do it.
Working From Home
Working from home to be more productive?? No way.
Yes way. Working from home eliminates one key time waster that millions of people deal with every day: commuting. The average American worker commutes for nearly 27 minutes one way–that’s one hour every day. Eliminating your commute altogether gives you an extra 2,000 hours per year. Imagine what you could accomplish if you spent 2,000 hours on it.
In order to work from home, additional purchases may be needed. This is where you have the ability to control the outcome. Many employers don’t like employees working from home due to the lack of resources at the employees house.
If that’s the case, you need to prove to your boss that you have more than just a bar stool and notebook at home. You may have to purchase yourself a nice desk, monitors, and other equipment to convince your supervisor, but the time saved will more than make up for the expense.
Pro tip: any money invested in an at-home office may be tax-deductible. Check with your tax or financial advisor to see what you can write off.
Once you have some more free time, investing in production capacity is the next most important step.
Ways to Maximize Production Capacity
If you’ve freed up some time, great. But what are you going to do with all that free time now?
You could play more Fortnite or watch more cat videos–if you want to be stuck in your current lifestyle. Or you could spend that newly discovered time to build a better future.
Imagine a future where you can work whenever you want, if at all; a future where you have the freedom to tell your boss to f*ck off. Doesn’t that sound great?
In order to build this utopian future, maximizing your production capacity is essential. By maximizing capacity, I mean investing in things that will return more than you put in. If you want to write more, investing in a writing class or writing software could help you. If you want to read more, you could learn to speed read.
Whatever you want to do more efficiently, there is a way to do it. My two favorite ways to maximize production capacity are:
Investing in Education
Learning is the best way I know to increase your production. By learning more about a particular subject, you learn what drives the outputs. Once you know what drives the outputs, you can figure out how to improve those drivers.
Take fixing cars as an example. If you have no education on how cars work, it’s going to take you a long time to figure out what the problem is. Sure, you might be able to fix it with lots of trial and error. You also might break something.
In order to fix your car right the first time, learn what each of the parts do and how they interact with each other. There are many trade schools for the highly technical aspects, and there are also lots of helpful YouTube videos for minor repairs and maintenance. By investing in education, you are maximizing your capacity to fix cars in a given amount of time.
In many cases, education takes time and money. In many others, education only takes time. Invest your time and money in the areas you want to improve.
Investing Your Money
If you want to maximize your capacity to produce income, investing your money is a great way to do it.
Even if you invest only $1,000 into stocks or ETFs with a 4% dividend, you’ll earn an extra $40 per year. If you put $100,000 into the same investment, that’s $4,000 of extra income per year. Does an extra $4,000 sound good to you?
And that’s just the start. Using the principles that Warren Buffett has given us, you could see returns much higher than 4% per year. Investing in stocks and options is a great way to maximize everyone’s earning potential.
Whatever your method of saving time, use that extra time for growth. Your time is valuable, and if you want to reach your goals, it needs to be spent wisely.