How to create more capacity: The 1 day refund

| January 11, 2022

Inspired by the recent lockdowns, productivity expert Donna McGeorge has published her latest book, The 1 Day Refund, which shares practical strategies to create 15 per cent more capacity in their lives, equivalent to 1 day per week.

Donna realised that many people, particularly those in corporate careers, were spending their usual commute time answering emails and catching up on work, instead of spending the time with family or working towards personal goals.

With The 1 Day Refund, Donna aims to help people live better lives through creating more thinking, breathing, living, and working space.

“My mission is to help people create a life by design,” says Donna. “People tell me all the time that they feel out of control or overwhelmed and are worried about failing at the most important things. We need to get out of this vicious cycle and into a more positive one.”

“When it comes to finding our refund, we need to look at both our mental and our physical capacity – our brain space and our living space. And we need to find balance in both our professional and our personal lives in order to access more capacity.”

What can we do to give ourselves more capacity? One of Donna’s simple but effective expert techniques is to follow the ‘3 Ds’ related to Working Space:

  1. Define: Defining is more than just setting goals. It’s about having a vision for yourself, and all aspects of your life. If you have a personal vision, you are able to craft your future. It helps you navigate what to say yes to, and what to say no to, and makes decision making really easy.
  2. Defrag: Defragging is a time management strategy where you create ‘batches’ of work, and you can do it in 4 simple steps: make a list of everything you have to do, group similar items, block out time in your schedule, and finally commit to it and protect the time.  For example, instead of having your calendar free all day, you could protect the morning and afternoons and do meetings between 10am and 3pm only.  If you have regular administrative tasks, block time out once per week and do it all at one time.
  3. Delegate: In the short term you may have the stamina to get up earlier, stay later and outwork the demands you face, but this may not be sustainable over time. There is a direct correlation to the amount of work you can achieve and each person you empower to contribute. It requires you to embrace an unavoidable leadership paradox: you need to be ‘more essential and less involved.’ If you don’t delegate, you are either denying a team member the opportunity to learn and grow or wasting your precious refund doing tasks that should be done by specialists, who can do them faster than you can anyway.

“The key to creating our 1-day refund is to realise that all aspects in this framework are interconnected, and each impacts upon the others. As an author, speaker, and productivity coach my goal is to help people maximise their greatest resource, their time, and ultimately live their very best lives,” Donna said.