How to Instantly Save 2-3 Hours a Day

Bob, Mon 10 February 2020, Productivity

4hww, 80/20, effective, efficient, Ferriss, Pareto, Parkinson's law, productivity

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. - Peter Drucker

Imagine what an extra 2-3 hours a day can give you. Reading consistently for an hour a day in your field can change your career for the better. An hour of Python coding a day can land you a developer job over time. What about spending more time with your family?

This stuff matters!

In my early days I was a perfectionist. I only later read how this rubbed some people the wrong way when I was cleaning out old study reports.

More importantly it prevented me from taking massive action towards my goals!

An eye for detail is a good quality to have, specially as a developer. But at the end of the day practicality beats purity (Zen of Python).

Being effective vs being efficient.

This paragraph of Tim Ferriss' 4 hour work week blew us away:

Here are two truims to keep in mind:

  1. Doing something unimportant well does not make it important.

  2. Requiring a lot of time does not make a task important.

From this moment forward, remember this: What you do is infinitely more important than how you do it.

Efficiency is still important, but it is useless unless applied to the right things.


A few things we changed for ourselves this year that is getting us major results:

  1. We plan in advance: the weekend we plan out our weeks, the night before we plan out our days. If you don't do this, stop reading and grab a piece of paper ... 1 min in planning saves you 10 min in execution, to me that seems a pretty awesome ROI. Also this instantly clears your mind (= better sleep).

  2. We define our 80/20 (Pareto principle) and try to stick with that. Only a few things really matter. Less is more!

  3. We use time blocks (deadlines). As per Parkinson's law: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. We all know how efficient you can be the day before holidays, no? :)

Now go take some action: cut ruthlessly in your schedule and report back below if you were able to save some time to work on the more meaningful stuff (Python, reading, portfolio, career, etc). See you next week.

Keep Calm and Code in Python!

-- Bob