← Chetan Surpur

Time Bending Lets You Get Everything Done And More

Listen, I really want you to try this. It’s a simple technique that will get you to plan what you want to get done today, and actually get it all done, with time left to spare. For the last few months, it’s totally changed my life day by day, and whether you’re a lethargic loser who wastes most of the day or a productive workaholic who wants to get even more done in less time, it will change your life too.

I call it Time Bending.

The process

Just three steps:

  1. Decide when your day starts and ends. This lets you know how many total hours you have to work with.
  2. Plan tasks with specified durations, each up to an hour long, to fill up most of the time in your day. Leave a bit of reserve time at the end.
  3. Start working through your tasks. Try to work quickly enough to finish tasks in the time allotted for each, so you maintain your reserve time until the end of the day, at which point you can do whatever you want with it!

Those tasks you plan can be anything, from work to play to eating lunch. But the important thing is that they are well-defined, doable things that have a definite end. So instead of “Reading for 1 hour”, make it “Read chapters 1-3 in 1 hour”. A good rule of thumb to follow: every task should lead to some kind of measurable, tangible achievement.

Here’s an example day:

TimeBend screenshot If you’re wondering what app that is, read on to find out.

And when I say “do whatever you want with your reserve time”, I mean it. It’s your free time to spend however you like, and you earned it by sticking to your plan. That means if you leave aside 2 hours reserve, you can get everything you want done and watch a full movie, while feeling great about it.

It freakin’ works. Let’s see why.

Such an epic name for so straightforward a process, right? But I shit you not, the simple act of assigning durations to your tasks works wonders for your productivity, and you’ll be shocked at how much more you can realistically get done every day.

Here’s why it works. A lot of the day is wasted on the little pockets of useless crap you do in between productive tasks. I’m talking to you, you Reddit-surfing, Draw Something-playing, obsessively-refreshing-Gmail harpy. On top of that, when you’re not sure exactly what you need to be doing every hour, it’s almost natural to just screw around instead of doing something useful.

Time Bending fixes all that by making sure you’ve planned a very doable, clear set of things to do that you can choose from every hour, and gives you an incentive to get it all done in time: the reserve time counter. It becomes like a game: finish a task, choose what you feel like doing next, work diligently on it and finish it in time, and you’re rewarded with golden free time that you get to spend how YOU want, not how the procrastinating asshole in you wants to spend it. And the thrill of actually finishing everything you’d planned to get done is totally unbeatable.

Go try it. Seriously.

I really want everyone to taste the benefits I’ve been enjoying every day for the last few months, so I’ll make it even easier for you. Here’s a beautiful app called TimeBend (the app in the screenshot above) that’ll get you bending time in no time. (Non-iPhone users: click here.) Just try it for one whole day, and you’ll never go back.

TimeBend (for iOS) TimeBend - Chetan Surpur

(BTW, the design for the app is inspired by Clear for iPhone, which is damn awesome. Go get that too!)

So, remember — Time Bending lets you make the most of your day by getting you to plan tasks with durations so you always know exactly what you should be doing and how long it’ll take, and shows you the hidden pockets of wasted time throughout the day to help you eliminate them.

Now, go own every hour. Good luck.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin. John F. Kennedy