Killing 2 Birds with 1 Stone for a More Productive Life

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I don’t know about you, but for me, life has never been busier. Mostly busy in a good way, but nevertheless it is often hard to squeeze everything into just those 24 little capsules that we call hours.

So how do you make more time and also become vastly more productive?

Personally I like to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Here are two examples of how I have done this recently.

1 – In the bath

I don’t normally take baths, but occasionally I will fancy a nice warm bath, and I generally sit in the bath for 10 mins with my little willy popping through the foam bubbles. Here is what I do now… I bought a Dictaphone voice recorder machine, and I take it in the bathroom with me. I tend to find that I can be more creative and productive when I have no distractions, so the bath is ideal. In fact, I though about writing this blog post whilst in the bath. If you have 5 baths per week, at 20 mins each, that is over 86 hours of creative time per year that you can use to find content for your site, create new ideas, organise your life etc…

2 – Whilst watching TV

I don’t watch much TV these days, but when I do watch TV, it is generally to watch my football team. Here is what I am going to transform this waste of time into a more productive past time… I own a running machine, so what I am going to do is mount a TV on the wall directly opposite the running machine and whenever I watch football I have to be jogging.

This serves two purposes; Firstly, it prevents me from feeling guilty about spending 2 or 3 hours per week watching a bunch of overpaid prats running round chasing a ball. Secondly, it gets me healthy without all the boredom that is normally associated with getting healthy.

I am planning to try and make it a little more fun by changing the speed of the running machine depending on the score of the game. For example, if my team are losing, I have to go fast, if they are winning, I can stroll. If I was really technical, I could set it up so that the TV turns itself off if I don’t maintain a certain speed.

Summary

We all need our vices and relaxing past times etc… but there is no reason that we can’t be doing something else occasionally whilst we are sat on our ass. Other examples are: listening to educational podcasts on your MP3 player or in your car, learning a new language on the way to work etc…

Let me know if any of this 2 birds 1 stone productivity appeals to you.

Dean

  • http://londonbikers.com Jay Adair

    But don’t you have a bath to relax? We all need to relax or the stress of the other 23hrs and 40 minutes will kills us :)

    I believe in doing more with less, but I think there’s a line to be drawn somewhere. The TV idea is spot-on though. I don’t think we’d fit a treadmill in our small apartment though.

    Also, your opening sentance made me laugh. Thank-you Dean!

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  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    Jay,

    Good point, I had considered that, but for most of us, especially men, sitting on our arse for 15 mins staring at a wall is NOT going to relax us, even if we are told it will.

    Sitting down to watch TV is an easier example, we often think this relaxes us, but it doesn’t, especially if we feel guilty about watching so much TV, it just makes us more stressed.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Dean

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  • http://www.notesinspanish.com Ben

    I was going to say that you and I have a fundamental problem in common, a complete inability to RELAX. But Jay got there first :)

    But seriously Dean, baths are for reading crap novels in, and TV is for going blurry in front of…

    And if you ever do find a way to really switch off, do me a favour and let me know!

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  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    Ben – yes, there is no doubt about that.

    Let’s be honest though, how often does watching the TV ACTUALLY make us feel more relaxed afterwards? I believe the reality is that it is just lazyness and we use the relaxation excuse to justify it.

    Don’t get me wrong, we all need to shut off every now and then, but the average person watches close to 2 hours of tv per day, how much “going blurry” do we actually need?

    I am yet to see any unemployed 19 year olds who sit and home playing xbox and watching TV all day come out of the house in a zen like state, often quite the opposite.

    I am getting off tangent a little now, but for millions of years we were (and still are) programmed to be living in caves, hunting and walking all day for food etc… do you really think that cavemen would have to sit down every few hours and stare at a rock to relax? I doubt it, we wouldn’t have survived if that was the case. I think it is more a case of an excuse we tell ourselves/the advertisers tell us, than scientific fact.

    Oh, and you and I both know that watching TV doesn’t mean our minds have shut down or relaxed.

    My 2c

    PS: I tried to find up to date stats but couldn’t get the latest ones, but as a rough amount, I found a media awareness study that said the average person watches 22.7 hours of tv PER WEEK.

    You surely can’t tell me that on top of our 8+ hours sleep per night we need over 3 hours per day watching TV? Also, there is a middle ground here… if you watch 2 hours TV per day, watch 45 mins whilst on the bike, and the other 75 mins relaxing. ;-)

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  • http://deanhunt.com Dean Hunt

    Ben – Another quick point… there is a big difference between relaxing your mind and relaxing your body.

    You can still shut off mentally whilst sat on an exercise bike watching Pop Idol ;-)

    The reverse is true as well, if you are sat watching TV but are thinking about work, you will come away more stressed.

    Oh, and to answer your question, I did once find the perfect way to relax, and it relaxed me every single time…

    the bad news… it is very difficult and very expensive to do in Madrid currently.

    The answer: Play a round of golf, but play it on your own.

    Playing a round of golf on your own is a great way to shut off from the world, for me it was almost like going into a trance.

    Dean

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  • http://www.notesinspanish.com Ben

    If I were to play a round of golf on my own I’d need about 3 weeks :)

    Re: “there is a big difference between relaxing your mind and relaxing your body” – true, but when the two coincide…. Nirvana!

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  • http://allenweber.com Allen

    I find it very relaxing to go to a pool room and shoot pool (billiards) for an hour or so. Just by myself, and not talk to anyone. It forces me to concentrate on one thing, and then remove other thoughts, then I can start day dreaming, and ideas seem to just flow. Or I can analyze something from all sides while shooting pool.

    I know this sounds contradictory, but the start — removing outside thoughts and distractions cause my mind to start focusing clearly. Then I can let it go into creativity, if that makes sense to you.

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  • http://www.connexted.com/blog/ Craig

    I’ve found my life to work the other way. Last year I was literally working all the time, I’m pretty sure I was dreaming business.

    Now, I work about 8-10 hours a day and even take Sundays off…yes, completely off for 24 hours!

    The theory behind this is that if you are working all the time then you don’t really set yourself deadlines to complete things. But if you know you have a deadline you will work towards it.

    For example, if you have a football game starting at 8pm you will certainly complete your tasks before that.

    I’ve found I’ve doubled (or more) my productivity while halving my time working. Not a bad trade off. It’s also key to find out what the most important priorities are and focus on those instead of all the ‘little things.’

    I think the treadmill idea is a good one and agree that people watch far too much tv. Although I’m not sure I can point fingers when I surf the Internet instead hehe.

    As for your willy…I’d prefer not to hear about that again. I think you know how much it takes to disturb me…and that did it ;)

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  • Carla Ey

    Hey Dean,

    Excellent theory. I spend 30 minutes in the shower doing my hair, conditioning, bath creams lol.

    Most of my copywriting ideas come to me during this time. The problem is jotting down that train of thought without getting my notes soaked or ruining my recorder.

    I just stumbled upon ur blog by the way while looking for buzz marketing advice. Excellent!

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