Personal optimization is about doing what you are doing better, faster, with less resources, with higher quality and with better results. If personal growth is about doing the right things, then personal optimization is about doing things right.
Let’s take a look one more time at the modern life. On a typical day in 24 hours you have to:
- get a decent amount of sleep so that you feel fresh and energized
do enough physical exercises in order to keep you in shape (more than 30 minutes per day)
- get 3 solid meals a day, preferably with enough nutrients so that your body will not lack something vital
- prepare at least 2 of those meals at home, so that you could be sure what are you eating
- drive the kids to school, or to kindergarten, or to karate or soccer practice
- drive to work if you are employed, or drive to a coffee place where you find creative atmosphere if you are an entrepreneur
- spend the required amount of time working, so that you generate enough cash at the end of the month to pay your bills
- steal some time from work, so that you can contact your family, friends, colleagues
- practice some social activities, mostly with your colleagues
- drive back home, or pick your kids from school or whatever
- help your wife / husband in cleaning the house and preparing dinner
- have dinner together with the family, where you exchange gossip from the day
- get the kids to bed
- take a shower, so that you will not smell funny after so much running around 🙂
- spend some quality time with your wife / husband
- watch TV, watch a movie, listen to some music, read a book, read the newspaper or any other form of fun
- spend some time thinking about the day and analyzing it, so that you can make the next day better
- go to bed at a regular hour so that you can keep your bedtime routine
Essence of Personal Optimization
The goal of this pillar is to teach you how to reduce the time you spend doing things you have to and to maximize the time you spend doing things you love. Time is a finite resource. At least until we go to space, discover new planets that have longer days and settle on them, for each and every one of us there will be 24 hours in a day.
Benefits of Personal Optimization
Do you get the point? Even if you don’t go through all those points every single day, you would notice how overwhelming everything is. And this is only the working days, what happens on the weekends or the holidays? When I started my career, my colleagues used to scare me with the following thought: “There are only 40 hours in a working day, but there are 48 hours in a weekend”. 😉 Compare your life with the life of your grandparents. How many things would there be on their agenda on a typical work-day?
This is why I believe in optimization. The less time you spend doing the things you don’t like, but you have to do, the happier you would be.
Personal optimization includes the following activities and topics:
Learning positive thinking
This is all about controlling the never-ending chatter inside your head: “Did I unplug the iron?”; “Did I lock the door?”; “When is my next appointment at the dentist’s?”. About limiting destructive thoughts that would harm your life: “I will never succeed!”; “I will never meet the deadline!”; “I will never by happy!”. Substituting all that useless time on your CPU (or brain) with positive mantras and thoughts
- Uncover the subconscious mind
- Practice positive thinking
- Eliminate negative thinking
Identifying and improving your habits
Our body works a lot better with routines. There are so many routines that you do in your everyday life and about which you have no idea.
- Identify the habits in your life
- Learn beneficial habits
- Eliminate harmful habits
Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps your going. You will not be able to achieve anything unless you consistently pursue and practice it. Except if you win the lottery on your first try – if that is the case with you I can only say “Congrats!”#
- Set personal goals and track them
- Achieve discipline by practicing your strengths
- Evaluate the results of your actions
Improving your communication skills
Nothing gets achieved in life without communication of some kind.
- Master communication theory
- Understand body language and its applications
- Understand Neuro-linguistic programming
- Identify the differences between men and women
Being aware of your environment
I am mostly talking about the people closest to you
- Identify your influencers
- Review and model your inner circle
- Keep the wrong “friends” away
Personal optimization would help you have more time for what you enjoy doing, by allowing you to spend less time doing the mundane tasks. Who does not want to limit their working time and expand their fun time, or family time, or traveling time? Optimization does not happen over time, but it should be turned into a habit.
You should do personal optimization in small steps, so that you can measure the results and stop practicing the change if it does not help. And you should follow the plan-do-check-act algorithm I described early in the text.