Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, work from home, or work in an office, I’m sure you feel as though there is never enough time in your day to get your to-do list tackled. If you had extra time, it could be spent accomplishing your goals, finally starting that exercise routine, or spending more quality time with your family.
While you may not be able to conjure up additional hours, you can easily implement these time management techniques to create extra time in your day by simply using your existing time more wisely!
Here are 14 ways to create more time in your day:
1. Identify your time sucks
Where are you wasting your time each day? Perhaps it’s that hour or two of TV you watch every night, or the hour you spend aimlessly surfing the internet and perusing social media. Make it a point to allocate some of that time to be productive instead of engaging in mindless activities for several hours each day.
Trust me, I’m not exempt from wasting some of my time by watching TV or on the internet. Sometimes it’s nice to just unwind with some passive form of entertainment at the end of a long day, I get it! Do your best to try to allocate some of this unproductive time toward accomplishing some of your goals or to get other things done. I can guarantee you’ll go to bed at night feeling a lot better about how much you were able to accomplish!
2. Look for patterns in your habits
Analyze how you are actually spending your time to figure out how you might be able to become more efficient.
For example – maybe you find yourself getting up and having to fill your water bottle once every hour, and by the time you walk to your kitchen or the office water fountain and come back, you’ve spent 5 minutes simply filling up your water. Over the course of a 9 hour workday, you’ll have spent 45 minutes throughout the day filling up your water. That really adds up! Instead, try having a huge jug of water by your desk to quickly fill up your bottle without missing a beat.
Take a look at your own habits throughout the day and figure out what areas you might be able to save yourself time in.
3. Create your to-do list for the next day at night
This is the best way to hit the ground running as soon as you wake up. Starting your morning with a game plan for the day already in place helps to create that momentum for productivity that will last all day. Most people are able to perform at peak productivity in the morning, so instead of spending that precious time figuring out what needs to be done, you’ll already be conquering your task list.
4. Tidy up your house before bed each night
I know, this is way easier said than done. Especially if you have kids, toys and dishes seem to just pile up and seem daunting to clean at the end of the day when you just want to sit down and relax.
It’s worth spending a bit of time each night tidying up though. It really helps me to not feel overwhelmed when I wake up to a clean house in the morning and don’t have to worry about washing the dishes from the night prior. My mind is then able to more easily focus on my to-do list and getting work done instead of wasting time thinking about what a pigsty I need to clean up.
5. Declutter & get organized
When you don’t have a lot of clutter in your home and every item has a place it belongs, it really saves so much time by not having to constantly be searching for what you need at any given moment. The time spent doing the initial organizing is more than reaped by all the time you’ve saved by not having to tear your house apart every time you need something.
6. Stop multitasking
This is one I really struggle with, but it can make all the difference in the world. Do you find yourself haphazardly jumping from one task to the other? Responding to an email quickly, tidying up the papers on your desk, starting a brainstorm session for that proposal, calling a client to discuss an upcoming project….and then realizing that 20 minutes have gone by and you haven’t really gotten much of anything accomplished?
Focus on the one task at hand instead of trying to juggle your entire to-do list at once. Not only does it help with becoming more productive, but you’ll find the quality of your work to improve as well.
7. Group similar tasks
Once you stop multitasking, you’ll find that grouping together similar tasks really maximizes your time efficiently. When your mind is all over the place trying to get everything done at once, you might feel like you’re being productive, but in reality you aren’t really getting as much done as you could be. When you aimlessly respond to an email here, make a phone call there, and then try to sprinkle in any tasks that require a lot of brain power into the mix, you are constantly battling to focus.
Try to block out your schedule to dedicate chunks of time to certain tasks. For example, stick to checking your emails only at 9:00a, 1:00p, and 4:00p during the day instead of responding as they come in. Likewise, return all of your phone calls at once if possible. Being in the same frame of thought to run through similar tasks can be a huge time saver since you’re not having to refocus every few minutes.
For #8-14, check out Part Two.