Looking to find more time in your day? Our constant, busy lives can really make us feel overwhelmed and stressed, but just a few extra minutes in a day could alleviate this stress and allow for more ‘me’ time.
While finding that extra time may not seem easy, it can be done. Making simple changes in your day to day life and learning how to manage your time better, can really open up so much more time in your day, and make your life much less stressful.
Start with an email detox. We spend so much time reading, composing and replying to emails, and culling through junk mail, when we could really spend that time being productive elsewhere.
One way to do this is to set aside just one, or two, times a day to read and respond to email. You will be amazed at how much time this frees up in your day, and you will be surprised by the fact that the world simply will not end if you do not check your email 50 times a day.
Want to take it a step further? Then really detox, and give up email for a week, or even a month, and see how much more you get done. If giving up email is not a possibility, then simply try to check it just twice a day and see how much time suddenly opens up in your day. Make sure that you also read our gmail tips to make your email management more efficient.
Touch it once
The rule for paper and decluttering used to be ‘touch it once’, meaning you would get mail, or other documents, and simply deal with them when they were introduced to you. Either file the mail or documents where they were needed, or toss them.
Today, with everything becoming more or less electronic, we tend to hold onto things longer, and look at them more. So, use this same rule for your email, voicemails and as well as your paperwork. Take action immediately. Either respond to the email and voicemail or delete it. Get rid of the paperwork or deal with it. This will create less clutter and give you more time.
Stop listening to the news in the morning. When you are getting ready for work or school, watching the news can only slow you down (and often depress you, slowing you down even further!). Get your news later in the day, either online or perhaps by DVRing the morning news and fast forwarding through the unnecessary pieces.
Waiting Rooms and Lines
When you have to wait, whether it be in a waiting room at the doctor’s office or standing in line at the post office, make good use of your time. Bring a book with you everywhere (or your e-reader) or even paperwork you need to get done. Need to write a thank you note? Do it while waiting. Have an article you keep meaning to read (or maybe read the newspaper to catch up on the news that you missed in the morning!)? Read it while you are in line.
Making good use of that ‘lost’ time, that time spent waiting, can really open up more time in your day, or week.
When you bake something, like cookies for the family or your kid’s classroom, make two batches. Freeze one, so you won’t have to bake again next week.
Also, think about multi-tasking. Buy a Blu-tooth headset for your phone, and do some cleaning tasks while you chat.
All that time spend trying to make up your mind, about dinner or the best price to pay for airfare, can really add up. Make a decision, stick with it, and move on. The extra time you save is worth it!
Stop Cleaning So Much
Many of us ‘overclean’. If you find yourself cleaning the floors every day, or doing laundry every day, simply skip a day. The floors will survive, and so will you.
One great tip is to simply wipe down your shower every day after using, and then you can skip your weekly deep clean of the shower. And if you skip vacuuming every day, you will reduce dust in your home, too, and that’s less dusting for you, as well.
To Do Lists
Make to do lists and keep them handy. Without one, you are constantly trying to remember what else you need to do. If you can write it down, and then cross it off, you are much more efficient.
Turn off the TV
Removing distractions can keep you on task. Turn off the television and get your work done. Or, if it is the computer that is distracting you, turn that off and get back to work. Another idea is to simply put your phone on silent and let all of your calls go right to voicemail. This will free up some time and de-stress you, too, as you have fewer worries when you don’t have to answer the phone again and again.
Additionally, using the DVR for your favorite television shows, and then fast forwarding through commercials when you do watch, is a great way to shave 15 to 20 minutes at a time off of your watching time. Think what you could do with all that extra time!