7 Hacks To Get the Most Out of Your 24 Hours

Joe Pawlikowski
Joe Pawlikowski is a freelance copywriter with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. Visit his site at JoePawl.com.
Joe Pawlikowski
Joe Pawlikowski
You can get your own content published on this site as long as you have CommentLuv installed on your site.

Doing so means you get exposure to thousands and thousands of other CommentLuv users and your posts get sent out to the massive subscriber list.

Google loves this site and indexes it multiple times per day and posts always get lots of comments so you can be sure of some excellent exposure.

See the Write For Us page for more details

btw.. you can get this author box here

getmoretime-featured

Each person is unique in countless ways, but we are all alike in one way. No matter the status of our births, our heights, our weights, our experiences, our hopes, our dreams, we all have one thing in common. We will have it common from the day we’re born until the day we die.

We all have only 24 hours in a day. No matter how many times we wish for more, perhaps feel we need more, we’re stuck in time the same way as everyone else.

Instead of wishing for more hours in a day, why not take action to get the most out of your allotted 24 hours? Take these seven hacks, for instance. Implement even one of them and you’ll get more out of your time. Implement all seven, and people will wonder if you did indeed invent a machine that slows down time.

1. Structure your day

Routine gets boring. Structure adds meaning. It might sound like a pithy platitude, but the difference between the two can change your day. If you do the same exact thing, at the same time, every day, you will eventually stop doing it. Routine bores us.

Structure, though? We can use structure to build productive days that remain flexible.

So what’s the difference between structure and routine?

Routine: Get up and do your stretches, then put on coffee, then shower, then eat breakfast.
Structure: Get up and get your heart rate up. Before you shower, put on coffee. After you shower, eat breakfast.

The differences seem subtle, because they are subtle. A routine is a set of instructions you follow every day. Structure guides us in the right direction. Humans get sick of following instructions, even ones from ourselves. So ditch your daily routine and set up a structure instead.

Need some ideas for how to structure your own day? Check out Pick The Brain.

2. Automate routine tasks

While we can trade in our old routines for new structures, some of our jobs require us to perform routine tasks. Unless you have someone to whom you can delegate, you’re stuck performing these tasks. They’re typically low-level yet necessary, and so fall into either the Urgent-but-Important, or worse, the Urgent-but-Not-Important quadrant in the task management matrix.

Even if you don’t have someone below you on the company hierarchy, you can still delegate many of those routine tasks. Or, at least, you can automate them so they don’t consume your limited focus and time. Services like IFTTT — if this, then that — have become increasingly popular, especially as they’ve developed smartphone integration. Yet for business, there might be a better service, one that connects with more than your typica consumer apps.

Check it out: Zapier. It connects with services like Trello, Salesforce, Basecamp, AWeber, and more. With integtation into these business-class services, you can automate a good chunk of your day.

3. Hire an assistant

Everyone would be more productive if they could hire assistants. Yet we all know that many companies just don’t have the budget. It’s not just the assistant’s salary. It’s the cost of finding a good one. Then there are training costs, benefits packages, and all sorts of costs that HR professionals know all too well, but people outside of HR take for granted.

One emerging alternative: virtual assistants. You might find them working independently, but there are many agencies where you can find a selection of assistants. You typically pay the agency for how many hours you need per month. Then you can delegate tasks to the assistant, freeing your time to pursue more important goals. The per-hour cost of a virtual assistant is far less than that of even an entry-level on-site assistant, and there are no hidden costs. It’s the new way to hire on a budget.

Check it out: Worldwide101. While many people think that virtual assistants can handle only administrative tasks like email filtering and bookkeeping, Worldwide101 assistants can do far more. If you pay for the upper tier service, not too much more than the standard service, you can even have them write up marketing materials and conduct serious outreach. And it’s still cheaper than hiring an on-site assistant.

4. Plan ahead for gap time

Mentally run through your typical day. How often do you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get any work done? You’re sitting in traffic. You’re waiting for a reply so that you can proceed on a project. Worst of all, you’re standing around waiting for someone. We have plenty of gap time in our personal lives as well. Consider the time you spend every week waiting on line at the grocery store.

We all face considerable

gap time every day. During it we lose valuable minutes, even hours, every day and week. Yet there is plenty we can do during those seemingly idle hours. How? Here are a few ideas.

  • Carry a book with you everywhere. We all want to read more. It’s amazing how much you can read if you pull out a book during routine idle time.
  • Carry a small tablet. A tablet will cost you more than a book, sure, but you can carry around a seemingly infinite number of books. Tablets are small enough now that you can often fit them in your back pocket. Or maybe you have a phablet and can comfortably read a book on your smartphone.
  • Download audiobooks and podcasts. You can’t read during your drive to work, but you can pop in an audiobook or podcast. After all, as Stephen King asks, “How many times can you listen to Deep Purple sing ‘Highway Star’?” (The answer is a ton, Stephen, but the point remains.)

Plan ahead for these gaps times, and watch your productivity soar. They’re hours you didn’t even realize you had.

5. Bundle tasks

The next two hacks might seem at odds, but once we examine them more closely they’ll make more sense. In order to get more out of our days, we can bundle tasks that don’t require our full engagement. This is not akin to multitasking, but rather laying a partially engaged task on top of another partially engaged task.

For example, I like to read while watching baseball games. I love baseball, and can become fully engaged. But to be fully engaged 162 days per year is quite a lot to ask of my attention and time. And so I like to read a paragraph in between pitches, and a few pages during commercials. This works well with football (American football, at least). There is plenty of downtime between plays, and commercials abound. I’d wager you could read more than 50 pages in a book during a standard football game if you read during halftime.

There are plenty of other opportunities to bundle tasks. Exercise is a prominent example. Some people need music to keep them motivated. I once counted myself among them. But now I listen to podcasts while working out. There’s hardly a difference in how I feel, and I’m doing more of something I like doing. Get a stand for your tablet and read while doing the dishes (or listen to an audiobook or podcast).

If a task doesn’t fully engage you, try to add another partially engaging task.

6. Uni-task at work

When you bundle tasks, you’re not switching back-and-forth. You’re doing two low-engagement tasks at once. When you’re at work, oftentimes you have a number of tasks that do require your full engagement. Those are the tasks you should approach with focus. Yet so many people feel that they can get more done by multitasking — switching back and forth between many tasks. Can you be fully engaged in three or four tasks at once? Can you toggle your engagement in the same way you press the ALT + TAB keys?

Many studies show that we don’t just return to our tasks after distractions. It takes an average of 25 minutes to resume focus. Can we ever really get into the zone, really focus, if we’re toggling among many different tasks? If you’re toggling among low-level tasks, and have a time limit set, maybe. But here has to be time for deep, focused work.

A focused 25 minutes of work will yield more productive results than 90 minutes of constantly distracted work. So find some time in the day — maybe even get to the office before everyone else — turn off email and other interruption machines, and get to work. Even if you can manage only a few deeply focused blocks per day, you’ll still find you’re spending your time more efficiently.

7. Track your time (temporarily)

No one wants to micromanage her life. We all groan when a boss asks us to report how many hours we spent on a certain task or account. So when I suggest that you track how you spend your time, I’ll hear similar groans. Do we need to track every minute of our lives in order to get the most out of the day?

No, not at all. Think of time tracking as an experiment, and a loose one at that. Track your time every day for a week. That weekend, take a look at your logs. Where were you most productive? Where were you least? Having these data at hand will show you where you can improve, and where you’re strong.

Think about it this way: elite athletes analyze their own games to find their weaknesses. That’s how they get better. Why can’t we do the same with our own lives? If we understand where we’re wasting time, we can devise a plan to reclaim that time.

Check it out: Toggl. It’s a simple tool, with a free tier, that allows you to track your time. Look at your logs for the week and figure out where you can improve. Then try to improve for a few weeks. Go back in later and track another week. You don’t need to micromanage your life in perpetuity. But you can gain more time by periodically figuring out how you can better spend your time.  

Comments

  1. Hi Joe,
    Well, it is a coincidence that I wanted to do more in a day and before this post, I came across an ebook. It was titled “essentialism” and yes, it is a really good book on doing things that matter the most. The book tells you how to not become another failure and get more with less work. Do read that.
    I was distracted man, talking about your post.
    I love the 1, 2 , 4 and 7 points.
    Thanks for the post!
    Anurag recently posted..Xiaomi Mi3 vs OnePlus One – ComparisonMy Profile


    • Twitter:
      Hello Anurag,

      It would please you to understand that all great fellows in the world adhere strictly to this ‘essentiallism’. The 80/20 law or the Pareto Principle is almost a scientific explanation of how little time can be used to achieve really great results!

      It’s sad that many people still don’t have a clue why they aren’t achieving anything!

      Always,
      Terungwa
      Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..KEN EZEANI IS A SCAMMER – AND A CHEAP LIAR!My Profile

  2. Ashley Andrews says:

    Interesting post, Joe – and how true the first one is. I kept noticing it in the past couple of months but couldn’t put my finger on why I was getting bored of certain things. You’re right, routine gets too monotonous after a while – the difference between that and structure must be very subtle, though.
    I’ll go and check out the article you mentioned – thanks so much!

  3. Oh, how I would love to have an assistant or someone blogging for me! haha Well, I just got into blogging and I like reading people’s ideas on life hacks and being more productive. I think what you shared here is very useful and can make someone get the most out of their day. Also, you are right when you say that routine can become very boring. I think people are able to work in different areas should really try to get around to find inspiration in the world by working somewhere different than they are accustom to. Also, reward yourself at the end of each day. Good post!

    Regards,
    Lawrence
    Lawrence Berry recently posted..Financial Freedom: College Degrees Won’t Make You RichMy Profile


  4. Twitter:
    It would be nice to have an assistant. I find I get more things done if I write them down, sort of like a to-do list. It not only helps me accomplish what I need to do for the day, it also helps me remember that I need to do those things. If I have four things to do and don’t write them down, I usually forget what the third thing was after a while.
    Lists might not work for everybody, but it does for me.
    Aldo R recently posted..9 Signs You Need A VacationMy Profile

  5. I like to read novels and play games in my leisure time.
    lalina recently posted..Gmail Login – http://www.Gmail.com – Gmail Sign InMy Profile

  6. Himanshu Rawat says:

    I equally love blogging and gaming especially plat former games, but I usually end up playing games all the time. Hire a Personal Assistant is a great ideal. Thanks for sharing these tips Joe.
    Regards Himanshu

  7. Pritam Nagrale says:

    Nice tips on Time management. Yes. Indeed. You are right Joe. I appreciate it. There is NO time for do other things at once. You’ve to manage it at your own schedule and arrange it at in proper ways.
    Your tips are really helpful a lot and should follow it soon at my way.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Without a proper routine and a to do list the day gets fucked up and the person is unable to do any thing…
    Btw thanks for the nice tips…
    lalina recently posted..Things To Do When You’re Bored At HomeMy Profile

  9. Hi Jo, thanks for a great post (my first one read here at ComLuv). I really think your comparison between “routine” and “structure” is excellent! I have this problem that on top of all of the work I need to get done, I’m a dedicated “neat freak”. Luckily I have mastered the art of structuring my routine so that I get my organizing and cleaning done in between my business dealings (and the rest of life). I manage to keep focused just fine and enjoy the fact that I can neatly structure a routine, while keeping each day different but fruitful.

  10. Aji Wibowo says:

    I think people are able to work in different areas should really try to get around to find inspiration in the world by working somewhere different place for more inspirations


  11. Twitter:
    Great article. I work for more than 10 hours a day as I have so many blogs. So its really difficult for me to manage my day and work. This is a good read for those who want to know how to do things efficiently. Thanks for this article
    Prabhat recently posted..Top 10 Best Thrash Metal Songs of All TimeMy Profile


  12. Twitter:
    Thank you! These tips will certainly help. Along with these, a great suggestion I’ve been given is to break the day down into 15 minute chunks. It’s enough time to get things done and short enough that if you waste a few, you can still get back on track and accomplish some things.
    Joe Dalio recently posted..The Fastest Way to SuccessMy Profile


  13. Twitter:
    Great Advice! People with good time management skills are more likely to be successful in their lives. Effectively managing your time will enable you to work more efficiently and do more to further the bottom-line objectives of your company. And you are absolutely right about “Routine gets boring.” :)
    Worli recently posted..Sarah Dessen Love QuotesMy Profile


  14. Twitter:
    Great post. Plan ahead for gap time and track your time are best I think. These two aspects can make us even more productive because we always know what work best for our time.
    Okto recently posted..2 Fast and Easy Ways to Increase Facebook Fanpage Engagement Today (study case)My Profile

  15. The thing that really allows me to manage my time well is to have extra time in case something goes wrong or not according to plan which almost always does happen on one task or the other. So I believe that our time schedule should have room for mistakes just like Joe explains in the article.

  16. Zach Cooper says:

    I really like your point about “structure” vs “routine”. I completely agree; I often get bored of routine even though it is self-imposed. By using a flexible structure in place of a rigid routine, I probably could become much more productive.

    I will definitely give it a try this week. Thanks for the post.


  17. Twitter:
    These simple Hacks can help to get most out of the day which has only 24 hours. Most of the time we kept on doing the routine tasks daily without noticing them which are needed to be automated.
    Lakshman P recently posted..Best Custom Roms for Moto XMy Profile

  18. Amit Kumar says:

    As a blogger, its very difficult to manage my time. This guide is very helpful. Now i am preparing list according to these tips to manage my day in better ways. Thanks for sharing.


  19. Twitter:
    Sometimes i do think of assistant but i am not in the situaton to hire an assistant to do this job, but i ll try it by myself, thanks for the tips.

    Karan Rawat
    Karan Rawat recently posted..My email account was hacked, is changing my password good enough?My Profile


  20. Twitter:
    Hello Joe,

    We can all have ‘extra time’ if we are smart and think in very creative terms. What is most likely the lack of time is rather a gross mismanagement of it! I would add that following the 80/20 principle is also a classic move to spend less time doing things that aren’t productive.

    Always,
    Terungwa
    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted..KEN EZEANI IS A SCAMMER – AND A CHEAP LIAR!My Profile

  21. interesting post nice step by step explanation


  22. Twitter:
    Super useful information. I’d like to think I practise some of these (particular #1 and #5) but having out laid out really helps me to get into gear. I really need to be better a managing my time though. I find I can try to overdo #5 (bundle tasks) at the expense of tasks that require more time – and I don’t quite have enough organization to when I do certain things. Thanks again for this helpful post!
    Kimmy recently posted..July Beauty Empties (2014)My Profile

  23. Many people often face several problems due to their undisciplined and irregular routine life.We must maintain a proper routine to save time in our daily life.Thanks for providing such a wonderful article with some awesome tips for us.I appreciate the time you spend behind this article.


  24. Twitter:
    hmm very interesting and helpful article and you have explained it very well and in good way.
    I am going to follow these steps
    Best Regards
    Zaib Abbasi
    Zaib Abbasi recently posted..Killer Tips To Earn Extra Money & Increase CPC Of ChitikaMy Profile


  25. Twitter:
    I really like your article, thanks for sharing such a great post.
    very helpful post for me because ou have explained it very well :)
    Keep it up
    Manpreet recently posted..Best Android Hacking ToolsMy Profile

  26. Albert Smith says:

    I’m so glad you found the advice in the post helpful! I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head with you comment. I loved the way you summarized being successful through having a combination of action and the right mind set. Thanks For Share With Us.


  27. Twitter:
    I always want to do more in a day. I obviously end up doing less on most days. And there are days when I exhaust myself by doing too much. I think a detailed plan like yours will help me strike and balance and make the most of my day.
    Arun Chandran recently posted..UltiProMy Profile

  28. really good book on doing things that matter the most. The book tells you
    nice post thnxx for share
    deepti recently posted..free download idm registration key 6.21.6.20My Profile

  29. Great tips. I definitely agree with the uni-task one. Most people don’t multi-task as well as they thing they do and they don’t get back on task as easily or quickly as they thing they do. I haven’t heard it called uni-tasking before but the term makes sense. I advise it for anyone who wants to get more done.
    Nelson Ruiz recently posted..Reliable Pest & Termite ControlMy Profile


  30. Twitter:
    Hey joe,
    Nice tips and Yes, time waits for no one. These tips really help us to make right way to use time. Thanks for sharing these tips with us.
    Sudipto recently posted..Best Android Phone Under 12000 In IndiaMy Profile

  31. Hiring an assistant is very severe need of mine. I am managing 2-3 startups on my own. Earlier it was easy to manage but as they are getting popular, things are becoming tough :-(
    Sonika recently posted..15 August HOT Wallpapers For PC in HD FREE Download (2014)My Profile


  32. Twitter:
    This being a great post. This needs a appreciation, as you provided a detailed description.
    Thank you very much for sharing such a great post with us.
    Sushain recently posted..My Name is Ranveer Ching Trailer | My Name is Ranveer Ching Song Mp3 DownloadMy Profile


  33. Twitter:
    Great Post ! keep it up
    Preet recently posted..How to Hack Facebook AccountMy Profile

  34. Anoush Alexnder says:

    Wow but what if i cant afford the assistance? I have got all thing but i cant afford assistance at this stage is there any alternate of it please?


  35. Twitter:
    Hi joe,
    As a Blogger, i always think to increase my work productivity, but sometimes i end up wasting too much time. . As you said, Structuring our day and planning ahead will definitely help us to get the most of our 24 hours!

    Thanks for sharing this informative post! :)
    Adithya Shetty recently posted..6 Best Google Adsense Ready WordPress ThemesMy Profile


  36. Twitter:
    Hi
    I really need these tips as I waste most of my time playing temple run 2 game on my PC. I really need to work hard and make use of my time most effectively. I also waste a considerable amount of time on Facebook. :(
    Sanjib recently posted..Download Temple Run 2 for PC/ComputerMy Profile


  37. Twitter:
    Lately, I’ve been doing repetitive task and I did some research regarding bots and I just fell in love! It will save your time like crazy, there’s a learning curve though. Another tip is to before you work, list all the task on a paper, cross it out once done. You’ll notice that your productivity will shoot thru the roof!

  38. This is one of the most productive article that i’ve read in the last few months. I am going to strictly follow these 7 hacks to make the most out of the limited 24 hours.
    Vikas Bhatt recently posted..MIDC Recruitment 2014 Online Application Form Notification – 61 PostsMy Profile


  39. Twitter:
    This is interesting and very helpful. The problem is, sometimes you don’t know your task ahead of time and also their priority. Sometimes, when doing late sitting in office, all the structure is replaced with being tired and wishing to do nothing.
    Umair recently posted..Free Tutorial Maker & Step Recorder in Windows 7My Profile


  40. Twitter:
    The key is that your main aim in life must fully engage your special talents, inspire you and contribute, in some positive way. Your life instantly becomes much simpler. Investing the time to find your purpose will be one of your most important and liberating acts. Thanks Joe for this enlightening post!
    Kathy Mathis recently posted..First Look at Samsung Galaxy AlphaMy Profile


  41. Twitter:
    The tips which you have shared in this post are just awesome. These tips are really helpful to me and I think it should must helpful to others. I really like the style of writing this article. Your articles are always helps me a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article with us. :D


  42. Twitter:
    Hello Joe, you have provide some important and best tips to structure our whole day. These will also have a positive impact on our productivity.
    Rahul Biswal recently posted..Top 8 Advantages Of Windows Phone Over AndroidMy Profile

  43. Pretty down to earth suggestions that work. Too bad actually doing them all is something most of us don’t do.
    Andy Kent recently posted..A Talk on MotivationMy Profile

  44. Great article very informative and helpful article for thank to share with us.
    Hiren recently posted..CA IPCC Result May 2014 | IPCC May 2014 ResultMy Profile

  45. Wow, great post. I am usually wasting all my time and then I wonder why the day is so short.

    I will try to structure my time and be more productive, hopefully.
    Paul recently posted..The Best Italian Car Brands | Italian Car BrandsMy Profile

  46. Very nice article, it will be useful to help me organize my day. Because I waste a lot of time, I really needed some helpful tips..

  47. Nitin Balodi says:

    Hi Joe,

    This is great post. I want to add something to it that I use to follow. I use to set reminders for three different times in a day. They tells me about the amount of time that has been left for the day and I use to be more aware.

    Delegation as you said is very very important. One must know how to delegate and what to delegate. One has to focus more on important task and less important task should be delegated to other people.

    Making a to-do list also helps in organising oneself.

    -Nitin


  48. Twitter:
    I use pomodoro timer and it works wonders. Helps me focus better and I get a lot more done. You should add that to your list.
    Adam recently posted..I was wrong about FacebookMy Profile


  49. Twitter:
    Really great article. Today most of the people are so busy in their work that they dont even get time for their children and other things. We should always have a clear planning in mind and do everything according to that. It saves a lot of time and effort.
    Prabhat recently posted..How to Fix HTC One M8 Camera Lens Scratch with ToothpasteMy Profile


  50. Twitter:
    Love this. I’m tracking my time right now, but I’m not using Toggl. I’m using goals on track, and I find it’s the most useful tool I have for being more productive with my days.

    I used to try and go through my day without a schedule. I had heard someone say they got tons more done that way, but I didn’t. In fact, I barely got anything done! Now I have a routine, I avoid wasteful activities (like Facebook), and I get more done with my days than ever before. And, it feels a million times better to be productive every day.
    Bellaisa recently posted..Becoming A Sexually Confident ManMy Profile


  51. Twitter:
    In this busy life it is very tough to manage time between personal and professional life. It is a truth that every body has only 24 hrs in a day and yet it is not sufficient. A proper time management will be the solution for this problem.
    The first point I feel is the best and primary step that should be taken. Structuring your day is very important as it includes planning your work , utilizing free time, taking beaks etc. The above mentioned all points are very useful . I find them very prominent and that could help me personally in managing my work. It could help me save a lot of time and would help in doing my work more productively.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Sagar recently posted..How to Recommend or Refer a Friend to your BossMy Profile


  52. Twitter:
    Oh, in addition, your web site will be decrease. My spouse and i had been getting excited about checking out the idea away. Great work!! :D
    Shamsudeen Adeshokan recently posted..How To Download BBM for PCMy Profile

  53. I think that the most important thing you can do to get the most out of your day is to structure it. Getting into a routine and not breaking it really allows you to get the most out of it. Great post!
    John recently posted..Teens Make Money Online!My Profile


  54. Twitter:
    Nice article. Personally, I always write a list before I sleep about what I am going to do. This way, I never get late for anything and I stay organized.
    Ronaldo Gjini recently posted..Best Applications To Use With LG G3 Quick Circle CaseMy Profile

  55. I really want to follow these things, but I am unable to do so. I don’t really get sleep in night, and that leads to me sleeping all day :\

    Any tips for me?
    Vikas Bhatt recently posted..UP 29,334 Junior Maths & Science Teacher 4th Counselling Cut off 2014My Profile

  56. Thank you very much for this awesome post. structure his day is the best way to be more productive and to do more things with his day.
    Nassim.
    Nassim recently posted..Comment se motiver pour atteindre ses objectifsMy Profile


  57. Twitter:
    I save time by combining 2 or more tasks if possible. For example if I have to go out for buying something, I usually do not go if I have to buy few things, I wait and go out when I have to buy several things at a time.
    Jupitor Chakma recently posted..Glucosomine When Your Pet Needs an Extra BoostMy Profile

  58. Andrew Louis says:

    Hello there,

    Great info really appreciate. I would like to have your review on 3. Hire an assistant, As i have so much work to get done in the office (data entry and stuff). Is there any average budget for an virtual assistant. As we all know, the hourly rate would just get us no work done as I read on that website as well. If you have used the service please reply ASAP.

    Thanks and Regards,

    Andrew


  59. Twitter:
    Nice write-up specially for teenagers like me. I generally get messed up with list of my to-do’s and finally end-up with incomplete work. Surely i will follow your points and try to manage my work schedule as much as possible. Keep writing such helpful articles.
    DHARITA CHOKSHI recently posted..10 fantasies we always crave to have happened in the story of Harry PotterMy Profile

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge