Get More Done Without Really Trying

Sick of hearing about all of the documentaries your friends always seem to have time to watch? Trust me, so was I.

I was also irritated that they were up on important news, pop culture references, music, independent films, politics, and literature. Some even managing to do so while working full time jobs and keeping up with social engagements, without so much as chipping one of their perfectly painted nails (howdotheyalwayslooksogoodomgggg?!?!?!?!)

HOW?? How did they have time for this? How were they fitting it all in?? And more importantly, why was it so hard for me to do the same?

The answer was simple. In fact it’s a skill most of us use everyday. Multitasking. Except this is multi-tasking reimagined. It’s not about adding more to your plate–because that’s exhausting and would leave you feeling even more stressed and unable to keep up. This is about looking for pockets of time in your daily routine where you can easily be multi-tasking. Or as I like to put it: Making time for fun stuff! 

This has helped me make time for the things I want to do, while staying on top of all of things I have to do. And although it is true that some activities require your full attention, there are times throughout the day –like while cooking dinner, doing your hair, and driving to school or work, for example–when you can do one of the following three things simulateanously, thus getting more done, thus being more productive and up on what the cool kids are into.

  1. Watch documentaries (and docu-series) during breakfast

Break a documentary or show up into 10-15 minute segments while you enjoy a healthy breakfast (this one, perhaps? lol) and by the end of the week, you will have watched a full documentary. Do this every weekday and by the end of the month, you’ll have watched 4 new films. That’s a lot of interesting, mind-expanding info and it doesn’t add any additional time or stress to your daily routine.

Here are a few I’m currently loving on Netflix:

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 5.47.10 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 5.46.58 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 5.46.50 PM

I also love Exit Through the Gift Shop, Our America, P Star Rising, Man on Wire, After Innocence, and Oprah’s Master Class (Which is only on OWN or YouTube)

2. Listen to AM radio or interesting Podcasts.

As I mentioned in the video, time spent in the car can be used more constructively than belting out every word to the One Direction songs you pretend you don’t listen to when you’re around your friends (*cough* You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful *cough* Steal My Girl) Radical thought, I know, but it’s true. And while I love a good car-dance-singalong-sesh as much as the red blooded twenty-sometihng, I also like to use car time to learn new things and keep up with news and pop culture.

The easiest way to do this is to try listen to talk radio once in and while, particularly when you’re on your way to school or work when you need your brain to be firing on all cylinders. By the time you arrive at your destination, you will be in the know without having spent a single minute of your morning sitting in front of the morning news program or hurriedly thumbing through the “most important parts” of the morning paper. (And by thumbing, I mean clicking because seriously…who still gets a paper?)

PS. Podcasts are good too but I’m new to the world of podcasts, so please comment below if there’s one you think I should check out!

3. Use YouTube as an instant classroom 

I love listening to lectures and inspirational speeches on YouTube while cleaning, cooking, doing my hair in the morning, painting my nails, or folding laundryMy favorite channel at the moment is called The School of Life, which I mentioned in the video. I try to watch these videos whenever I find a 10 minute window of time that could be used more constructively than refreshing my Instagram feed (again!)

Here are a few speeches worth listening to.

J.K. Rowling’s Harvard Commensment Speech

Tavi Gevinson’s Ted Talk (only 13 at the time!)

Words of wisdom and inspiration from Will Smith 

Remember, there is time for everything you need to do today. There’s also time for all of the things you find fascinating, entertaining, inspiring, uplighting, and educational. It’s just about finding creative ways to break it all down into manageable chunks and arranging the pieces. Find a routine that works for you and stick with it!

Happy Monday, everyone!

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Live fully with curiosity, passion, hope, and enthusiasm.

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