Since leaving my corporate job over eight months ago, there is one thing I appreciate now more than ever. Time.
In a large organisation where you are essentially a number (let’s say #243), if you drop the ball for a week the world will not fall apart. However, at a startup or a smaller organisation this is not the case.
Given we have a finite amount of time each day, we need to identify opportunities to get the edge on your competition. Over the last six months I have identified three personal growth hacks that everyone should be aware of. The great thing is you can action these straight away!
Read with caution: These personal growth hacks aren’t for everyone. Choose what works for you. Tim Ferriss said it best;
“look for the optimal dose of any activity. Too little sun, you don't get a tan. Just enough, you get a tan. Too much, you get burned.”
Here are three personal growth hacks that, if applied, can make huge difference in your life:
#1 - Speed up your knowledge intake
Do you ever listen to a podcast and think, “this guy talks really slowly, if only I could capture this information quicker”?
Well good news, there is a way. Start listening to your podcasts at a faster speed. Whatever platform you’re using to listen to your podcasts (eg. itunes and overcast), they generally provide the option to listen at a faster speed.
Listening to an audiobook on audible and want to get through more content than you normally do? Try listening to audio at 1.5x speed or even 2x speed. After a few weeks listening to audio at this faster speed you will wonder how you ever listened to things at 1x.
Why stop at only audio?
Take it to the next level and start watching videos at a faster speed. Get through content at a pace that works for you by listening to videos (such as lectures or presentations) using a simple chrome plugin called HTML5 Video Speed Control. Sidenote: This also works for Netflix. It’s advisable not to 2x the chill.
#2 - Capture your creative thoughts
Do you ever think of fantastic ideas but a few hours later forget all about them? This is a hack shared by Tom Kelley from IDEO and is all about making the most of those aha moments by capturing them immediately.
Ensure that you have a mode of capture at that moment to allow you to jot down your creative thoughts. For instance, if your creativity happens during exercise or during your commute, capture notes on your mobile. If your creative thoughts are flowing in the shower, then put a whiteboard in the shower and write them down as they come. Do whatever you need to do.
#3 - Outsource, outsource, outsource
It is common to complete the same task on a regular basis. Whether it be daily, weekly or monthly. These may not be the best tasks for you to do given your skill level, they are just things that need to get done.
Doesn't it make more sense to spend your valuable (and limited) time on those tasks that you are able to add the most value to? Look to outsource rudimentary, process-oriented tasks to a Virtual Assistant. Think online research, data entry, social media management and even booking holidays. These are all tasks that can be outsourced. Struggling to think of tasks - here are 25 tasks that will provide inspiration.
As you grow trust with your Virtual Assistant, you will be more comfortable allowing them to work on more personal tasks. Where can you find a Virtual Assistant? Check out Supahands, Upwork, Freelancer or even Fiverr to outsource some of your tasks and spend more time on what you are good at.
These personal growth hacks aren't for everyone - give them a shot and see if they work for you. Just like anything in life test it out and learn from it. For those who like chocolate and appreciate time, I will leave you with a quote from Willy Wonka:
“Time is a precious thing, never waste it.”