HOW TO GET MORE OUT OF YOUR DAY – The struggle of fitting everything in can be really overwhelming and I still feel, regardless of whether you have children or not, women pack way too much into their day – why? Because we want to get the most out of life, and especially (I think) when you get into your forties or beyond; time seems to be the most precious element you can’t throw money at and get more of.
Time – it’s the one factor that makes us all equal.
So how do some people come across that they have more of it than us? And how can you get a little more out of your day without having to set that alarm clock earlier, and let’s forget about staying up late… I’m snoozing by 10:30pm whether I want to or not!
Before you can really make a difference you need to find out what is zapping your time? Is it tasks, household chores, social media or let’s be honest… other people. I find all of these four factors can, without any thought, take my time without me even knowing, and I’ve come to realise, I let them do it to me!
Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve been doing just lately to keep my time, for me.
FITTING IN THE HOUSEWORK
Now I realise some of you may have cleaners, so this may not be quite a time-zapper like it is for me. Through being at home more this last year, yes it’s been lovely to be able to put the washing on at lunchtime but that “I’ll just do that’ moment say hang the washing out, and then boom, you’ve lost another 20 mins of being productive on your own work. So now housework is either done before 9am or after 6pm but not during my day.
Delegate the tasks out too – I used to just get on with it, I now ask others to clear up after themselves or if I’m truly honest, I turn a blind eye to mess until I have the time to do it – perfection doesn’t win you any awards!
If you work from home, the day can easily be lost on tasks; the days you were in the office with other colleagues or when you had more structure to your day, things were done a little quicker. So to avoid losing time on tasks allocate a slighter shorter time than you feel you need and then this helps to speed yourself up.
For example, if you want to review any analytics for your business, social media account or say for a project you have on – give yourself 25 mins on that task. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when your time is up. If when it rings you think ‘I can finish this in 5 mins‘, then do so there and then, but if the task is more than 5 mins – then stop. At this stage you either move this task to another day or find time much later in your day to return to it.
By not allowing yourself just to carry on, you will work faster – you will procrastinate less on the whole situation – and if you only need 5 more minutes to finish it off… that reward of a tick on your to-do list is sooooooo satisfying!
DOUBLE UP YOUR TASKS
I often get frustrated that I don’t have time for some of things I want to do – say read a book or magazine. What I’ve learnt is to try and consume this type of information in other ways so that I minimise the time I need to sit and do something.
Here are two ways I’ve managed to listen to podcasts and watch YouTube content without sitting around, in fact quite the opposite, it encourages me to exercise even on days I am not in the mood.
When I lift my weights, I don’t really need music – I just need to count my reps. This is when I listen to podcasts. I can listen to all the chat, which I find helpful to keep me motivated to train and before to music I would just stop when I felt like it, with listening to a full podcast, say 35-45 mins, I do my exercises for longer. It’s a win-win and I feel great afterwards.
When I am on our home stepper/running machine (I walk fast BTW! no running from me LOL) I watch my YouTube content – I always feel guilty when I sit and watch YouTube, and yet it’s just modern day telly – but the guilt is still there! For this, I have to choose a video no longer than 20 mins – anything more than that, I just simply stop – so any of the channels I watch I scan by time not content! This helps me again to manage my time too.
SCROLL TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
I don’t care who you are, we all lose a lot of time each day to scrolling – whether that’s on actual social accounts like Instagram, Facebook and Tik Tok – but even apps like the News and Pinterest, you can suddenly find another half-hour has gone.
Allocate time or allocate situations when you are allowed to do this. For example when I make my coffee, I can be on social media. When I take 10 mins to sit in the garden to get fresh air, I can be on social media. When I am in my office trying to do work – I put my iPhone in a drawer or the other side of the room. I read my news apps on lunch breaks and Pinterest I do in the evening just before I sit and watch my Netflix dramas.
Boring as it sounds, restricting your social media and app consumption can really win you hours back.
DON’T MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE
Let’s get onto the subject of other people… partners, friends, family and work colleagues. They all want a little bit of you every day, every week – but can you afford to give up your precious time, all the time. The answer is NO.
I bet if you wrote down all the things they ask you to do, with YOUR time each week, it’s selfishly, for them, freeing up their time to do what they want to do – I’m sure it’s not intentional but it’s a time-buster nonetheless.
SAY “I’LL DO IT WHEN IT SUITS ME”
Rest assured, when they find they can’t manipulate your time to suit them, they will ask someone else, or you will find they will do it themselves. An extra win!
It’s a very hard challenge to not be so helpful. But my biggest weakness is that I am too helpful for my own good, and it zaps my personal time.
YOU DON’T NEED TO ANSWER STRAIGHT AWAY
Depending on what age you are, this may or may not resinate. I miss the days of not having a mobile phone. You know the days you headed out of your front door and no one could get hold of you unless you chose to phone them from a payphone or until you they saw them next in person.
I’ve kind of brought those days back for myself intentionally.
If I am sitting in a coffee shop with a friend, drinking and chatting my time away – your WhatsApp message will not be read, because my phone is in my bag.
When I walk my dog up the road, around the corner and do a full circle of where I live – I won’t be answering your call – as my phone will not be with me… you’ll have to leave a message.
When your email lands in my inbox…. I will decide when I read it, when I answer it, when I want to take the task on.
You see we have all become accustomed to answering straight away – but it’s a not a rule set in stone. You are not breaking any rules but not answering…. even if they can see that you’ve read it 😉
A FINAL THOUGHT
These days it can be quite empowering to take back control of your own time. You own it, you can’t buy more of it – you have exactly the same amount of time as everyone else. Spend it wisely…. there’s no returns policy!
If you have any tips or tricks to save time, pop them in the comments box, I love any new tips to try out!
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Really love this post Lizzi and I’m going to take in board your tips, especially the scrolling!
Yes we can so easily lose time doing that! Like I discovered this morning 😉