Time Management

What Einstein’s Most Famous Equation Says About Maximizing Your Productivity

What Einstein’s Most Famous Equation Says About Maximizing Your Productivity

In 1905, Albert Einstein showed us that time, energy, mass, and speed are intertwined.

The faster you move, the more energy you need.

The faster you move, the slower time passes for you.

The faster you move, the more your mass increases.

Reaching maximum speed, the speed of light, would require an infinite amount of energy and would mind-bogglingly, for you, bring time to a halt.

His formula, E=mc^2 mathematically describes how these principles apply to our physical world. But the concepts ring true for our daily life too.

Bust your ass too hard, and you’ll fall into bed exhausted.

Bust your ass for too long, and seconds will feel like minutes.

Bust your ass for too hard and too long, and you’ll feel as though you need an infinite amount of energy to go on. The “weight” of your work will become unbearable. You’ll burn out, falling to ground zero (or below).

You don’t think of Einstein’s equation while at work, but you feel the ramifications of overdoing it. You know deep down which tasks suck your energy and which tasks recharge it. And you instinctively know when it’s time to call it a day.

As it turns out, these feelings are key to maintaining the intricate balance between Einsteins four variables—time, speed, mass, and energy—which in turn is the key to becoming maximally productive.

41 Ways to Get Home Early Every Day This Week

The Night Before

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1. Get 7 hours of sleep

2. Lay out daily clothes in advance

3. Block calendar for important work

4. Schedule commute time

5. Schedule breaks

6. Plan to deal with time obstacles

7. Schedule administrivia

In The Morning

8. Exercise

9. Eat healthy food that energizes you

10. Tell everyone when you plan to leave

11. When work begins, begin work (don’t get distracted)

For Meetings

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12. Squeeze meetings together

13. Focus (or leave) meetings that aren’t productive

14. Reschedule meetings that start late

15. Hold stand up meetings

16. Decline meetings where you can’t contribute

17. Add buffer between meetings and tasks

Managing Tasks

18. Schedule important tasks

19. Prioritize urgent tasks

20. Delegate unimportant tasks

21. Delete the rest of your tasks

22. Limit emailing to 3x per day

23. Automate repetitive tasks with apps like IFTTT

24. Bundle similar tasks together

25. Set a timer for your tasks

During Work

26. Begin with the end in mind

27. Minimize distractions

28. Stick to your schedule

29. Delegate

30. Work on what matters

31. Focus with music

32. Work intensely

33. Take breaks often

34. Work when everyone else isn’t

Administrivia

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35. Call instead of email

36. Send shorter emails… get to the point

37. Only read emails where you are in the to: line

Before Heading Home

38. Block time before you leave to clean up your day

39. Reduce and remove clutter in your workspace

Don’t Forget…

40. Add some greenery to your workspace (scientifically proven to increase productivity)

41. Sit, stand, walk, talk, act confidently


About the Author

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Michael Mehlberg

HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE

I help high-achieving entrepreneurs organize their brain and schedule so they can organize their life and business.

Subscribe to my free, weekly newsletter on personal excellence and business mastery that one client called “The Owners Manual to an Awesome Life.”

Why Productivity Tips and Life Hacks Don't Work

Why Productivity Tips and Life Hacks Don't Work

Look, I write about different productivity, self-mastery, and organization tips almost every day.

Do you think I use them all, all the time?

Hell no!

I’ve used every one of these systems and tips at one point:

📆 I’ve used Kanban and Scrum to manage big projects.
❤️ I’ve used Pomodoro to manage my…

Be a Witness to Your Time

Be a Witness to Your Time

Your time comes, and then it goes, never to return.

Most people don’t even watch it pass. They simply notice, one day, that they (and everyone around them) are older. They look back fondly on their memories, wondering why they seem so distant, amazed at how quickly they came and passed.

This is not how you treat a non-renewable resource. It's not even how we treat some renewable resources!

Your Free Time is Disappearing... Here’s How You Reclaim It

“Zed, don't you guys ever get any sleep around here?” - Jay

“The twins keep us on Centaurian time, standard 37 hour day. Give it a few months. You'll get used to it... or you'll have a psychotic episode.” - Zed, Men in Black

37 hours in a day. Sounds nice right? An extra 13 hours to get shit done.

In reality, this would mean one of two (untenable) things:

  1. Your day would be the same length and your hours shorter, squeezing 37 hours in a standard 24 hour period.
  2. Your hours wouldn’t change but your days would expand by 13 hours, quickly reversing day and night. Your circadian rhythm would get all fucked up and you’d be a hot mess, or have a psychotic episode.

As it stands, you, your friends, Warren Buffet, and I have the same 24 hours in a day. No more. And sometimes it feels like less.

It feels like less because your free time is disappearing. And despite what I hear you saying, yes, you do have free time. The problem is, you’re spending it on activities of which you are not aware and for which you don’t account.

Translation: You have hidden, uncalculated free time in your day. Here’s how to extract it: 

1. Draw a circle and split it up into 24 segments... a pie chart with one segment for each hour.

2. Color in the number of segments representing how many hours of sleep you got.

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3. Color in how many hours of meetings you had.

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4. Color in how many hours of eating (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks) you had.

5. Color in time taken exercising.

6. Color in time spent in emails and working on projects.

7. Color in time spent commuting.

8. Color in any other time you can account for.

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Don’t guestimate when you’re doing this. If you spent three hours emailing, but were really heads down for an hour, color in one hour, not three.

When done, you should have an accurate representation of where your day went and how it was spent. More importantly, you should see a free block of time remaining.

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This “free time” you see may come as a surprise since, of course, this wasn’t time you spent playing video games, relaxing, or otherwise bullshitting today. This free time was sucked out of your day because of distractions or poor planning. And there’s no way you could have known...

So where did this time go? Perhaps menial activities like Facebook, standing in front of an open fridge, or some other time-waster. It’s impossible for me to say, but with a bit of awareness tomorrow, you’ll easily see where your time is burnt on unimportant activities.

This is the time you can reclaim. This is the time you can budget tomorrow for important activities that will help you get closer to your goals. Even if it’s only 30 minutes, that’s 15 hours a month and 180+ hours a year! The possibilities for what you can do with that much extra time in a year, when used effectively, are endless.

Draw your 24 hour pie chart, identify where your time is being spent, find the free time, and utilize it more effectively tomorrow.

About the Author

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Mike Mehlberg

Efficient Time Waster Extraordinaire

Mike just went through this exercise, as he occasionally does, to identify where his time is most effectively spent, and where it’s being wasted. If you are a high-achieving entrepreneur looking to get more done and achieve more in your life and business, contact him to see how he can help.