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  • Writer's pictureAlex Young

9 productivity hacks to save you 40 hours a week

If you want to reclaim 40 hours a week that you likely currently spend on tasks that don’t bring you a whole load of joy then this one is for you.

In the interest of saving you time so you can use as many moments as possible to bring yourself joy, this one is brief!

1. Clothes

Either go full Steve Jobs and wear the same outfit every day or Google "capsule wardrobe" and put together a minimalist wardrobe. Either way, you can reduce the decision-making involved in getting dressed.

Reclaim: 2 hrs/wk

2. Meals

People spend 1+ hrs/day sourcing and preparing meals.

You can save time with:

• Grocery delivery

• Bulk cooking

• Eating the same meals every day, even if just for breakfast or lunch, even if just for a week

Reclaim: 7 hrs/wk

3. Distracted work

The best productivity app on your phone is Airplane Mode.

Would you rather:

Multitask for 6 unfocused hours


Work 4 laser-focused hours and get ALL your important tasks done?

The choice is yours!

Reclaim: 10 hrs/wk

4. Long meetings

The default “time blocks” for these are 30 or 60 mins. Most can be shorter.

A productivity tip, courtesy of Elon Musk:

Set meetings in 5-min increments (5, 10, 15, etc.)

Or avoid unnecessary meetings all together.

Reclaim: 5-10 hrs/wk

5. Netflix

On average people watch TV for 3 hrs/day.

Cancel your subscription and spend the time doing what you actually love (unless what you really love is watching TV, in which case then don’t cancel it, enjoy it).

Reclaim: 10-15 hrs/wk

6. The news

Avoiding sensationalised news is self-care. If you still want to be updated with what’s going on via the media then consider batching news consumption on a weekly basis.

I like parts of the Financial Times.

You could also try listening to your Daily Drive via Spotify —a 3 min briefing that you can listen to as you do other things, like getting dressed in the morning.

Reclaim: 3.5 hrs/wk

7. Personal inventory management

Which items do you go through, and how often, monthly?

Cool, subscribe to them wherever possible. From protein powder to razor blades, dog food to coffee pods, you can get pretty much anything delivered on a subscription model.

Try not to waste time running out to the shop for a single item.

Reclaim: 1.5 hrs/wk

8. Home cleaning + laundry

Outsource these - if you can - this is understandably only possible if your salary allows but something to bear in mind. Service washes at your local laundrette may seem unnecessary but with the cost of living increasing and bills being so high, paying £10 for a service wash every other week to get everything you’ve used in that fortnight washed and ironed may actually end up saving a lot of time and not costing you any extra. Psychology says that purchases that save us time make us happy.

Reclaim: 3 hrs/wk

9. Make ‘no' your default

This one is controversial and may initially seem contrary to a lot of what Favourite Positions stands for (saying yes to opportunities for growth, allowing life to show you a path and making memories by seizing the moment), however, saying ‘yes’ to things you don’t have time for leads to unnecessary future decisions.

In the words of Mark Manson, If it’s not a ‘fuck yes, it’s a no’.

It’s important to prioritise what is best for YOU, not to people please. It’s a habit that’s hard to get out of but is so freeing when you do.

Reclaim: 5-15 hrs/wk

TL;DR Weekly Hours to Reclaim

Clothes: 2 hrs

Meals: 7 hrs

Distracted Work: 10 hrs

Meetings: 5-10 hrs

Netflix: 10-15 hrs

The News: 3.5 hrs

Personal Inventory Mgmt.: 1.5 hrs

Home Cleaning + Laundry: 3 hrs

Make ‘No’ Your Default: 5-15 hrs

Savings: 47-67 hrs/wk

Go forth and use your time how you really want to!


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