How to fit more hours into your day? Impossible, right?
I LOVE this question because I believe I’ve come up with 10 effective ways to help you get back time. As in realistic, practical REAL ways to recover some time.
If you follow my recommendations, I believe you will be able to find at least an extra TWO HOURS per day. Yes, TWO HOURS! Think of the possibilities if you can find an extra two hours a day???
Why am I writing this blog post? Well I’m becoming concerned over the lack of “fun time” people have, particularly during the work week. In fact it seems that the evenings of Monday through to Thursday are black holes of nothingness.
Think of all those hours that can be filled with something you enjoy doing? Something fulfilling.
So, read on for my tips:
- Get Up Earlier
Don’t moan and groan, this is such a simple solution to finding HOURS in your day if you want too, yet is frequently overlooked.
My advice is to be disciplined and to get to bed earlier and wake up earlier to use your morning time productively.
I’m on a personal mission at the moment to wake up earlier and earlier, currently my alarm time is 5.30 am and I can’t tell you how much more I’m fitting into my day.
You don’t have to be as drastic as me, but if you normally get up at say 7.30 am, try and aim for a wake-up time of say 7 am to start with and then 6.30 am. That’s gaining an extra hour for you. Instead of doing your exercise in the evening do your exercise in the morning or prepare tonight’s dinner or write 1,000 words of the novel your writing. Anything that will save you time and free up your evening.
Admitted, there is a pain barrier to go through. But be disciplined for a week and it will become easy peasy to do.
- Power Lunch Hour
Instead of using your lunch hour to gossip, why don’t you use it to go to the gym, do your food shopping, run errands, write your book, go for a power walk to get some fresh air, meditate, go to the salon or meet friends in your lunch hour rather than after work.
My point is, use your lunch hour wisely. It’s yours for the taking, so make it worthwhile and try to free up your evening times more.
- Bulk Cook
I LOVE this one, cook double, or even triple of what you need and freeze big batches. Voila! Healthy meals, already prepared and ready to go when you get in. This cuts down HOURS in my opinion and helps with the waist line too. Instead of slaving over a hot stove when you get in from work and perhaps making the wrong choices, all you need to do is reheat a home-made meal.
If you’re working full time then this is an absolute no brainer to me. For the sake of between say £100 to £150 per month, you can reclaim hours and hours of personal time. Surely this is worth the cost? The satisfaction when you get home from work and your house is spotlessly clean is amazing.
- Double Up
I recently did a podcast on cool productivity hacks and the entire episode was dedicated to those tasks that you can do whilst doubling up with something else. Listen to the podcast here for an extensive list, but I recommended things such as meeting friends for an exercise date to achieve both exercise and catching up with the gossip! I also like listening to audio books whilst exercising to achieve exercise and education. Meditating on your way to work. You get the idea.
- Strict with Time
Time is probably the most valuable asset we possess and have direct control over yet is often wasted. I’m a machine where time is concerned. I appreciate it so much that I very rarely waste it and this serves me enormously. So, my advice to you is that you will be able to fit more into your day if you managed your time properly and strictly. Don’t be overly generous with it. How? Mainly I plan my days into time slots and I keep to those times slots. Sounds anal? Yes, I suppose it is, but I get a hell of a lot done and I believe I’m more focussed and productive because of this method. I’m less time sensitive on the weekends though just so you know…..
- Shop OnLine
I don’t personally do this because I like to get out and about, however, if you’re strapped for time them shopping on line is going to save you a lot it. Everything can be ordered on line now as you know, but the biggy is grocery shopping. Ordering your weekly shop on line is going to save you at least one hour on your normal shop day, if not two hours.
- Cut Down on TV
I’ve recently introduced a new rule for me, which is one hour of TV per day during the week and this has freed up so much time in the evenings to do productive things. I started to feel uncomfortable with the amount of TV I was watching (and it wasn’t loads btw) whilst my personal to do list was getting longer. So, my simple rule of switching off after one hour has meant my evenings are free to do something for me: writing my novel, reading, seeing friends, evening class etc. What’s more I feel better for it, I feel more satisfied because I’m achieving stuff.
- Get Organised and Strategic
I’m super organised and it helps me achieve so much more and gives me focus every day. If I wasn’t so organised and focussed then I know I would spend my times flitting from one thing to another without probably achieving anything and getting anything productive done. So, a fairly obvious piece of advice, but try to get yourself organised. By this I mean logistically; so plan your diary so you’re not travelling to various destinations in one day. If you’ve got lots of meetings, have the meetings in one place. If you know you’re going to have “down time” during your day whilst travelling then make sure you’ve something productive to occupy you. In terms of general organisation then menu plan for the week and do one food shop so you don’t have to waste time going to the supermarket and decide what to eat. Get things ready for the next day the night before: packed lunches, outfit’s planned, clothes ironed, hair washed etc.
- Social Media Rabbit Hole
I’m assuming this must be the number 1 time waster in the world: Social Media. It’s taking over our lives. I recently watched the film called The Circle with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson whereby a fictional social media company called Circle is literally taking over the world and it was kind of scary. I’m being serious when I say be careful with social media because it will suck you in and spit you out. There is software available now which will limit your entry access to social media forever. You set the parameters and it only allows you to access your social media during these times. This is fairly drastic, but may be necessary if your finding yourself losing hours on end looking at Facebook. My advice is either keep social media for the weekends OR limit yourself to a particular time slot per day otherwise you can and will lose hours per day. Discipline is needed here. End of.
Blunt and to the point on this blog post, but I hope it’s helped you. I believe these are practical ways to find you more time.
Did I miss out something that you do to fit in more time? If I did, I’m really interested to know so please e-mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org