8 Time Hacks to Be More Productive


Most of us have seen the popular Instagram meme, “We all have the same 24 hours in a day.” It questions how successful figures like Jay Z, Barack Obama, Elon Musk and others, seemingly accomplish so much more than the rest of us when we all have the same 24-hours in a day.

The answer is: time maximization.  

You can accomplish more simply by using smart, efficient time management techniques that are maximized for productivity.

I’m not saying if you start managing your time better you’re going to hit next year’s Forbes list. But, if you can squeeze out an extra 10-20% productivity each day you could accomplish significantly more in a year, 5-years, 10-years or your lifetime.  

You may not be able to accomplish as much as you’d like in a week, but you can get a lot more done in a year than you’d believe.

In order to get more done, you’ve got two options:

  1. Add more hours to your day
  2. Be more productive during the hours you have.

Since there’s obviously no way to add more hours to your day, the only option is to be more productive during the time you do have.

I’ve come up with 8 time hacks that will help you accomplish more in less time. I’ve developed these tricks over many years of building several businesses, running marathons, reading 70+ books a year, traveling 30+ countries and best of all spending a lot of quality time with my family and friends.  

If you follow these tricks you’ll start to see your productivity skyrocket in no time.  

Time Hacks To Be More Productive

8 time hacks to be more productive

Tip #1: Start Tracking Your Time

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

One of my favorite quotes is “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Have you measured where your time goes all day? If not, then how can you manage it?  

Most people think they know where they spend their time, but once you start tracking it you’ll be in for a big surprise.

I thought I had a good sense of where my time went every day and I was quite proud of it.  Then I decided to actually start tracking my time by taking quick notes every hour documenting my activities.

I could not believe how many mindless, useless things I spent my time on.

Sure, I was productive, but not nearly as much as I had thought.  

My attention was diverted to all sorts of distractions throughout the day.

For example, I was in the middle of working on an important project and then I suddenly wondered how my stocks were doing. So, I checked my stocks.  

When I discovered my Facebook stock was up 2.5%, well, then I just had to google Facebook news to learn why.

As I was reading an analyst’s explanation for the stock bump, I saw a story exclaiming “I wouldn’t believe what Kylie Jenner’s baby bump looked like”.  

Embarrassingly, I clicked on the headline and scanned the article to find photos of the “unbelievable” bump, but I quickly realized I had fallen for clickbait. At that point, I was curious and still resolved to see this baby bump, so I started to google the photos instead – and that’s when it struck me: I had just wasted an enormous amount of time.

Knowing I was tracking my time and holding myself accountable, I quickly jumped back into my work assignment, and begrudgingly made note of the 15 minutes I had just wasted.  

Our mind is like a waterfall of endless thoughts.

Our mind is like a waterfall of endless thoughts. And if we don’t keep it in check, we can easily lose time chasing impulses that pull us in many different directions and take us away from the task we’re supposed to be focused on.  

By tracking your time you’ll probably find that you waste a lot more of it than you think. When you start monitoring your daily activities and holding yourself accountable for any time wasted, it becomes easier to avoid distractions and stay focused. And you’re likely to get a lot more done.   


Tip #2 Do Important Things First

If you’re like most people, you make your best decisions at the beginning of the day. This is when we tend to be most energized and clear-headed – and it’s when our willpower is strongest.  

For example, it’s easier for most of us to make smart decisions about our food choices earlier in the day. You may find that your breakfast and lunch decisions are healthy and then by evening when your willpower is depleted, you may find yourself craving sweets and snacks. (Which is probably why every New Year’s resolution is about the stubborn extra 5 pounds you just can’t shed.)

Throughout the day, our willpower is on a steady decline and it becomes harder and harder for us to make good decisions.

You can picture your willpower as sand in an hourglass, falling steadily as the day goes on.  When you wake up and start your day, that’s when your hourglass is full and you have the most willpower available to make good decisions.

Knowing that you’ll make your best decisions early in the day, tackle important things first.  

Take advantage of your willpower when it is at its daily peak to make the best decisions and maximize your productivity.   

It may be tempting to jump right into checking and responding to email and voicemail messages first thing in the morning. But don’t let those simple tasks consume the most productive part of your day.

Instead, focus on your most critical tasks first. When you start your day, ask yourself,

What is the single most important thing I have to accomplish today?

Or what do I absolutely have to get done? Then sit down and get right to it.

Productivity hacks limit your distractions


Tip #3: Limit Your Distractions

We live in an insanely distracting world. We are consumed by our cell phone’s notifications, texts, apps, feeds, stats, reminders, emails and SO MUCH MORE.

We’re inundated with advertisers, gadgets, people and things begging for our attention. (In full disclosure this is my 3rd attempt at writing this paragraph because of the distracting Skype notifications that keep popping up.)

Distraction gets us all. But the truth is you don’t need to check your email 100 times a day.

You don’t need to respond to every text message the minute it comes in. Your life is not going to change if you don’t continuously refresh your Instagram feed.

If you want to be more productive – limit your distractions.  

An easy way to do this is to turn notifications off, have updates happen less frequently or best yet, DELETE DISTRACTING APPS FROM YOUR PHONE.  

I became much more productive after identifying the 3 apps that were my biggest time wasters. I’m sure you have time-sucking apps in your life too. You know the ones I’m talking about – the empty-value apps that have you endlessly scrolling while you sacrifice your precious time to the omnipresent digital vortex. Delete those suckers. It’s empowering. You’ll thank me later.

Listen, I know what you’re probably thinking, “ I can’t possibly delete those apps, I NEED them!”  Okay, fair enough, but even if you need them, you’ll spend far less time re-downloading them later, than you will being distracted by them throughout your day. So, really, you have no excuse.

Delete those suckers. It’s empowering.

After your brave act of deleting your troublesome apps, you’re likely going to find yourself subconsciously opening your phone to access them, only to realize the horrible truth: they’re no longer there.

As you put your phone away, perhaps feeling a bit silly, realize two important things: 1) life will go on and 2) you should be focusing on what you’re supposed to be focusing on, stupid.

Then, pat yourself on the back for having the courage to reclaim your time by deleting those apps in the first place, and acknowledge that you are a master of your own productivity.

Productivity Hack Zoom Out Zoom In


Tip #4: Zoom Out, Then Zoom In

Do you ever have days where you feel exhausted from working so hard but honestly don’t have any idea what you accomplished?  

Sometimes, we get so caught up in busy work that we end up completing a whole lot of actions, but we don’t actually make any progress.

A rocking horse performs a lot of actions but doesn’t make any progress.  

Don’t be a rocking horse.

I’m just going to throw some chilling news right at you:

Most of what you work on does not matter at all, not even a little bit.   

I know, I can’t possibly be talking to you, right?  Everything you do and work on is SO important.  

We tend to get defensive when hearing this kind of statement because our ego refuses to let us believe that our work is not important.  

One of my favorite best-selling authors and motivational speakers, Gary V says,

“99% of what we deal with every day in business doesn’t matter. If you religiously follow the few core business philosophies that mean the most to you, everything else will naturally fall into place.”

What that means is, most of those mundane little tasks that you hustle on every day don’t amount to squat. They don’t contribute to your Big Goals. They’re just filler.

Zoom out and take a look at the bigger picture, ask yourself “How is what I’m working on right now advancing my overall business and life goals?”

If it’s not, consider how you can scrap it completely, delegate it to someone else, or lessen the amount of time you spend on it. If it does, then go right ahead and proceed with full focus.  

You have to start by getting your values and goals down to lay down the flag. Only then can you focus your energy on capturing it.

If you stay stuck in the trees you’ll never get out of the forest. Before approaching any task, zoom out far enough to see the entire forest, and then zoom in to find a pathway through the trees.

Productivity Hack Automate and Delegate


Tip #5: Automate and Delegate

There are so many ways to automate your life and delegate tasks to save you a TREMENDOUS amount of time. Every day I’m blown away by how many solutions exist to help us automate and delegate ordinary, annoying tasks that normally require significant time and mental focus.

Nowadays, many of these tasks can be done seamlessly in the background with little or no effort on our part.

Start by identifying routine tasks that regularly require your time and attention.

Spend a few minutes making a list.  

Some ideas include buying groceries, doing laundry, washing your car, getting a haircut, booking a hotel, calling customer service, sending invoices, sending flowers… and on and on.

Next, review each task and determine if it can be either automated or delegated.  

A task that can be automated will be one that can be completed in a systematic way by using technology. A task that can be delegated is one you can assign to someone else to do for you.

Opt to identify ways to automate tasks first, and if it isn’t possible then delegate them to the least expensive person qualified to do the job.

I’ve been able to automate so many simple tasks and the time it’s saved me may seem trivial in the short-term because I’m only shaving off a minute or two here and there, but when you look at it in the long-term I’m able to add hours back to my months and days back to my years.

Here are some examples of tasks that are extremely well-suited for automation:

  • Have your favorite airline automatically check you in for your flight by changing your online profile settings.  
  • Set up automatic grocery deliveries through Instacart on a weekly basis for all your favorite items.  
  • Put every bill you have on autopay.

If I can’t automate a task, then I look to delegate it to someone else whose hourly rate is less than mine.  I start by figuring out what my time is worth, and then I delegate any task I can to someone whose time is less expensive. As long as they’re capable of getting the job done right, this method is a win for productivity.

Don’t make the mistake of delegating your strongest competencies and best attributes. The point of delegating is to free you from less important tasks so you can focus on the higher level tasks that require your expertise.

In today’s connected world finding someone to delegate to is easy. There are countless freelancers around the world who are willing to work for you for pennies on the dollar.

Websites like Upwork.com will help you find inexpensive freelancers who will gladly complete your mundane tasks for you. Even if you want to hire locally, you can usually find someone who is willing and capable of completing the tasks you need help with at a cheaper rate than your own.

The more you can automate and delegate your tasks, the more you’ll be able to stay focused on the larger, more important items that need to be accomplished.

Automation and delegation are highly-effective tools for increasing your productivity.

Productivity Hack Dont Multi Task

Tip #6: Triple Task, but don’t Multi-task

Be a triple tasker. This is not to be confused with being a multi-tasker, a term I hate so much it makes me cringe every time I see it on a resume.

Our brains aren’t designed to multi-task. You are not able to focus on two things at once.

Try it. Think about what you ate for dinner last night and your plans for next weekend. You’ll find your brain bouncing back and forth between the two ideas, but you’ll never be able to focus on both at once.

When I say triple tasking, I mean accomplishing at least 3 of your goals at the same time.  I don’t mean concentrating on three different things, but rather creatively combining 3 or more tasks in a way that allows you to complete them all successfully.

How is this possible?

Well, your first task is your primary focus and will get the bulk of your attention. The second task will be something you do that doesn’t require your attention. The third task is something that is happening in the background.

Here’s an example, when I used to charge my Tesla at a supercharging station, I’d sit in my car and listen to an audiobook. So I’d accomplish two of my goals: finishing a book while charging my car.

Then it occurred to me, I could triple down and make meaningful progress on another goal without having to spend any more time on it. Instead of listening to my audiobook in my car, I could listen to it on my earphones while running around the block – all while my car was charging. By tripling down, I was able to charge my car, finish a book, and meet my fitness goals.

With some creativity, you can discover many ways to accomplish 3 goals simultaneously and do them extremely well. Here’s another example, my girlfriend and I spend quality time together (relationship goal) walking around Downtown LA (fitness goal) while passing out water to homeless (philanthropy goal).  

Be a triple tasker.

Productivity Hack Know When to say No
Tip #7: Learn to Say No and Be Direct

Constant requests for your energy, money and time can be draining. And as you become more successful you’ll find more people asking even more of you. There is, however, a simple way to respond to these demands. Learn how to say “no”.

Saying no in a direct and concise manner will not only save you time but will also help you structure your life around the commitments you actually care about. Don’t build your life around obligations you’re not interested in.

Don’t build your life around obligations you’re not interested in.

You can’t possibly make everyone happy all the time. It may be difficult in the beginning, but it’s much easier to deal with the initial discomfort of saying no then it is to deal with the regret of having obligations you don’t really want.

It’s OK to say NO.

It is okay to say no. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad friend, boss, or family member. If someone gets upset at you for saying no they probably weren’t your real friend to begin with (and saying “yes”, really wouldn’t change that).  

Steve Jobs once said,

“I’m actually as proud of the things I haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”  

Imagine if he had said yes to the first iPhone design or the first iPod design – these products would not have come close to changing the world as they have today.

In order to have anything really great or be great, you have to be able to say no countless times before saying yes.  

In saying no to the things that you don’t want to do, you free yourself up to be more energized, productive and focused on the things you do want to do.

Productivity Hack Time Blocking

Tip #8: Time Blocking

When you block your time, you intentionally determine what tasks you’re going to focus on and when. Rather than a scattered, unplanned approach to completing your tasks, time blocking allows you to optimize every minute in your day and be more productive.

Don’t waste your precious time contemplating whatever comes to mind. Instead, block off time to think through new ideas and tackle specific issues. And during blocked off times, commit to focusing all your effort and energy into accomplishing the tasks you’ve defined.

For me, using multiple calendars to remind myself what I should be focused on works best.  Outside of my regular calendar for meetings, I have a second calendar that tells me what I should be focused on.  

In my office, I’m constantly saying “Let’s set up a time to talk about that”.  If I shifted my focus everytime a new conversation or idea came my way, I would never get anything done. What’s more, setting up a specific time to talk about things lets me devote my full attention to them, rather than giving superficial consideration in the moment.

This approach gives you time to gather your thoughts and involve all the necessary people who need to be a part of the discussion. It also reduces mental exhaustion of switching between so many different topics.

In 2013 when Elon Musk was asked how one of the most productive guys on the planet divides up his day, he said by ”working at SpaceX in Los Angeles on Monday, then flying to the Bay Area on Tuesday night to start work at Tesla on Wednesday and Thursday before returning to SpaceX on Friday.”

He had specific times that he focused on specific companies and commitments. And I’d be willing to bet each minute spent at each company is also clearly defined, with specific tasks requiring his undivided attention neatly blocked out on his calendar.

When I block off time to focus on a certain task, it doesn’t matter if my cell phone rings, my girlfriend is guilting me for attention, or my dog is scratching at the door. Unless my house is burning down, I block my time with a fortress wall so I can do what needs to get done. I recommend you do the same.

Final Thoughts

These 8 time hacks may take a little practice to implement into your life, but once you do you’ll benefit from increased productivity and ultimately – more success. Experiment with different ways to incorporate these ideas into your daily routine and discover what works best for you. The key, above all, is consistency.

8 Comments for "8 Time Hacks to Be More Productive"

  • ปั้มไลค์

    Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

    Posted Jul 7th
  • Jules occeus

    Greetings from me to you wherever you are my beloved brother. I followed your beautiful amazing work from Facebook I just want to really really thank you so much for not saying the world need to change but instead you changing the world ?, you are saving millions every time someone sees your video they completely seek transformation within themselves you are amazing being thank you for your existence ???????.. I am also very happy that I cry myself because in most of your I see myself in them I am the guy who give homeless and touch they head with love in my heart I cry when I see a woman homeless I remember I was homeless sleeping in my car but I took my tips and save to give to the homeless, I’m walking to buy a bottle water for myself someone begging I give them the money and wait until I get home to drink water , yes I am blessed because I am able to help a friend or a homeless person with a few dollars I am greatfull for that. I sometimes beg for a picture with whoever I help so I can put on my wall so I can tell my son this is my wall of fame , my son was three months old I put money in his little hands and said to the homeless lady hey Linda this is my son his name is jules we have the same name , me and my son who’s was three cook big meals to go feed the homeless also but haven’t in awhile I can go on and on ..but I’m struggling with a lot of heavy load because seeing the world as it is make me sad and I’m drained. I never ask god for money I just work hard and get it , because money is the roots of evil but now I am praying to be rich so that I can help the world..

    Posted Sep 11th
  • Kelly Barry

    Love all your posts, videos, blogs! Such reality.

    Valentine’s Contest Answers:
    Who: My 2 sons
    As an only parent, I’ve solely focused on them since their father left 7 years ago.

    What: An action packed weekend getaway-history, museums, trampoline park, indoor basketball, swimming, ice skating…

    Why: I couldn’t imagine a Valentine’s Day ♥️ without them… Although I know as they get older, it’s inevitable. We haven’t had a vacation in 2 years.

    I love your blog. Being true to a product or brand that you promote is key to being believable.

    Posted Feb 13th
  • Heather Witherow

    This is my entry for the Dhar & Laura giveaway. Thankyou for the opportunity! ?
    My mom would be my date. For the past two years, I’ve been sick, and forced to undergo a lot of tests, and they only now found the problem. She’s been my number one supporter through it all: Caring for me when I was so sick I couldn’t get up, making foods that worked with the strict diets the doctors put me on, providing moral support. She deserves to be treated to a fancy dinner and shopping spree because she is a super hero to me. I’d love to be able to give her a special Valentine’s day to give a little back to her for everything she has done for me. ?

    My favorite tip from your article is about being authentic and choosing a partnership that best represents you and what you do.

    Posted Feb 13th
  • Stefanie King

    I would LOVE to take my boyfriend on our dream trip to Canada. He talks about going to Canada literally every single day. My boyfriend is one of the best people on this planet. I don’t know where i would be without him. Since we were sophomores in high school I lived with him because my family was having a lot of money issues and had to move into a one bedroom hotel with my mom, step dad, brother and sister. so there was obviously no room for me. Throughout all I was going through at the time with my family’s money problems, my boyfriend was MY ROCK. I couldn’t possibly ask for someone more loving and supportive. even though we were only 15 him and his family took me in. ever since he has given me everything I could ever want. We are now 21 and are juniors in college! We are definitely broke college students. We were already saving literally every penny to try to go to canada the second week of march, but my car broke down and had to use what we saved to fix it. He supports me so much with everything I do, emotionally and financially. I would love to be able to give something to him for once. who knows where i would be without him. If i could just do ONE thing for him, I would be so greatful. I love yalls relationship, it is definitely one to look up too. y’all are literally the ultimate goals. Even if I don’t win i’m greatful for the opportunity!! Love y’all!!
    my favorite tip from Dhar is ENGAGE with your followers! y’all do so much to engage with your supporters and trust me everyone appreciates it!!
    (we are from fort worth texas!)

    Posted Nov 8th
  • Talin

    Hello Dhar & Laura!?❤️ I live in Glendale and although my dream vacation would be Greece ?? I would have to say a reasonable destination would be Alaska. My husband and I never went on a honeymoon due to work and health related issues. He felt bad about it and told me that wen though we hadn’t gone on a honeymoon that we would go on small trips in the future and call them manymoon trips lol. We have been together 14 years and married 4 of those years. The last four have been challenging in both health and Finances and we have yet to go on a honeymoon or start our plans for the manymoon trips. With the $1000 we would be able to kickstart our manymoom trips (won’t be enough for a dream trip, but it’s more than enough for a small getaway). Also, I would favorite trip you guys went to would be Mykonos ??. Thank you to the both of you for this great giveaway. ???

    Posted Nov 4th
  • Chinnie Wong

    I would love to go to Maldives with my boyfriend!

    Posted Nov 3rd
  • Amy

    I currently live in San Francisco CA with my husband and 7 month old son. I recently started following you both and love the pictures of your travels! If I won this giveaway I would take a trip to Dubai, Maldives or Bali. Hubby and I had our first baby boy in March and it’s been a really stressful but rewarding few months. I would take my husband along because he has been so helpful and supportive these past months by helping out with late nights, diaper changes, cleaning the house, and everything else. All this along with working 2 jobs so that I could switch to part-time to take care of the baby. It would be my dream to surprise him with a nice relaxing vacation! He definitely deserves it and I winning this giveaway would help me make his dream come true <3.

    My favorite tip from Dhar's Buzzfeed Article is to Be Consistent! I think that's a really important tip and hopefully will motivate me to do that in my work

    Posted Nov 2nd

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