The Most Productive One Hour In Your Life

Summary – Super One Hour

If you are reading this, I’m very sure that you and I have the same common goal. We want to achieve more in our life. There’s only one problem though.

There are so many goals to achieve, better career, relationship, attitude, etc that sometimes they are very hard to keep track. Most of the time, we will end up spending more time on only a few areas like career and hobbies while totally neglecting other area like relationship etc.

Trying to maintain a balance between all our goals is really a headache. Planning them is known to even cause nausea and migraine. That is why I come up with this – The most productive one hour in your life.

Basically, it is a one hour schedule where you will set the things to do which will cover all the important aspect of our life. There is only one rule to this tool – You must do every single thing listed. Every single thing.

Let’s start shall we?

Preparation

  • Switch off your handphone.
  • Switch on your computer and connect to the internet
  • Grab today’s newspaper and a timer

The Super One Hour starts now.

1) Knowledge – Read headline of newspaper (5 min)
Read the newspaper. For some this may already be a routine, but for another it is very hard to really sit down and read. For the latter, try reading the headline only. It will save you time. Make sure you know everything that is happening in your country, and ultimately in the world.

Extra mini things you can do :

  • Read English newspaper to improve your English.
  • Start with the half of the comic page and end with another half. Hopefully it will start your day with a smile and the news will be less depressing.
  • Try to give out comments while you read. It will make remembering the details easier. For example “Ah, Malaysia has a chance at a Gold Medal. What’s his name again?”

2) Relationship – Give your loved ones a call (5 min)
Pick up the phone and call your spouse. Even if she is at work, call her. Ask her about her day and try to give a message to her that you appreciate her. You don’t need to be direct and say “I appreciate you”. Nobody says it like that. Say it without actually say it. Maybe you can say “Looks like you are busy, I’ll help later with the dishes.” After you’re done, swith off the phone. there should not be any distraction for the remaining task in this Super One Hour.

Extra mini things you can do :

  • Spark the fire. Try to figure out what actually about you that she finds attractive. Use that considerably. If she finds you funnily charming. Be funnily charming.
  • Help her with her stress. Don’t add to it.
  • A classic snail mail once in a while is always romantic. Try it, she will like it.

3) Finance – Count how much money you actually have now (5 min)
Go get your bank account book, all of them, and start adding up all your savings and cash. Now ask yourself, “is that enough to cover your lifestyle for 6 months if you are suddenly fired from your job?”. This exercise will in a way make us realize our level of financial security.

If you say no to the question (which is usually the case), immediately write on a piece of paper how much more you need and paste it on the wall. From now on, everytime you deposit some money, deduct it from the amount you just wrote. Make it so that you can see how you progress to save that money.

Extra mini things you can do :

  • Educate your family that financial planning is everybody’s responsibility (with an extra staring at the one who spends the most)
  • Set up a contest to see who can save the most. The winner will win a month of no housechore. That will be irresistable even for me.

4) Social – Email a friend (5 min)
Login to your email account, and choose one friend that you haven’t email for some time. Send him an email saying hi. You can also send out messages to him/her by other means such as facebook, IM and so on.

Extra mini things you can do :

  • Schedule to meet your friends at a coffee shop. Never meet your friend with an ulterior motive. One friend had invited me for a drink one day, and I happily went. Apparently he was trying to sell me an insurance policy. Spoilt my evening.
  • Set up a text file containing all the details of your friend. You don’t want to be asking the same friend what he’s doing for a living 5 times, do you?

5) Declutter – Cut everything by 10% (5 min)
Choose one item today. It can be anything from your wardrobe or RSS Feed or email. If for example you choose your wardrobe, go through all your clothes, and if you have a total of 100 clothes, decide immediately which 10 are you going to give away. Maybe you can give the clothes to your brothers/sisters.

The idea of decluttering is to reduce or eliminate those that you don’t really need. If you have 3 chairs in your room and you only need one. why not move the 2 chairs to another room.

Extra mini things you can do :

  • Look at your room. What is the one eye sore that can be removed. Remove that item for the day.
  • Set up a specific place for everything. Place keys at a designated place. So whenever you are in a hurry and you want to look for your keys, you will know exactly where to find it.

6) Career – Sit down and plan your career. (5 min)
One thing about our career or work, is that after a while, everything will look like a routine thing. You wake up in the morning, and suddenly you are in your robot mode. Working that routine without ever thinking on how to advance in your career.

In this Super One Hour, sit down and plan your career. Think what can you do now that will result in a promotion or a raise. Personally for me, if I want to get promoted and noticed by the top management, I will have to pass First Grade Steam Engineer Certificate. Now that I know this, I should plan what exactly I’m going to do to pass that certificate.

Extra mini things you can do :

  • Try looking for another job. Go for interview, even if you are not really planning to change your career. At least your interview skill will improve.
  • Be more visible to the top management. If you don’t know how to sell yourself, people may not notice all your effort even if you are the best worker ever.

7) Health – Jog (25 min)
Put on your jogging shoes and start jogging for 20 minutes. I once read that in order for the body to start burning fat, you must be running at least 20 minutes. Any shorter than that, you are just warming up. Spend the last 5 minutes to cool down.

Jogging / exercising is also known to have a destressing effect. After all the work you have done before, you will definitely going to need this.

Extra mini thing you can do :

  • Try to remember the news you read just now
  • Plan your next Super One Hour while running. Which of your friend will you email next, or which life goals are you going to work on.

8] Spiriuality – Meditate (5 min)
You should by now all sweaty and tired. Sit down and meditate for 5 minutes. Just do the most basic meditation. Sit down, close your eyes, focus on your breathing in and out and think of nothing else. Forget everything you have done before, and try to taste the inhaling and exhaling breath you take.

Extra mini things you can do :

  • There shouldn’t be anything else you should do in a meditation.

/end list

Conclusion – You can use my version of Super One Hour. But I recommend that you come up with your own version. One that has your sets of goals and things to do. Maybe you prefer swimming to jogging, or yoga to meditation.

The idea can also be expanded to maybe Super One Day or Super One Week. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

– I Wonder –
What other things you would advise one to put in the Super One Hour

Photo Credit – Fabiola Medeiros

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This post has 26 comments.


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  1. 16 Aug 08 9:15 am

    I discovered your homepage by coincidence.
    Very interesting posts and well written.
    I will put your site on my blogroll.
    :-)

  2. 16 Aug 08 11:32 am

    Wow! Interesting. I am the person who does all the caca marba. If I have a list, I panic! Panic leads to anxiety which leads to HPT for me.

    I have tried making list, PDAs etc, seems doesn’t work with me. But afer reading this, I think I should try again, harder. First do the list, 2nd, execute it!

    I admire ppl who carry to do list incl my habibi. Being organized is him while i am the opposite.

    Well done with this article, Banji. Keep up with your posting. You know you have a loyal reader now, ME!

  3. 16 Aug 08 3:50 pm

    uncle!
    hehe..

    hm, nice tips from you.
    an hour..hmm..
    what can i do in an hour?
    A LOT!
    yeah..just like what you’ve stated..
    that’s why i don’t like waiting. coz it’ll waste my precious hours and minutes..
    but i always end up in waiting..
    huhu~

    *sory, out of topic..ngeee~*

  4. 16 Aug 08 4:38 pm

    Three year ago, I made a pledge to myself what I want to achieve in three years time, I put it on paper and everyday I look at it, I read it more than 50 times. I remind myself that is where I want to be in three year time.

    Interestingly, all the thing I do focusing toward making it happen while I only achieve less than 50% of it and still a lot more to go (plus the up and down in life) I think that was the most powerful one hour of my time.

  5. 17 Aug 08 9:41 am

    AkakPokPek – I recommend trying with a simpler list. Make it 5 things to do for the day, and if you finish all the work, you are entitled to some ice cream. :) A list will only work if you enjoy crossing them off the list. A list with accumulating task without any crossing will just make it worse.

    Thank you for the support. You just made my day

    Fairuzniza – “I don’t like waiting” “But I always end up in waiting”. Something is wrong then.

    Hamdani Amin – That’s a good example of what focus and determination can do to a man :) And yes, even if we just made it to achieve less than expected, it is still an achievement.

    Thank you for sharing

  6. banji
    17 Aug 08 9:46 am

    Randy Nichols – Thank you for reading.. :)

  7. 17 Aug 08 6:59 pm

    heheh..
    that is because everytime i made a promise with someone, i will always make sure i get to the place earlier or on time. like for instance, if the date is at 2, i’ll try hard to be there at 1.45.but somehow..things always turned out to be..i will wait for the person for half an hour or more.

    who’s at fault?

    i know..

    it’s me..for being early.. T_T

  8. 19 Aug 08 1:05 am

    will definitely give it a try and I will let you know how it goes. Thanks!

  9. banji
    20 Aug 08 7:23 pm

    Fairuzniza – Thanks for clearing that up. now only I understand by waiting, you meant waiting for people :)

    To tell you the truth, I take pride in being punctual. When I was dating the mrs, I always come an hour earlier. Sometimes when she’s late, I will start feeling a bit angry, but somehow she has that magic of appearing with a smile and suddenly I didn’t even remember feeling any anger..

    AkakPokPek – wow.. your own domain. Congratulation. and good luck applying Super One Hour

  10. This is an interesting idea, but for me, those things you marked as 5 min. usually take me at least 10-15 min. each! Certainly something to try though and like you said, I can adjust it to my particular situation. Now to find another hour in the day to do this!

  11. banji
    21 Aug 08 7:08 am

    Karen – If they do, take 10-15 minutes, it can be your super 3 hours :) We can come up with hundreds of system to make our life a bit better, but the best system is always the ones we designed specifically for ourselves

    Good luck in finding that extra hours. If you found it, please tell me how you did that :)

  12. 22 Aug 08 11:07 am

    This is a great idea Banji. It makes good use of the 80/20 principal. In that one hour — which we can all afford to set aside — we can keep our life on target. It’s too easy to let things slide unintentionally. Scheduling it like this ensures you cover the most important things.

    I like it :-)
    John

  13. banji
    23 Aug 08 12:01 am

    John Rocheleau – It’s an idea I try to put out there. Basically, you can make it as long as you want, maybe three hours with each activity spent about 30 minutes. Like you said, the objective is to keep our life on target. Making it a big deal like Super One Hour will do just that :)

    Thank you John for the support

  14. 31 Aug 08 4:43 am

    Wow…a good tips…lately ni dok menggong aje tau…it keep on like this ntah brapa bulan dah…i need to reset my mind…

  15. banji
    31 Aug 08 10:02 am

    aRa – Dekat 4 bulan :) takpe… take your time, kadang2 dah nak blur takleh buat apa2.

    aRa is back!

  16. 06 Sep 08 5:03 am

    Thanks to you

  17. 06 Sep 08 12:44 pm

    NewssyLee – You are very much welcome :)

  18. […] The Most Productive One Hour In Your Life – from Lessons In Life […]

  19. markshare
    05 Oct 08 4:57 am

    I bookmarked this post when it was very new and fresh, but somehow I read it today for the 1st time and I was amazed. I JUST tried it out and with a little adaption it worked out very fine.
    This will defenetly become part of my weekly routines.

  20. 05 Oct 08 10:52 pm

    Markshare – Thank you for reading Markshare :) I really appreciate it

  21. […] The Most Productive One Hour In Your Life […]

  22. 22 Nov 08 9:14 am

    Great tips…Emailing a friend seems to be harder than jogging for me…waste too much time fretting over the words and message. Usually easier for me to just call them later in the day.

  23. 23 Nov 08 8:30 pm

    Ilovephotoblogs – I too have that problems sometimes. If nothing comes to mind when writing the email, calling them over the phone is the next best thing :) At least that’s a two way conversation.

  24. 24 Jan 09 8:10 pm

    its very…awesome..
    very great tips…
    i really appreciate this…♥♥

  25. 24 Jan 09 11:14 pm

    Camille – I’m glad that you like it. Do share your feedback after you tried it ya

  26. 18 Apr 11 1:37 am

    Thanks! :))) Brazil…RJ Rubim

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