“Slipstream Time Hacking: How to Cheat Time, Live More, and Enhance Happiness” by Benjamin P Hardy

Book Review By: Danielle Woods

Any life coach worth their salt will tell you the same thing, time is an illusion. Wait, what? If we all get the same 24 hours in the day, how can time possibly be a figment of our imagination? In Slipstream Time Hacking by Benjamin P Hardy, the author suggests that this is true because of how we choose to use (or misuse) those 24 hours. “The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.” says Peter Diamandis in a quote used by the author, and with living longer in mind, I dove into this audiobook with an open mind.

Time is the primary currency in life, says Hardy, and the best way to be a steward of your currency is to “command” time rather than watch it pass by. The author suggests that most of us spend our days in a constant mix of low performance mixed with multiple distractions. I won’t ask for volunteers to raise their hands, but let’s just say that this assertion fits more of us than we would like. The problem is, according to Hardy, we all feel like we have plenty of time to accomplish our tasks so we aren’t working at peak performance. Luckily, he has some tips that you can start using immediately to change the way you organize your schedule and net you those extra hours in the day you’ve been looking for.

Your first assignment? Become “results-oriented” instead of focusing on spending a certain amount of time working each day. “Be 100 percent on when you’re working and 100 percent off when you’re not. Why do anything half-way?” says Hardy. Ok, now I’m listening. In my double-life as a busy mom and career woman, I do way too much of the one foot out and one foot in business. Responding to emails at the park? Guilty. Worrying about bounce house reservations during a meeting? Yep. This “8 hour work day” mentality, says the author, creates an environment of inefficient multitasking that actually leads us to be less productive while we are at work and while we are at play.

As a results-oriented professional, we can rebuild our schedules to allow us to be 100% in the game for 3 or 4 hours rather than partially present for a full day and end up yielding better results than we were previously getting. This book asserts that the first three hours of your morning are your brain’s most vibrant and productive moments of the day and that we can capitalize on this to skyrocket productivity. Save errands, working out, and even showering for later in the day Hardy says. Instead, get up and go straight to a place where you won’t be interrupted and you can focus for three solid hours of work beginning with journal time. By choosing to use the first 10 minutes of the morning to journal rather than check emails or feel daunted by the day ahead, we can gain clarity on our purpose and set goals in place.

One crucial step to maximizing productivity during this three-hour block is to limit distractions. By setting a hard deadline and cutting yourself off from work at that time, we turn off the part of our brain that would prefer to lazily work on a project all day and tap into our full capacity to make things happen. “I’ve been shocked by how easy it is to work for a few hours straight without distractions. My mind is laser at this time of day” says the author. Social media and email are not allowed in this sacred space and should be reserved exclusively for use after our maximum productivity block. Hardy suggest going by the 90-90-1 rule to help you reach your “next big crazy goal” in which for the next 90 days you spend the first 90 minutes on your number one priority and absolutely nothing else, “and I’m sure that isn’t your email.”

For those of us who have been looking to manifest an extra hour or two in our schedule, Slipstream Time Hacking has some insightful new ways to look at how you are tackling your work week. I recommend this quick audiobook to anyone who’s goals are to maximize their efficiency at work, try a new way of organizing their time, or be able to finally turn off for a few hours a day. After all, I think most of us would agree that working smarter rather than harder is the way to the top.