SUFFICIENT MOMENTUM IN THE LIFE IMPROVEMENT PROCESS
REAPING HUGE BENEFITS AS WE GO AND EVEN MORE AS WE HIT OUR GOALS
And you will gain something of permanent value that gives ongoing dividends of benefits for your life. ("Ongoing dividends" means ongoing payoffs, multiplied many times over for massive total value!!!!)
The time you spend will prove invaluable, beyond what you could have imagined .
HOW MUCH TIME???
If we want to make significant progress in life and realize that quicker progress will better our life alot sooner, we surely cannot expect to do that in an hour a week. 3 hours might be alot better, but still slow, as learning and thinking and doing take time. 5 hours would speed things up considerably. What I would recommend the most strongly would be at least 7 hours a week on average as a good basic amount of time to plan on spending - that would be for a year, at which time you will be wise enough to choose how many are needed thereafter. ("On average" means that there will be times of focus and some times where the time spent is less for a week, but made up somewhere else, perhaps in a specially devoted total day of making progress.)
So, if I currently occupy all my time, how do I easily free up at least 7 hours?
Easy: see How do I free up the time to do life improvement? Read that and implement the strategies and you'll find that you won't even miss the time spent on life improvement while you will actually gain time for you and for what you really want and value.
FREEING UP AND ASSURING THE TIME IS AVAILABLE
If you implement all that is in the Life Value Productivity book (see Books), you'll have 28+ potential hours a week available, so there will be plenty of time. But, of course, your learning/implementing time must be a full commitment, so that there won't be distraction creep and people putting other things into your schedule.
And that amount of time, at least, should be kept up until we can say that life is going very well - and then it could be cut back to an average of maybe 3 hours a week on average.
(though some of that time may come from focused, concentrated periods).
While it may look like we must do an hour a day, it is best to look at this from "50,000 feet up", where we can see the bigger picture. We may have some weeks where we can devote all of Saturday (or a day off of work) to concentrated learning, where we feel alot of progress in just one day. We could take several days off and/or go to a workshop (but scheduling followup summary time and implementation time). Or even a whole week (where you go on "retreat" so that there are no/few interruptions). If you spent a total in concentrated periods of 10 days a year, that would be 70 hours, which would allow you to take 7 weeks off with no study.
Interestingly, what will actually happen is that you will not feel like you've lost the hours, because your other hours will be more valuable and fulfilling and productive - it is as if your day expanded by a number of hours. You could do some easy reading and watching of videos at night for a 1/2 hour (anybody can free up a half hour!) and then do 3 1/2 hours of high energy, high productivity time on Saturday (or two hours Saturday morning and two hours Sunday morning, before the rest of the day began!).
USING HIGH QUALITY TIME TO GET THE MOST BENEFIT
While a part of the learning can be done later in the day, when energies are lower, mostly we would have to limit that to watching assigned videos and reading. Pulling together what one has learned and implementing it would best be done when we can think the best - during our "power hours".
FOCUSING ON ONE THING AT A TIME INCREASES NET GAINS!
Just as in a manufacturing plant, if we constantly shift from producing one product to another, we will have lots of starts and stops and consume time with our set ups. Any level of "multi-tasking" or trying to do too many different things in a short period has a huge cost in time and productivity. (See The Huge Cost Of Multitasking - A Fool's Errand!.) When I screw up and do zig zagging between "interests" and/or in trying to get quick hits of benefits without doing all of the homework needed, I find myself losing track of what is going on (since our "working memory" has limited capacity and new material squeezes out old) and then having a rough, time-consuming re-start period (which also makes it "hard" for me to go back to the area). Instead, I must use the idea of maintaining momentum, by sticking to one thing until it is completed and wrapped up and in use. Zig-zagging plus forgetting to restore my energy every time block is one of my biggest productivity reducers! The secret to super-progress is to decide what the "one thing" is that you want to focus on that will get you the most marginal benefit and then just focus on that one thing until it is completed. "Be like a postage stamp - stick to one thing until you get there", Josh Billings, as quoted in Keller's best seller: The One Thing - The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. Follow that wisdom and it will make your life extraordinary!
FIRST, IDENTIFY WHERE YOU CAN BENEFIT AND HOW MUCH
After all, we have to see the benefits to know if this is worthwhile. Identifying the problems and dissatisfactions provides a start. Then identifying what you'd like to add to your life is next. Identifying who you want to be or need to be to achieve these goals gives you a set of challenges to address.
But how much is enduring happiness worth in your life? If you get to the 80% level, which can happen in about 20% of the time needed to get to close to 95%, how much is that worth per hour spent? See the numbers on how we figure out how quickly the net benefit increases by a huge amount as we net our "positive units" out and subtract our
If we start on the biggest payoff areas, we can experience a rocket boost soon after we start, even just realizing, by itself, that we can dump 80+% of our negatives in life gives us a spurt of energy and hope (but realistic hope).
THE FIXED MINDSET AND THE GROWTH MINDSET
People who have the highest degree of "fixed mindset", who need this the most, will often find themselves resisting or defending or just somehow not finding the time. New ventures into untried areas scare them, so they often keep to what they have been doing, creating little change while they say they really want it. They, sadly, stick to trying to instill perfection into what they do, and worsen the very problem they want to escape from - their self-induced high anxiety and stress.
In order to do this well, we need to at least adopt for a while (and then install it permanently) a growth mindset, where we realize that we can improve our lot in life and that our abilities are not "fixed" but are growable, with effort and time. See and understand, as this will dramatically affect your life and your progress: The Fixed Mindset Versus The Growth Mindset.
And you need to continue this for a good number of months at least if you truly want to see the magnificent progress that one can have and feel the cumulative benefits that seem to grow like rabbits after the initial few months.
THIS WILL BE THE BIGGEST NET BENEFIT PERIOD OF YOUR LIFE!
Even your viewpoints will change, automatically, in addition to the directly attained benefits. And you won't even miss the time, while you'll ironically have more "free time" and alot more time for yourself, the one person who seemed before to always come last.