What you will get from this article:
- Understand the connection between finding your passions and learning to create time to pursue them
- Develop practical skills to manage your time so you can prioritize activities and learn how to do what you want to do
- Learn six strategies to help you find more time in your day, week and life
We all only have 24 hours in a day. So why is it that some people seem to get more things done before noon than others do in a week? Is it just because they have better time management skills? Or is there another secret to getting things done faster?
You likely have time for the activities you really want to do in your current schedule, but it’s buried under low-effort tasks and recreational activities that easily balloon out of control. Are you ready to learn how to create more time and do the things you really want? Let’s assess where your time is going and how you can get some of it back.
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What would you do with more hours in the day?
Think about what you could do if you had just a few extra hours a week. Would you hang out on the beach? Spend more time with your kids? Learn a new language? Play a sport or do a physical activity you enjoy? Make art? Go dancing?
You don’t need to agonize over where the time will go. Odds are you’ve got plenty of time left over every day and every week – you just need to dig it out from under all the time-sucks of modern life. Deploy these six ways to create more time and make the most of every day you have.
Tip #1: Map out your time
You won’t know what to cut or what to adjust until you have a firm understanding of everything currently taking up your time and energy. Spend a week journaling when you start watching television, when you eat, when you read and when you socialize. Then honestly calculate how many hours you spend doing each activity per week.
When you commit to creating time, you need an accurate understanding of your current habits to find those extra hours. Take note of the things you can’t necessarily change right off the bat, such as doctor’s appointments or work hours. Don’t worry about getting rid of those; for now you can work around them.
Tip #2: Cut down your screen time
You jumped on your social media feed to look at one picture, but you’re still scrolling 30 minutes later. Sounds familiar, right?
How many hours do you spend with your eyes locked onto a screen? Probably too many. Walk away from the machinery. Install an app-blocker (there are free and paid programs available) that will only allow you to access specified programs during certain hours. Grant yourself 20 minutes, if that, to browse your feed each day; you might also grant yourself an hour a day to watch your favorite TV show. Anything more than that gnaws away at your efforts to create time.
Tip #3: Get enough sleep
If you’re serious about learning how to create time, make sure you’re well-rested. You might think trimming down on sleep is an easy way to get some extra hours, but when you’re sleep-deprived, you don’t think straight and often take much longer to complete even basic tasks.
A restful night of sleep primes you for the day ahead. You’ll think clearly and jump out of bed raring to go as opposed to hitting the snooze button a dozen times. Start in small increments, going to sleep a half-hour earlier, followed by an hour earlier. As your body adjusts to the new schedule, you may find yourself waking up earlier in the morning to get a head start on your day.
Tip #4: Outsource
Look at your list of responsibilities. You probably aren’t the only person on the planet who can handle them. Do you spend a lot of time grocery shopping or running minor errands? Try apps like Instacart or TaskRabbit and let someone else handle the busywork. Do you spend a lot of time cooking? If you have a spouse, ask them to take over cooking a couple nights a week, or change up the menu so there’s minimal prep work involved.
If you’re a business owner or you have people underneath you at work, now is the time to delegate. By assigning them the smaller tasks and projects that can clog up your day, you’re creating more time to focus on the work that matters.
Tip #5: Schedule things together
Borrow a page from the chunking method and schedule similar tasks – or tasks that take place in the same area – together. Try handling all of your email correspondence in the morning, or squeeze in grocery shopping and an oil change on the same day if your mechanic and supermarket are close to each other.
Tip #6: Cut what doesn’t serve you
How much time do you spend doing things you hate? Which of those tasks could you stop doing, give to someone else or reframe so that they no longer fall into that zone? We bet that you can find at least five hours in the week, even if it means procrastinating only half as long a day.
There is an element of personal fulfillment involved in finding more time. Honest evaluation, better time management and a system to stop your procrastinating are likely what you need to find the time to do what you want to do.
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