Once you use these tips to sneak more time into your day, you will feel like you've discovered time travel! And you didn't even need a special machine!
Managing life at work and at home can be daunting. How many times have you said to yourself I wish I had more time? With so many things going on in our lives, important things such as eating right, exercising, and managing stress can sometimes takes a back seat to other things that you want to get done.
My day usually starts at 5 am, and the first thing on my “priority list” is my workout. Not only does exercising make me feel great, it also helps clear my mind. Exercise is like a “happy pill”- It just makes you feel good all over. It’s great for your body, mind, and soul. Furthermore, I have more energy and, as a result, get more accomplished the rest of the day.
Sneaking in more time is not as difficult as you might think. Here are some ways you can steal back those extra hours you didn’t even know you’d lost. Try some of these simple tips to help you make the most use of your time:
Carry a book with you
I always have a book or notebook in my car or bag to prepare for unexpected idle time. Grabbing some reading or writing time ensures enjoyable and good use of free time.
Be mindful about time spent in front of the television or on the internet
Surfing endlessly and getting nowhere can waste a lot of time. Use the internet with purpose and limit your time in front of the television.
Schedule your time in blocks
Use a timer and work in 45 minutes to 1 hour time blocks and stick with what you want to get done in that time frame. Take a 15 minute break and start again.
Get up earlier than you normally would
To make your life more productive, Robin Sharma (“Mega Living”) recommends getting up one hour earlier for 21 days to help develop a habit. By the end of the month, you will have an extra 30 hours a month to spend on the things that are important to you!
Set aside a few minutes to plan your day
Make a list of things you need to do and number them in order of importance. Make sure to do all the important things first before going to the others. If you run out of time, your priorities will be complete and the things that don’t rank highly on your list can be rescheduled.
Catch up on your reading at the gym
Bring something to read while you’re on the bike or the elliptical machine. You’ll be surprised how many books you can get through if you do this regularly.
Set aside time over the weekend to plan your week
Sunday is always a good day to plan your week. You can also plan your meals for the week so you know what you want to eat to stay healthy. You can prepare food ahead of time and freeze it for the week or prepare snacks to always have something on hand.
Make quick and easy breakfast ideas
Fruit and green smoothies or raw granola are not only delicious but are full of nutrients and can be fun to make. Get the kids involved too!
Avoid burn-out and take some time for yourself
Go for a nature walk, exercise or relax. This will help you feel refreshed and motivated to do some of the things that you have procrastinated.
According to Sharma, the key to successful time management is doing what you planned to do when you planned to do it. “Time mastery = Life mastery. Guard your time; it is your most valuable commodity” (Sharma, 1996).