How to squeeze more juice from your day.
Have you ever wished there were more than 24 hours in a day, and more than seven days in a week ? For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted more time in my day.: more time to look after my family, more time to excel at my profession and pursue all my interests.
By no means am I a workaholic, I have also wished for more time to enjoy myself. But where does one find all this extra time ? There is no magic wand or fairy godmother to conjure up more hours in the day. More time is actually right there in front of us, we just have trouble finding it. Here are a few useful tips :
1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual
Waking up just half an hour earlier than usual will not make you sleep deprived. You will be amazed to see how much you can get done in only half an extra hour each morning.
In the morning even 30 min goes a long way, since you are fresh and therefore more productive. Also, there are no distractions if you are waking up before the family.
I saw an eight year old practicing this unknowingly. When I asked her why she was up early on Sunday morning, she said “To make my day off last longer”
2. Get to work 15 min earlier.
Again you will be surprised how much more you can accomplish, and for almost the same reasos as I have mentioned above.
Setting out to work earlier than usual, you will encounter less traffic on the way and get there quicker. Again, time saved from your commute means more time in your day.
This idea works equally well for those who work at home and for stay at home moms or dads. Whatever your work destination, even if it is the kitchen or the garden shed, arriving 15 min earlier will be helpful.
An earlier start can set the pace for the entire day: you might finish earlier and be able to leave earlier too–more time again.
3. Get Organised — at home and at work.
I have often wasted time looking for something that was not in its proper place: has this happened to you? If you keep your stuff organised you never have to waste precious minutes looking for it.
Being organised extends to your schedule too. If you have a schedule that you made the night before you can again save time that you would have spent thinking where to begin.
4. Limit Social Media/Device time.
You were waiting for me to tell you to give up Facebook and Instagram, you say. Sorry to disappoint you: I am not like so many “self helpers” out there.
I am never going to ask you to give up Twitter or Pinterest or Facebook or Instagram. Social media platforms make life interesting for so many people now (me included). I will never ask you to give it up but I will definitely reccomend putting a cap on it.
Social media is a good thing. It provides information, entertainment and connectivity. But the problem is that it is so absorbing that it makes you lose track of time. A good solution is to set a timer (real or virtual) that beeps loudly when your time is up.
My secret tip: I use social media in my “dead time” waiting in a queue or at a doctor’s appointment.
5. Use the big N — SAY NO
Say NO to things that you don’t like, that waste your time, or were never your responsibility in the first place. Some people are so persistent / irritating / aggressive, that you say YES to whatever they want just to get them off your back.
Once you learn to resist the urge to comply with unnecessary and unreasonable demands on your time, you will be surprised to find how much more time there is in your day. At first, saying NO might seem impolite or unfeeling; but I advise you to keep yourself focused on your goal : saving time in your day for the important stuff.
6. Stay away from toxic and negative people
Toxic and negative people are possibly the greatest time drain ever. Apart from the time that you waste listening to their negativity, the negative energy that they leave behind leaves you exhausted and emotionally drained for much longer.
To add precious minutes to your 24 hours, such people are best avoided altogether. But sometimes, the negative person is a family member or close friend, or the situation is unavoidable for some other reason. If caught up like this, you can either try changing the subject or plead an emergency/deadline (I will dedicate a whole post to dealing with toxic people later).
7. Savour the good moments in your day.
This can be something as simple as sitting down to enjoy your favourite ice cream / coffee / TV show, anything. When you are rushing about trying to get a lot done, you might be actually having the coffee or the ice cream, but you don’t enjoy it.
Taking a few minutes to sit down and savour your favourite things will keep things in context. you won’t rush about like a maniac letting your day pass in a blur.
Try making some or all of these little changes. You will definitely get more done, and still have time left over for some fun.
Have you got any time saving tips of your own ? Please share them in the comments section below. I am always looking for new ones.
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All images courtesy Unsplash