“So much to do and so little time.” I don’t know who was the first to say that phrase, or if it came from a famous work, but among so many times I’ve heard it, I remember Batman saying it in the animated series.
With each passing day, our days seem to get shorter. We have a lot to do, a lot of ideas, a lot of plans, but little time to put it into practice. We wake up earlier, sleep later, and yet it seems that this is not enough for us.
Ancient people got up with the sun, stopped working at sunset and that was enough. We have the blessing and curse of electricity, electronics and the internet, which allow us to work day and night, get through the wee hours, and yet it’s never enough.
It’s not a matter of coincidence that we have so many cases of burnout, of physical and mental exhaustion, where we can’t do what we need to do, even if we still have some time, because the body and mind no longer respond (maybe you’ve noticed I haven’t written here for a while).
A few years ago, a bank promised “30 hours” a day service, it was just a marketing ploy, but it made a lot of people think about what it would be like if I had a 30-hour day.
Very unsubtly, an acquaintance once said, “if you wait a 30-hour day, you’re an imbecile.”
Forgive the “French” of this acquaintance. But he continued: “Because you know you’re never going to have a 30-hour day, so you need to make the most of your 24 hours instead of dreaming about 30.”
So, returning to the real world, we go back to thinking about our 24 hours. Here it is worth mentioning the wisdom that spreads through Twitter with a phrase I saw there: “you and Elon Musk have the same 24 hours in a day. But his father had diamond mines and yours didn’t”.
Apart from the joke, we really all have the same 24 hours and out of those 24 hours we need time to take care of the body, to rest, otherwise the 24 hours will all be unproductive.
“But what about the 30 hours promised at the beginning?”
Something I’ve learned in many years of programming is that hacker culture can help you in many different ways, not just in the ways we see in movies. I already told you that we don’t have 30 hours in a day, but 24. How can we yield 30 hours? The answer is: “hack” your day!
There are several literatures on time organization, I will not go into any of these theories, just bring the main point of them: prioritization. You need to have a priority list and remember that “if everything is urgent, nothing is urgent”.
Prioritizing, we know that some things can be left for later, but this is not a very hacker thing. The hacking part comes now: identify the repetitive tasks you do and find ways to automate them.
As cold and inhuman as it may seem, our own brain works like this. Everything we do more than once, our brain seeks to automate so we don’t waste too much time on it. Those who have been driving for a while no longer think about changing gears, for example.
Find tasks in your day that are repetitive. These tasks are not for us, the machines are made to do the repetitions.
Find a way, even with a spreadsheet, a programming script or some ready-made tool that can make you a routine of sending emails, putting appointment reminders, automating payments.
With that, you save good hours of your day and can feel like you are working two hours in one, three hours in one? Depending on the day, you spend your 30 hours and still have that time to catch up on your rest, go out to dinner, watch a series or watch programming strips on the internet.
Remember: you are not a machine, you need rest. But your cell phone is a machine and even it can automate some of its functions. Spend a little time thinking about how to automate (or even delegate) tasks.
And enjoy the day!