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  • - A great man once said that time is an illusion,

  • lunchtime, doubly so,

  • but despite the apparently elusory

  • nature of these two things,

  • time can certainly seem like something that's tangible

  • and like something that is constantly

  • slipping through our fingers,

  • not least of which because of the fact

  • that we tend to waste so much of it.

  • Yes, it seems that most of us are

  • perpetually rocked by at least a little bit of guilt

  • over the amount of time we spend scrolling through Netflix,

  • or browsing the dankest of memes,

  • or just refreshing Instagram to see

  • how many likes we got on that latest post

  • in the last 30 seconds.

  • Though, it also bears mentioning the

  • amount of time we tend to waste on

  • things that don't seem to produce as much guilt,

  • things seem justified like taking on too many commitments,

  • and having an overly busy schedule

  • where we're stretched thin, stressed out,

  • and producing low quality work as a result.

  • As Francis Crick once said,

  • a busy life is a waste of life.

  • What I wanna do with this video is

  • take a broad view of time management

  • and give you five useful tips for

  • managing your time more effectively

  • whether you already know you're wasting it

  • because you're a couch potato,

  • or whether you, like me to be honest,

  • have simply diluted yourself into thinking

  • you're already managing it pretty well

  • because of how busy you are.

  • Let's get into it.

  • (upbeat electronic music)

  • The first tip that I've got for your guys today

  • is to try using a time tracking tool.

  • I recently did a video on apps that force you to work,

  • which listed several different options in this category

  • so I'm not gonna restate them all,

  • but what I do wanna do here is

  • give you a little bit of a deeper look

  • at one that I'm gonna recommend you

  • at least give a try and that is Toggle.

  • Unlike automatic time trackers like Rescue Time

  • that just log the time you spend in each app

  • or program on your computer and then

  • give you a report at the end of the week,

  • Toggle is a manual time tracker which means

  • you actually go into their dashboard

  • and record the time you spend on each task

  • throughout the day.

  • The reason that I recommend at least

  • giving this tool a try is that

  • tracking your time manually makes you think harder about it

  • and you start to realize more accurately

  • how you spend your time on a daily basis

  • and that let's you make changes going forward.

  • Within Toggle's dashboard,

  • you're gonna find two different modes,

  • manual mode and timer mode.

  • With manual mode,

  • you can record the amount of time

  • you spent on each task after the fact,

  • but what I'm gonna recommend you use instead is timer mode.

  • This is a real-time method where you

  • hit a start and stop button so you

  • can be timing your work as you actually do it.

  • This has a couple of key benefits.

  • First, it's more accurate since you are

  • tracking time in real-time.

  • You don't have to go back after the fact

  • and try to remember how many hours

  • and minutes you put into each task, and secondly,

  • and more importantly,

  • you'll be less likely to waste time or switch tasks

  • because you'll subconsciously want your

  • time log to accurately reflect what you actually did.

  • Long-term manual time tracking like

  • eating a bowl of nails in the morning is not for everyone.

  • You might find that after you do it for a week or two,

  • you kinda wanna move on and just

  • not worry about it anymore and that's fine,

  • but I do think that doing it for a week or two

  • as an experiment is very useful because

  • it gives you a more accurate picture

  • of how you're using your time and

  • it'll make you think a little bit more

  • deliberately about how you're gonna use it in the future.

  • (upbeat electronic music)

  • Tip number two is to get clear on your priorities

  • and to do this very deliberately,

  • maybe even sit down and do it on a piece of paper

  • or write it in your journal because

  • when you aren't clear on your priorities

  • and what they represent on your schedule,

  • it can be very easy to take on too many commitments

  • and to become that overly busy person.

  • I think prioritizing can be a topic for a video all its own,

  • but I do wanna give you a couple of questions

  • that I ask myself whenever I'm trying to

  • nail down what my personal priorities are

  • and whether a new commitment is worth it.

  • Number one, to ask a very in the details type of question.

  • What does my schedule look like without this on it?

  • Answering this means taking a hard look

  • at my current list of commitments,

  • my schedule, how much free time I have,

  • and whether or not I'd be willing

  • to give something up to take on this new commitment or not.

  • In addition to that question,

  • I also like to ask a more birds eye view question which is,

  • when I'm on my death bed, will I regret not doing this?

  • This is the question that actually

  • got me to finally start taking singing lessons.

  • This could be a question that would

  • also be useful for getting over your

  • fear to start doing things,

  • but as a time management question,

  • it can also be very useful because

  • it helps you to prioritize things

  • from a bird's eye view, from a life values perspective.

  • If you wanna be really clear on your

  • priorities and on your values and on what you're doing,

  • it may also be useful to have a

  • written record of what you're doing at the moment

  • and to update it quite frequently.

  • I actually do this.

  • If you go over to my website, collegeinfogeek.com/now,

  • you can see what I'm doing and

  • what my priorities at least should be ideally.

  • (upbeat electronic music)

  • Tip number three is to learn how to

  • batch your tasks effectively,

  • and batching basically just means

  • taking a bunch of your tasks, bundling them together,

  • and knocking them all out in one session.

  • When you do this, you free up lots of time

  • for more intense projects later on,

  • or if you're me, probably playing more Beat Saber,

  • but more importantly,

  • batching lets you take advantage of economies of scale.

  • When you decide to do a bunch of tasks in one big batch,

  • you eliminate a lot of the setup costs

  • that you would have to deal with

  • if you did them all individually.

  • In terms of tasks that make good candidates for batching,

  • I'm gonna go ahead and suggest number one,

  • any and all errands.

  • If it's a low energy task and you

  • have to leave the house to do it,

  • go ahead and take care of all those in

  • one big batch in one afternoon.

  • Number two, tasks that require a low mental energy

  • and that are done at home so cleaning things up,

  • organizing papers, fighting that ninja

  • that's hiding in your closet,

  • clearing out your email box, all that kind of stuff.

  • Number three, any kind of small tasks

  • that surround your main work.

  • For an example here,

  • every single time that I have to make a video,

  • I need to create a project over in Notion

  • with a sponsor tag and a publishing date,

  • and I also have to create a research document in Evernote.

  • These are little tasks that could be

  • done individually when I start the project,

  • or I could come up with 10 video topics in a row

  • and do all of these things in one big batch.

  • One little tidbit before we move on,

  • if you're already using Todoist or a similar task manager,

  • you may wanna start using their labels feature

  • as it can be very helpful for batching since

  • across all of your projects,

  • you can apply labels that correspond to say

  • your energy levels like low or medium or high,

  • or the location at which a task has to be performed

  • like home or work or an errand,

  • and then when you have time for a batch,

  • you can look at the label that's most

  • relevant to you right now and see what there is to be done.

  • (upbeat electronic music)

  • Next up, we have to talk about how to

  • get better at saying no.

  • This is an integral skill in time management,

  • especially for people who are overly busy.

  • Those of us who are perpetually overcommitted

  • seem to be the kind of people who

  • just can't say no to new opportunities,

  • whether there are people coming to us

  • because they want something from us, they want our help,

  • or whether it's something that just

  • seems really cool that we want to do.

  • Either way, we have to learn how to say no

  • if we wanna be able to prioritize

  • the things that are actually important

  • and give them the time that they deserve.

  • How exactly do you get to the point where you can say no?

  • There are definitely tactics,

  • there are ways to gracefully let people down,

  • there are ways to sort of push off things

  • that you might wanna do for yourself,

  • but I think the first thing you have to do

  • is just become mentally okay with saying no

  • and this can be hard.

  • A lot of times saying no feels like

  • letting an opportunity slip through your fingers forever

  • like you're only gonna get one shot

  • because this opportunity only comes once in a lifetime

  • like having the ability to seamlessly

  • integrate Eminem lyrics into a video script,

  • which I didn't say no to.

  • Remember that every time you say yes to an opportunity,

  • you are incurring an opportunity cost

  • because the act of saying yes to one thing

  • means you are implicitly saying no to something else.

  • You have a limited amount of time, energy, and attention

  • and you can't devote it to everything.

  • This can be a useful way to reframe your thinking.

  • Remember that every single decision you make

  • incurs an opportunity cost.

  • That brings us to the question of

  • how to properly let people down if you have to say no

  • because there is a graceful way to do it

  • and then there is an abrasive way to do it.

  • You could just yell no and why would

  • you ever ask me to do that in their face,

  • but you could also do it a little bit more tactfully

  • and here's an example of how I personally do it.

  • One type of opportunity that I have

  • deliberately chosen to say no to

  • for the most part is public speaking.

  • This is something that I do like doing.

  • It definitely can advance my career,

  • but I've realized that if I travel,

  • if I speak, if I take time to write talks,

  • I can't make as many videos and I

  • can't do the other things that are valuable to me.

  • Nine times out of 10,

  • when somebody reaches out to me wanting me

  • to go speak at their school or their event,

  • I have to say no.

  • My priorities dictate it,

  • but I try to say it in a way that

  • respects the fact that they even reached out to me

  • that says that I'm honored that they did so

  • and that tells them I have other commitments right now.

  • I'm not saying no because I don't want to do it.

  • I do, but I have other priorities that I have to respect.

  • You could also take it one step further

  • by trying to anticipate their next step

  • and then trying to help out with that.