Case Study: Gaining A Week Of Productivity A Year (In 30 Minutes A Day)

How would you like to gain an extra week of productivity a year? What would you do with this time? Put it towards learning a new language, send out CVs to potential new employers, or expand your mind by reading informative books?

In this short case study I’m going to show you how I managed to gain an extra week every year … and it only took me 30 minutes a day to do so.

I love to eat. And because of this love of mine, I tend to prepare a lot of food from scratch. As a rule I have always aimed to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner myself. But there’s a problem with this approach – cooking food takes time. Whether it’s waiting for something to heat up in the microwave, boiling water on the stove, or grilling something in the oven, there’s a lot of time that goes into cooking. And the time I did spend “waiting” was usually dedicated to playing games on my phone.

However, I always felt like I could use this time for more productive means. So I made the decision to do so.

The most eye-opening step in this process was to note down the amount of time I was spending each day on food prep, cooking etc – basically any time that was spent idle waiting for some other process to finish.

After a couple of weeks I averaged out the amount of time I was spending each day waiting for meals to cook, and came to the shocking figure of 30 minutes. That’s an average of 30 minutes each day that was being spent simply waiting around, playing games on my phone, watching tv, or just staring at things cooking.

I made the decision that I would rather use this time to do something productive.

Conclusion: Just freeing up 30 minutes a day could result in over a week’s worth of extra productivity each and every year.  Something as simple as using the time you spend waiting for your daily meals to cook can be turned into a powerful force for change.

A week might not sound like a lot, but the cumulative effect of using that time to pursue a productive end will be huge. It’s kind of like compounding interest – from little things, big things grow!

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Time Management Blogs Worth Reading

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon in my neck of the woods, and I’m in the mood to do some reading (as well as some writing).

One thing I’ve been meaning to post about for a long time is a list of time management/motivation blogs that are worth reading (beyond this one of course!).

Time Management Ninja

There’s a reason why this website shows up on the first page of Google for just about every keyword to do with time management – it simply rocks. Time Management Ninja is an almost encyclopedic resource of tips, tricks, and advice for squeezing more productivity out of each day. I recommend you start by reading the Best of Time Management Ninja.

Asian Efficiency

Okay, the name of this blog could definitely be construed as being a little “politically incorrect” (or, at the very least, stereotyping). However, this site really does have some very useful information about achieving peak productivity and cutting down on wasted time. The blog portion of the site is very good, with a wealth of quality content available. One thing you will notice is that the site is always trying to coerce you into joining its newsletter membership (which is free, and you do get some nice bonus material). If you’re just after a casual read, then don’t feel pressured to do so. Go here to visit Asian Efficiency.

Pick The Brain

This popular website covers a number of elements of time management and personal development, as well as more general health and wellbeing topics. Although it’s perhaps not quite as good as Time Management Ninja or Asian Efficiency, you will still find plenty of useful advice here about managing your time effectively. I read this blog post about productivity tips from leading entrepreneurs earlier, and learned a great deal of useful information that I can apply to my own work.

43 Folders

When your time management blog makes it on to the Zen Habit’s “A List”, then you know you’ve made it. 43 Folders is one of the biggest names in productivity and time management, and has a track record stretching back a number of years. Although the site can be very confusing to use (and reads much more like a somewhat self-absorbed journal than a series of articles) there are some fantastic reads on here. My favorite is this particular article – with accompanying slideshow – which is all about overcoming those irritating distractions such as email and phone calls that rob us of productivity on a daily basis.

If you think your blog or website should also be on the list, then get in contact and let me know why.

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Future Posting Schedule

Hi all,

It’s been a month and a half since I’ve posted anything on this blog – if you’ve been sitting there with baited breath waiting, then I have to offer my sincerest apologies.

Anyway, I’m busy with a number of projects these days (and working on some other cool websites) so I’ve decided to tone down the posting on this blog for a while.

My posting schedule going-forward is very simple. I will be releasing one new article, blog post, or product review every month – as that is all my schedule allows. Each new article I release will be a substantial piece – at least 2000-3000 words long unless it is a shorter format such as my supplement reviews.

I’ve decided that these more authoritative style pieces are far better than doing small 500-1000 word articles. It allows me to get more in depth on a subject, and gives you – the valued reader – a better insight into the topic at hand.

I also have another (much more ambitious) goal for the Why Am I Lazy? brand: I’d like to release a new personal development/time management/procrastination Kindle eBook each month. I’m not talking about writing War & Peace all over again. Instead, I simply want to create a 30-50 page short report on a specific topic – such as eliminating distractions – and provide the best quality information possible about that topic. I aim to have my next eBook available on Kindle by Christmas time.

As an aside, if you join my email newsletter using the form above I will be sending out at least two emails per week with interesting personal development and time management content, as well as links to great books, websites, and other resources.

 

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NOW Foods True Focus Review

NOW Foods True Focus Review

Introduction

Here’s another review of a popular nootropic supplement – NOW Foods True Focus. This product has a lot of reviews and interest on sites like Amazon, so I thought I better give it a look and share my results with the world.

NOW Foods True Focus Key Details

  • It’s one of the best priced nootropics I’ve found so far. At the regular price of around $20, you’re only paying roughly 20 cents per capsule.
  • The product seems to deliver some very decent results in terms of effectiveness. I felt some definite improvements in mental focus; Amazon customer reviews are also good too.
  • Dosage is up to four capsules per day (1-2 caps 1-2 times per day).
  • If you want to get started with nootropics, then this is a great starter owing to its effectiveness and competitive price.

True Focus Side Effects

During my time taking the product I didn’t notice any negative side effects at all. I’ve gone through the Amazon reviews of this product and noticed that some users have complained of occasional, minor side effects, such as:

  • Stomach upset
  • Feelings of mental fogginess when stopping taking the supplement
  • Minor headaches

As always, if you start taking a supplement and feel any negative impacts, then you need to stop and consult a medical professional.

True Focus Dosage

The recommended dosage for this product is 1-2 tablets, 1-2 times daily. I advise you start with one tablet in the morning and evening (so two tablets daily). You can work your way up from there.  I don’t advise that you exceed the maximum daily dosage of 4 capsules.

NOW Foods True Focus Review Conclusion

I give this particular supplement a review score of 4.5/5. The positives are very impressive – this product delivers definite benefits in terms of elevating your mental focus and concentration, and it is extremely affordable. If you want to get started with nootropic-type supplements, then this is a great first time option.

Where Can You Buy The Product?

I purchased True Focus on Amazon. With a regular price of around $20 (and sales often bringing this down to just over $10 a bottle) you really will struggle to find a better value product. Sure, the effects aren’t as good as some products like Excelerol, but at a “price per performance” level it’s hard to beat.

You can also purchase from other online retailers such as iHerb.com – it always pays to shop around before you order to find the best deals possible.

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5 Quick-N-Easy Time Management Tips

In a hurry and want to learn how to manage your time more effectively? These five quick-and-easy time management tips will help to ensure that you are making the best use possible of those precious minutes, hours, and days:

  1. Create A Daily Action Plan. Never go into your day without being armed with a to-do list; an action plan to keep you on track and ensure that you don’t waste time on unnecessary tasks.
  2. Know (And Accept) Your Limits. You can’t get everything you want done in the amount of time you have, especially if you’re the kind of person who has high standards. Accept that there are limits to the amount of work you can complete and how effectively you can manage your time, and then work within those limits to avoid disappointment.
  3. Become More Efficient At What You Do. No matter what work it is you do, there are bound to be ways to become more efficient at doing it. If you improve your working efficiency, then you can get more stuff done in less time.
  4. Avoid Distractions. Nothing destroys effective time management more than being distracted by things such as social media, mobile phones, or even face-to-face interaction with colleagues. When your time is tight and you need to get stuff done, it’s imperative that you pull out all the stops to avoid distractions.
  5. Take Regular Breaks. You can’t work hard all the time. If you’ve got a big project or task to complete, then taking regular breaks will actually help you to manage your time more effectively by giving you motivation, allowing you to recharge your batteries, and giving you the opportunity to work out your next steps.

If you’re after more time management advice, then you should take a look at my eBook Ticking Away: How To Overcome Laziness & Stop Procrastinating. I’ve even got a special discount for you below:

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Alpha Brain By Onnit Labs Review

Introduction

Continuing with my theme of great supplement and nootropic reviews, I’ll be covering Alpha Brain by Onnit Labs in this particular blog post. If you’re after a TL:DR for this supplement, then let me tell you know that I do not rate Alpha Brain by Onnit Labs very highly at all.

Alpha Brain Key Detailsalpha brain ingredients list

  • It’s another nootropic supplement designed to enhance your overall brain power and mental performance.
  • Key ingredients of the formula include Alpha GPC and Bacopa. You can see a full list of ingredients to the right.
  • I did not find any positive benefit from taking Alpha Brain by Onnit Labs. This is supported by the fact that the product is reviewed less favorably than most other nootropics on Amazon.

Alpha Brain Side Effects

I didn’t experience any unwanted side effects when trying Onnit Labs’ Alpha Brain. Unfortunately, I didn’t really experience any positive effects either!

Alpha Brain Recommended Dosage

The manufacturer recommended dosage is between 1-3 capsules of Alpha Brain per day. I went with 2, although a lot of other users seem to be recommending 3.

Alpha Brain Review Conclusion

alpha brain reviewI give Alpha Brain a review of two stars out of five (2/5). It didn’t have any positive benefits for me in terms of improving my mental focus, concentration, or agility. However, customer reviews on Amazon seem to indicate that it can work when taken in combination with other supplements.

To be honest, I would recommend that you try either Excelerol or FOCUSfactor if you’re looking for a good one-size-fits-all supplement (i.e. you take one product and don’t stack anything else).

Where Can You Buy Alpha Brain

I got Alpha Brain from Amazon, which seems like the easiest and most popular place for people to purchase the supplement. You can order in a number of size combinations, with the default option being a 30 capsule bottle.

If you’re interested in buying Alpha Brain on Amazon, then click here. But please bear in mind my recommendations of superior products.

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Overcoming The Fear Of Failure When Trying To Persuade

There are many cases where you will be required to persuade someone in life for you to be able to access certain privileges. It can be a case where you will like to be employed or in normal life where you will like someone to do you a certain favor. It is normal for you to develop fear due to the fact that you do not know the answer of the person whom you are trying to persuade. Mostly you will fear a case where your request will be refused. It can be a challenging case in case it was your only option, but that should not prevent you from persuading. Even if you consider the request too hard for you to be granted you need to try and persuade more so that you will be granted your request. The following are tips for you on overcoming the fear of refusal when persuading:

1. Focus your mind in expecting the best

Fear while trying to persuade will come in when you will start thinking of the worst. For you to avoid cases where fear will overcome you, you should focus on your success. Just think of the way you will achieve in case your request is accepted. If possible you should make assumptions and start thinking on how you will enjoy success after your request has been granted after persuading. When persuading, you should avoid cases where you will be thinking of the embarrassments that you will be exposed to after you have been refused your request. This can lead you to developing more fear which is unnecessary.

2. Focus on solutions in case there is a case of refusal

In most cases when persuading someone he or she will offer certain reasons for refusing your offer or request. For you to avoid the fear that may be developing in you, you should try and have all the possible answers to the reasons that the person may offer for rejecting your request. After you equip yourself with the answers you will gather enough courage for you to face the person and persuade for you to be granted your request. With the possible answers you will easily convince the person that you really deserve the privilege that you are asking to be granted.

3. Revisit your victories

There are certain achieves you have ever made in your life when making different requests. For you to easily overcome the fear of persuading you should try and focus on your success. Try to tell yourself that if it was possible for you to win a certain request where you had to approach people who were very difficult, then it will be easy for you to win in a certain case where you will like to persuade people for them to offer you certain privileges. After you have reflected on your success you will easily increase your chances of winning in a given situation where you will like to persuade for a certain favor. In case there are cases where you had failed previously you need to try and figure out the cause and encourage yourself by believing that it will not repeat itself.

4. Encourage yourself through the success of others

There are people in your society or whom you know have achieved through persuading. For you to overcome the fear you need to try and encourage yourself through reading about the success of those people. There are others who were likely to fail in their struggle to achieve certain privileges that they were requesting for, but they ended up winning. You can easily access a lot of encouragement from such people after you take your time and familiarize with those people before you decide to go for your request. You should also encourage yourself by the fact that even if you will be denied the request you will also have your life for you to live.

5. Discuss with your family and friend for you to get encouraged

Before you decide to approach whomever you are trying to request for certain privileges you need to discuss with your close friends and family members who will advise you on how to tackle the situation and overcome the fear. After you have discussed with friends and family members you will really enjoy where you will be able to easily overcome the fear in persuading someone for you to access privileges.

 

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Instant ATT Review

Introduction

This page features my honest, in-depth review of the popular supplement product known as Instant ATT (don’t ask me what the hell ATT stands for – “all the time” for all I care). I’ll cover the key product info, give you my insights into the effectiveness of the product, and then cap off the review by giving the product a score and linking to the best value deals you can find for it.

Instant ATT Key Supplement Detailsinstant att review

  • Similar to FOCUSfactor and Excelerol, it is a nootropic supplement designed to enhance the overall performance of your brain.
  • It’s not a bad supplement, but I think that Excelerol and FOCUSfactor deliver better results. However, Amazon reviewers have looked more favorably on Instant ATT than I have, so it could be worth your consideration.
  • The cheapest price I could find per tablet is $0.56 from the manufacturer’s website itself (order here). Amazon came out as a terrible deal at $2.33 per tablet – over 4x the price!

Instant ATT Side Effects

The main side effect I noticed when taking Instant ATT was a bit of “brain fog” on the days when I didn’t take my dosage on time. I also got an upset stomach for the first couple of days after I started taking Instant ATT. For someone with normally cast-iron guts, this was a bit of a shock to the system.

Instant ATT Dosage

The dosing for Instant ATT was actually hard to find at first, but it appears that the correct amount to take is a simple one tablet per day. Some other reviewers have been saying two (morning and evening) but I don’t think that’s necessary.

Instant ATT Review Conclusion

I give Instant ATT a review score of 3/5. Although, in my experience, the product did what it says on the packet (i.e. made me feel more alert, mentally active, and sharpened focus) I got a couple of unwanted side effects. I also didn’t feel that the boost from Instant ATT was as good as I got from from FOCUSfactor, let alone my preferred nootropic – Excelerol.

Where Can You Buy Instant ATT

Unlike Excelerol and FOCUSfactor, which appear to be available from many online, offline, and multi-channel retailers, Instant ATT seems to be sold primarily through Amazon.com. However, you can also order through the official website here.

I’ve done some back-of-an-envelope pricing calculations and worked out the best value option for buying Instant ATT:

  • You can get 60 capsules from the Instant ATT website for $39.99 (that’s 67 cents each)
  • You can get 180 capsules from the same site for $99.99 (that’s 56 cents each … damn good value)
  • Amazon worked out at $2.33 per capsule at the regular, non-sale price. The listing was $69.95 for 30 capsules.

The winner clearly is ordering from the official website, which you can do here.

More Info On Instant ATT

Looking for more info on the product? Here are some additional useful resources:

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Essential Viewing: Randy Pausch Time Management Lecture

This is a new idea for Why Am I Lazy?, but from now on I will be posting occasional “essential viewing” or “essential reading” links (embedded relevant content in my blog where possible). Although I remain committed to bringing you the absolute best quality original content possible, I’m also aware of the fact that there are loads of other people out there providing great information on procrastination, motivation, and time management.

The first piece of essential viewing I have for you is the Randy Pausch time management lecture. This lecture video is long (over one hour) but well worth taking the time to watch in full. Have a look below, or click through for a higher quality version on YouTube.com itself:

If you’re after more great time management advice, then check out my blog category specifically on the subject here. You should also take a look at my premium eBook called Ticking Away: How To Overcome Laziness & Stop Procrastinating for more actionable advice on time management and personal productivity.

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FOCUSfactor Review

Introduction

On this page you’ll find my FOCUSfactor review. I’m dedicated to bringing you the best possible supplement and nootropic reviews, and as this product has a lot of interest in the Internet community, I thought it beholden to me to share my opinion.

FOCUSfactor Key Detailsfocus factor review

  • It’s a nootropic – a kind of supplement designed to enhance mental performance.
  • A daily dosage will cost you between $1-2, depending on where you buy from (more on that later)
  • I purchased my bottle of FOCUSfactor from Amazon, but you can buy from many different suppliers.
  • I experienced some pleasing benefits in terms of mental focus and agility. It’s not a life-changer, but a handy boost.

FOCUSfactor Side Effects

I didn’t notice any negative side effects when taking Focus Factor. However, if you start taking the supplement and experience any negative effects, then quit taking it; your health is worth too much to risk.

I have seen some reports of FOCUSfactor causing stomach upsets in other customer reviews. If you are prone to stomach trouble, then you might want to start with a lower dosage and work your way up.

FOCUSfactor Dosage

Getting the right dosage for this supplement is really.  You should be taking four tablets a day, evenly spaced out throughout the day.

You can work your way up to 8 tablets a day max, but I don’t think that dosage is necessary. I will stick by recommending four a day, which (if you purchase on special from Amazon) should only cost you about a dollar a day … how great is that?

FOCUSfactor Dietary Supplement (150 Tablets) Review Conclusion

Overall, I give FOCUSfactor a rating of four stars out of five (4/5). It’s not as good a product in terms of the mental/energy/holistic benefits I got when compared with Excelerol, which is my “reference level”. However, the pricing is much sharper for FOCUSfactor … it’s basically 90% as good for 50% of the price (please note that’s not exact maths, just an analogy).

I definitely felt a noticeable improvement in my mental focus and agility. Basically, I felt sharper, more on to it, and enjoyed a definite amelioration in terms of memory and recall. I’m not going to claim for a minute that Focus Factor was some kind of wonder drug ala Bradley Cooper’s Limitless movie. It’s nowhere near that at all. However, for a very reasonable price you can enjoy a supplement that enhances your memory, focus, concentration, and overall mental alacrity to a highly appreciable extent.

Where Can You Buy FOCUSfactor?

I purchased my bottle of FOCUSfactor (the 150 tablets one) from Amazon.com. I’ve heard that it is available for sale in American pharmacies/drug stores as well as general stores. A quick Google search revealed that Vitamin Shoppe is selling (at the time of writing) the 90 capsule package of FOCUSfactor for $27.99 on special.

However, for the best pricing possible I suggest that you buy FOCUSfactor online from Amazon. Comparing the prices of the Vitamin Shoppe and Amazon, it’s hard to get past the fact that you are paying $0.31 per tablet from Vitamin Shoppe, but  only $0.26 per tablet from Amazon. That figure of 26 cents per tablet from Amazon does not take into account any special prices on offer either – you might find when you go to order that you can pick your bottle up for a healthy discount, making the pricing even more competitive. You’ll also benefit from reliable, quick shipping and a good returns policy.

Click here to purchase FOCUSfactor online from Amazon (recommended supplier)
Click here to purchase FOCUSfactor online from Vitamin Shoppe (price – $0.31 per tablet)
Click here to purchase FOCUSfactor online from Wal Mart (price – $0.67 per tablet)

More Info On FOCUSfactor

If you’re after some additional useful information, then you might want to check out these pages:

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