Time

We need less of it more than ever.

"Field with trees"

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

We need less of it more than ever.

Think about that idea for a moment.

I'd guess that after the initial freak out, you'd rightfully conclude you won't be able to fit it all in, say, 10 hours/day (sleep included).

But I'd also guess that, naturally, if you accept the challenge, 1) you'll start to prioritize more aggressively, and 2) you'll eventually train yourself to handle tasks more efficiently.

How come I'm so sure about that? Let's say I've done some experiments with myself in the past in this regard. I have found that, because of my (our) intrinsic motivation to survive and thrive, I (we) can figure out efficiency in suboptimal contexts quite promptly.

I once had a maths teacher who used to joke about my inability to solve an inequality with more than one Xs. "You'll have to figure it out if you want to pass fifth grade." - she would calmly scream at me.

And usually, I did. Somehow, I figured things out.

The moral of the story? Things are figureoutable, even when someone screams at you. Also, as a side effect of operating in a suboptimal context due to constraints, you'll inevitably experience massive (un)expected productivity gains in terms of efficiency slash effectiveness.

In other words, you have no choice but to do the things somehow.

Another case in point is fasting.

It's been shown in numerous studies (which I'm lazy enough to link in the footnotes, of course) that being fasted in the mornings leads to better concentration and a clearer mind. Who doesn't want that when it comes to executing mentally heavy tasks? Like waiting for a google spreadsheet to load.

More so, physically pushing yourself while being fasted (say in the gym) leads to overall better performance of the body. Being "threatened", it tightens up, and "it figures out" that to survive it has to work 10x more efficiently. Now, excuse my anti-scientific formulation, and just focus on the principle in the backend.

Last but not least, fasting, when done responsibly, has plenty of long-term health benefits.

Stealing that idea and shamelessly applying it to time would really shed some light on why I believe we need less of it, not more. Let's call it time-fasting, and let's agree it has lots of benefits, too, just like regular fasting.

As I'm sure you (and I) are running out of time, let me summarize an actionable piece of advice for both of us.

When you face an overwhelmingly big pile of tasks today, tomorrow, or whenever, don't try to "find" more time. Instead, invert the problem and turn it on its head. Go to the extreme and drastically constrain yourself in terms of available time and observe how our built-in mechanisms of "figuring things out" work.

I bet you'll be surprised.


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