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The Free-Time Formula

Book Description

Find the time, clarity, and mental space to achieve your goals

The Free-Time Formula helps you slow down time and get the important things done. We're all overworked, stressed, and always being asked to do more, and do it better; the days aren't getting any longer, so something has to give—don't let it be your sanity. This book provides a real-world framework for more effective time management that helps you prioritize, focus, clarify, and go. You'll begin with a time audit to assess your current stress, strategies, and output—and the results may shock you. From there, you'll work step-by-step toward a new daily routine that will help you become the focused, efficient achiever you've been trying to be for so long. It's not about cramming more into your precious 24 hours, it's about figuring out what really matters to you, and getting the most important things done first. Every day. Never miss another big deadline, never flake on an important meeting, never be late to an appointment again. It is possible with great planning, and this book is your personal guide.

Focused on action, not filler, this book is an excellent resource for those who want to achieve more, but do less. With a few simple changes, you'll find the time you've been missing and put it to more productive use.

  • Define and prioritize your personal and professional goals and responsibilities
  • Cut the distractions and clarify your daily objectives
  • Adapt your workplace tools and environment to facilitate actual work
  • Periodically self-assess, course–correct when needed, and plan for the future

Rather than rush through another day leaving things un-done and roses un-sniffed, take a beat and a breath, and take back your day with The Free-Time Formula.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Foreword
  4. Introduction
    1. THE DARK SIDE OF PRODUCTIVITY
    2. BURSTING AT THE SEAMS
    3. A LIFE ON LESS
  5. STEP I: Find Out What's Really Going On
    1. 1 The Freedom to Do Anything
      1. FREE TIME: AN EXCUSE TO KEEP WORKING
      2. FREE TIME: THE ULTIMATE ESCAPE
      3. THE MYTH OF FREE TIME
      4. THE TIME MANAGEMENT CONUNDRUM
      5. A DANGEROUS WORD
      6. FREE TIME AT ITS FINEST
      7. THE FREE‐TIME FORMULA
      8. GRAB YOUR (DIGITAL) HIGHLIGHTER
      9. QUICK REVIEW: FREEDOM TO DO ANYTHING
      10. CHAPTER 1 ACTION PLAN
    2. 2 Asking the Right Questions
      1. STEP I: FIND OUT WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON
      2. QUICK WIN
      3. SELF‐EVALUATION
      4. TIME AUDIT: PHASE I
      5. Q&A
      6. QUICK REVIEW: ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
      7. CHAPTER 2 ACTION PLAN
  6. STEP II: Clarify What Matters
    1. 3 The Vital Few
      1. PRIORITIES DO NOT EXIST
      2. STEP II: CLARIFY WHAT MATTERS
      3. 1. DEFINE YOUR VALUES
      4. 2. SET YOUR VISION
      5. 3. REVIEW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
      6. 4. GRAB A GREEN PEN
      7. 5. ANALYZE YOUR RESULTS
      8. 6. COMMIT TO YOUR VITAL FEW
      9. 7. TIME AUDIT: PHASE II
      10. QUICK REVIEW: THE VITAL FEW
      11. CHAPTER 3 ACTION PLAN
    2. 4 Knowing What to Do Next
      1. THE FIVE STAGES OF PROJECT PRIORITIZATION
      2. ORGANIZING AND UPDATING THE STATUS OF YOUR PROJECTS
      3. QUICK REVIEW: KNOWING WHAT TO DO NEXT
      4. CHAPTER 4 ACTION PLAN
  7. STEP III: Flex Your Muscles
    1. 5 Fitness for Busy People
      1. STEP III: FLEX YOUR MUSCLES
      2. MOST PRODUCTIVE DAILY HEALTHY HABITS
      3. QUICK REVIEW: FITNESS FOR BUSY PEOPLE
      4. CHAPTER 5 ACTION PLAN
    2. 6 Mental Bicep Curls
      1. PAUSING ON PURPOSE
      2. MENTAL BICEP CURLS
      3. FINDING A MOMENT TO PAUSE
      4. QUICK REVIEW: MENTAL BICEP CURLS
      5. CHAPTER 6 ACTION PLAN
  8. STEP IV: Cut the Nonsense
    1. 7 You Have Permission to Let Go
      1. STEP IV: CUT THE NONSENSE
      2. CREATE YOUR MUST‐DO LIST
      3. QUICK REVIEW: LET IT GO
      4. CHAPTER 7 ACTION PLAN
    2. 8 Reducing Friction
      1. PROCRASTINATING INTELLIGENTLY
      2. ERADICATING BAD HABITS
      3. PASSING THE BATON
      4. A WORD OF CAUTION FOR CONTROL FREAKS
      5. QUICK REVIEW: REDUCING FRICTION
      6. CHAPTER 8 ACTION PLAN
  9. STEP V: Schedule What Matters
    1. 9 Red‐Carpet Calendar
      1. STEP V: SCHEDULE WHAT MATTERS
      2. CALENDAR INTERVENTION
      3. CREATE YOUR RED‐CARPET CALENDAR
      4. BATCHING AND THEME DAYS
      5. TEN COMMON OBSTACLES TO CALENDARING
      6. QUICK REVIEW: RED‐CARPET CALENDAR
      7. CHAPTER 9 ACTION PLAN
    2. 10 What to Do with All That Free Time
      1. THREE PLANNING MODELS OF FREE TIME
      2. 1. MINDLESS
      3. 2. MINDFUL
      4. 3. STRUCTURED SPONTANEITY
      5. BEST USE OF YOUR FREE TIME
      6. QUICK REVIEW: WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THAT FREE TIME
      7. CHAPTER 10 ACTION PLAN
  10. STEP VI: Prevent Future Nonsense
    1. 11 Slaying the Distraction Dragons
      1. HOW DISTRACTIONS ACTIVELY WORK AGAINST US
      2. STEP VI: PREVENT FUTURE NONSENSE
      3. DEEP, FOCUSED WORK
      4. SLAYING THE SELF‐IMPOSED DISTRACTION DRAGON
      5. DISTRACTED BY PHYSICAL NEEDS
      6. DISTRACTED BY YOUR ENVIRONMENT
      7. DISTRACTED BY UNFINISHED WORK
      8. DISTRACTED BY TECHNOLOGY
      9. DISTRACTED BY YOUR OWN IDEAS
      10. QUICK REVIEW: DISTRACTION DRAGON
      11. CHAPTER 11 ACTION PLAN
    2. 12 Turn Off the Lights and Hide!
      1. CHAOS TO CLARITY
      2. WHEN TO SAY YES
      3. WHEN (AND HOW) TO SAY NO
      4. SEVENTEEN FOCUS RULES
      5. QUICK REVIEW: TURN OFF THE LIGHTS AND HIDE!
      6. CHAPTER 12 ACTION PLAN
  11. STEP VII: Solidify Your Ideal Rhythm
    1. 13 Crunch and Release
      1. STEP VII: SOLIDIFY YOUR IDEAL RHYTHM
      2. CRUNCH AND RELEASE
      3. WORK HARD, PLAY HARD
      4. RHYTHMIC SABBATICALS
      5. QUICK REVIEW: CRUNCH AND RELEASE
      6. CHAPTER 13 ACTION PLAN
    2. 14 Seven‐Day Action Plan
      1. SEVEN‐DAY ACTION PLAN
      2. FINAL MESSAGE
      3. QUICK REVIEW: SEVEN‐DAY ACTION PLAN
      4. #FREETIMEFORMULA
      5. RESOURCES
  12. References
  13. About the Author
  14. Index
  15. End User License Agreement