3 Ways to Supercharge Your Time and Be More Productive Than Ever

Everyone has 24 hours in a day, but some people work harder at maximizing their time than others. Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld, for instance, changes clothes in his car. Inventor Yoshiro Nakamatsu says his best ideas are formed underwater, so he uses a waterproof memo device to jot them down while submerged. Sociologist and entrepreneur Anna Akbari tries to reduce decision fatigue by eating the same breakfast and lunch every day. 

If taking notes underwater is the system that makes you most efficient, that’s great. But for most of us, maximizing each day isn’t so much about shaving off a few minutes here or there, but focusing on the tasks that have the biggest impact. 

Here are three systems for truly using your time to the fullest, no car-changing required. 

The Most Important Task (MIT) method 

Just because every item on your to-do list has its own bullet point doesn’t mean they’re all of equal weight. But how to figure out which ones matter most? 

Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, uses what he calls the Most Important Task (MIT) method to figure out which tasks take precedence over all others. 

At the beginning of each day, create a list of between two and three MITs by asking yourself what things, if you get them done today, will make the biggest difference. Write only those tasks on your MIT list, which you should keep separate from your general to-do list. 

Tackle your MIT list during your prime hours, and give yourself permission to avoid interruptions or distractions that will interrupt your flow. You can even combine it with Parkinson’s Law (“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion”) and set a self-imposed deadline to keep you on track. 

The Impact Matrix

As helpful as the MIT method can be, entrepreneurs often have several competing projects or ideas all vying for our attention, and it’s not always obvious which one we should pursue. 

To help myself prioritize, I use a simple formula: Impact = scale x improvements. By scale, I mean metrics like customers, users, money, savings, etc. Improvements, of course, refer to improvements. 

With this in mind, I make a four-box matrix, which you can access here. Label the rows “small improvement” and “big improvement,” and the columns “small number” and “large number.” This leaves you with four boxes.

Box A (small improvement, small number):  Box A houses tasks that are low-risk, but also low-return. Even so, they do have a time and a place: At my company, Jotform, we start new hires off with “Box A” projects, like fixing minor bugs, while they get the hang of things. That said, most of us should avoid sinking too much time on Box A. 

Box B (small number, big improvement): Box B tasks are my least favorite. These are projects that are incredibly resource-intensive but serve very little purpose. Say you’re a designer, and you pour tons of time into creating a UI feature that only applies to 1 percent of users. Sure, maybe a handful of people find it useful, but you’ve also added lots of complexity to the UI, which is a net negative. Avoid Box B tasks whenever possible. 

Box C (large number, small improvement): Box C tasks are those that are relatively easy to implement but have a sizable impact. At Jotform, we regularly release small tweaks and improvements that make our users’ lives easier.  

Box D (large number, big improvement):  Box D tasks have it all. This quadrant represents a heavy lift that pays major dividends, be it a product release, a redesign or something else entirely. For example, at Jotform, we recently implemented a new HR system that positively impacts all 250 of our employees, enabling them for the first time to quickly and easily access key info. Sure, 250 doesn’t sound like a huge number, but because it represents 100 percent of our workforce, it’s definitely a Box D-worthy win.

The Eisenhower Matrix

The matrix I describe above can help discern which projects will have the most impact. But beyond scale and improvements, there’s another crucial metric to consider: Urgency. 

Former President Dwight Eisenhower was known for focusing on importance and urgency when it came to prioritizing his actions. It was from this rationale that the Eisenhower Matrix was born. 

Before you even draw out the matrix, take a minute to consider your parameters, suggest Ellen Auster and Shannon Auster-Weiss in a piece for Harvard Business Review. How do you define “importance?”? (Your impact matrix could be of help here.) Next, think about what “urgency” means to you. Does a project have a deadline? Has a client made a timely request? Think about the consequences of doing the task promptly, or delaying it. 

Now you’re ready to create the matrix. Use the upper right corner to write tasks that are both important and urgent. These are high-priority tasks that need to be done now. In the upper left corner, write tasks that are important, but not urgent. Because these tasks are at risk of being postponed indefinitely, it’s a good idea to schedule a specific time to deal with them. As Auster and Auster-Weiss caution, “if these items are ignored, they will change from simmering on the back-burner to boiling over.” 

The lower right corner is for less important but urgent tasks. Getting them done might be helpful to someone else on your team, and they’re a surefire way to knock some nagging items off your to-do list. Finally, there are the lowest-priority tasks; those which are less important and less urgent. If possible, eliminate any that are outdated or no longer useful. Think about the consequences of postponing them, or if ticking them off will result in a quick win. 

There are plenty of kooky ways that people use to save time. But if you really want to get the most out of your 24 hours, you have to figure out what matters most, and start with that.

News Related


Part of a SpaceX Rocket Is Going to Collide With the Moon

A SpaceX rocket is predicted to land on the moon — or at least a part of it. Constantinos Hinis | Getty Images Since 2015, a booster from a SpaceX Falcon 9 ... Read more »

Your Energy Is Like Currency. Invest It Wisely to See the Greatest Rewards.

A common problem company owners encounter is how and when to remove themselves from its daily processes. After all, heroic efforts have been made by these individuals to build a ... Read more »

Gary Vaynerchuk to Open World's First NFT Restaurant in NYC

NFTs have been exciting (and baffling) the world since they went mainstream in 2021; artist Beeple sold one of his pieces for $69 million at Christie’s, and household names like ... Read more »

How NFTs Have Changed Digital Art Forever

“Artists only get rich after they’re dead” is an old axiom that could be about to change. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) provide artists, musicians, photographers and other content creators with digital protection ... Read more »

The 1 Question -- and 3 Answers -- That Speak Volumes about Your Company's Culture

When I am initially engaged by an organization to help it address deficiencies related to leadership competency and skills, I begin every engagement with a diagnostic, much like in medicine — a ... Read more »

Master a Foreign Language and Save Up to 60 Percent with Babbel Language Learning

If you want a serious advantage over almost everybody you know and work with, there’s an easy step to take to set yourself apart: learning another language. For years, foreign ... Read more »

The COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to make a healthy shift in body ideals

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everyday life for many people in both trivial and profound ways. Embracing pants without a waistband, trying out creative baking – and perhaps spending a ... Read more »

How Success Happened for Kaylin Marcotte, Founder and CEO of JIGGY Puzzles

When Kaylin Marcotte set out to modernize the humble jigsaw puzzle, she had no idea what the journey would have in store. She launched Jiggy in November 2019 and has ... Read more »

The omicron variant is deepening severe staffing shortages in medical laboratories across the US

Medical laboratory professionals form the backbone of health care and the public health system. They conduct some 13 billion laboratory medicine tests annually in the U.S. As of January 2022, ... Read more »

Moving While Working Remotely

The Great Resignation provides many employees the opportunity to achieve higher titles and pay, and gives some of the power back to the everyday worker. We often hear about people ... Read more »

Restaurant Chain Slammed For Viral Photo of Policy Claiming Employees Must Earn Five-Star Reviews or Be Terminated

Chances are you’ve probably been at a restaurant or in a store and had employees mention to you that they would be appreciative if you could leave a review for ... Read more »

Google To Replace Third-Party Cookies With Topics API Browser Approach

Google  – Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is testing a new approach called Topics API, aiming to replace the FLoC – Federated Learnings of Cohorts – announced last year. With the move, ... Read more »

Every Entrepreneur Should Back Up Their Email

From internal communications to email marketing, email remains king of the business world in 2022. Sure, instant messaging apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams have made headways, but in the ... Read more »

3 Entrepreneur Lessons From the Movie Free Guy

If you were locked down or sheltering in place when the movie Free Guy hit the box office, then you missed out on tons for business lessons. Of course, even if you watched the movie then you might ... Read more »

6 Tips to Consider When Searching for a Franchise for the First Time

With over 3,000 different franchise concepts to choose from, the intense search to find the perfect match for your goals, income potential and lifestyle can leave you wanting to get ... Read more »

Fill Your Talent Gap by Sourcing Candidates From the Veteran Community

Since April 2016, I’ve had the privilege of serving as an executive coach for The Honor Foundation and supporting the career transition of Navy SEALs, Green Berets, special forces operators and ... Read more »

Start 2022 With a SWOT Analysis

One of the components that typically goes in a business plan is a SWOT analysis. Whether or not you’re in the process of creating a business plan, a SWOT analysis ... Read more »

5 Dirty Secrets About Online Business Today

Most of my students aren’t complete online business newbies. Many of them have tried at least some kind of online business at some point. Some of them are trying to juggle ... Read more »

Market Selling Resumes; GE, J&J Miss on Revenues

Tuesday, January 25, 2022Yesterday afternoon’s respite from a weeks-long sullen, bearish attitude in the market indexes came as a breath of fresh air. We hope everyone got to enjoy it, ... Read more »

Play IBM Strength With These ETFs

After the closing bell on Jan 24, International Business Machines IBM cheered investors as it reported solid fourth-quarter 2021 results, beating earnings estimates. Though the software giant lagged on revenues, ... Read more »

Zacks.com featured highlights include: Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., KB Home, Group 1 Automotive and Signet Jewelers Ltd

For Immediate Release Chicago, IL – January 25, 2022 – Stocks in this week’s article are Ford Motor Co. F, General Motors Co. GM, KB Home KBH, Group 1 Automotive ... Read more »

When is it Right to Fire Your Marketing Agency?

Businesses typically hire a marketing agency when they need help. Their internal marketing efforts aren’t working, or they don’t have the resources or capacity to handle marketing by themselves. In ... Read more »

3 Gaming Stocks to Buy Despite Industry Challenges

The Zacks Gaming industry is gradually recovering from the pandemic blues. Although Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore are showing signs of resurgence, revenues and traffic from the regions are still ... Read more »

Take Your Excel and Data Analytics Skills to the Next Level

Each year, the business world relies even more on data. As an entrepreneur, you gather tons of data on processes, customers, marketing, and so much more. If you’re not doing ... Read more »

Ericsson (ERIC) Beats Earnings & Revenue Estimates in Q4

Ericsson ERIC reported impressive fourth-quarter 2021 results, wherein both the bottom and the top lines beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate.The Sweden-based telecom gear maker continues to expand its footprint, despite ... Read more »

Etsy (ETSY) Moves 3.5% Higher: Will This Strength Last?

Etsy (ETSY) shares ended the last trading session 3.5% higher at $154.06. The jump came on an impressive volume with a higher-than-average number of shares changing hands in the session. ... Read more »

Catalent (CTLT) to Report Q2 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Catalent, Inc. CTLT is scheduled to report second-quarter fiscal 2022 results on Feb 1, before market open. – Zacks In the last-reported quarter, the company’s earnings of 71 cents per ... Read more »

These Are The Ten Stocks With Worst Start To 2022

The stock market didn’t have the best start in 2022. Worries over rising coronavirus cases and inflation have made investors less confident in equities. Investors, however, could use the current ... Read more »

Is Jack Henry & Associates a Smart Stock to Buy Now?

The shares of S&P 500 fintech company Jack Henry & Associates (JKHY) have been declining in price this year due to the broader market weakness. So, as the Fed prepares ... Read more »

4 Buy the Dip Semiconductor Stocks That Offer Growth and Value

The global semiconductor industry achieved unprecedented growth last year thanks to hefty private capital investments and government funding. Because this trend is expected to continue in 2022, we think it ... Read more »

5 Big Cap Earnings All Stars to Watch This Week

Earnings season picks up steam this week as over 400 companies are expected to report, many of them being large cap companies. – Zacks The large caps have outperformed over ... Read more »

Zions' (ZION) Q4 Earnings & Revenues Beat Estimates, Costs Up

Zions Bancorporation’s ZION fourth-quarter 2021 net earnings per share of $1.34 surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. The bottom line, however, decreased 19.3% from the year-ago quarter’s number.Results ... Read more »

3M's (MMM) Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates in Q4

3M Company MMM reported solid fourth-quarter 2021 results. Its earnings surpassed estimates by 13.79% and sales exceeded the same by 0.08%. This is the company’s eighth consecutive quarter of earnings ... Read more »

5 Simple, Proven Ways to Improve Contract Management

Back-office operations are crucial for keeping your company running smoothly, and adequate management of your business’s contracts will keep your efforts on track, helping your team hit deadlines and improve productivity while ... Read more »

5 Tips to Transform Your Business in the Hybrid-Work Era

Last year, thousands of companies were forced to adopt remote work in the interest of operational continuity and worker safety. The resulting ad hoc models weren’t always pretty or perfect, ... Read more »

The Power of Purpose: How a Mandatory Staff Meeting Brought My Team Closer Than Ever Before

After I announced a mandatory staff meeting for December 17 one year, some members were upset. Getting together on the cusp of the holidays would conflict with some holiday travel plans, ... Read more »

Bob Dylan's Entire Music Catalog Sold for Estimated $200 Million

Sony Music Group has long been an entertainment industry giant that has continued to purchase and gain ownership over major music catalogs. Dave J Hogan | Getty Images Just last ... Read more »

Analysts Predict Elon Musk Will Earn Billions This Year Despite Not Taking Home a Salary From Tesla

If predictions for Tesla are correct, CEO Elon Musk is going to have a really good 2022.  FREDERIC J. BROWN | Getty Images Analysts predict that Tesla will report strong financial ... Read more »

The Top SEO Trends for 2022

A new year is a perfect opportunity to take a close look at your website and make sure your SEO is doing all the work it can be. Best SEO ... Read more »

4 Ways to Level Up Your CEO Game

When your business is in its infancy, it may seem impossible to attain the success of execs like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk. But, of course, even these standouts have ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic