“If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.”
— Lee Iacocca
So, you want more time in your day? Yes, hello! I see you.
Our society’s thought to be the number one problem. We want more time.
If I only had more time I would..
- Start a side-hustle
- Work out
- Cook at home and pack healthy lunches
- Make more time for my friends
- Go on more dates
The list goes on.
We want to do it all and preferably all in one go. And we are SO busy.
It would be AMAZING to magically get a few extra hours every day, so we can do more and achieve our goals in life. We would feel less stressed, overwhelmed and things wouldn’t feel as chaotic, right?
Unfortunately, that ain’t very likely to happen, so we need to figure out how we can manage our time and the 24 hours in a day we were given, better. It’s totally possible to clock in a couple of more hours in a day. We just to shift things around a little and prioritize.
My favorite time management hacks go as follows…
TRACK YOUR TIME
First things first, you need to track how you are currently spending your time.
You might be shocked to find out just how much time you waste scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and watching Netflix. Precious time that could be spent elsewhere, on something productive and amazing that will get your closer to your dream life.
Start by tracking your ordinary day and pay attention to ALL THE DETAILS.
Log everything in your time journal, even the minutes you spend doing absolutely nothing and are procrastinating around the house. EVERYTHING.
While you’re at it, you might want to get one of those apps that log how many times you pick your phone up every day and how much screen time you actually get in.
I. Was. Mind. Blown.
Studies show that we spend, on average, up to 135 minutes daily (2017) on social media, and the curves are still increasing. And that’s not counting Netflix.
I’m guilty of spending at least 2.5 hours of Netflixing every day. That’s 150 minutes I could have spent going to the gym or working on my goals.
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Most of the time we assume activities such as exercising, will take twice as long as it really does. There is a whole lot of miles and weightlifting that can be done in just 30 minutes. Half an hour is better than no minutes at all (heard that one before?).
Anyway, you see where I’m going with this don’t you? Awareness.
Be aware of HOW you are currently spending your time.
Easy-peasy. Get your journal out and start logging your time.
First step: awareness and time tracking.
Next step: prioritize.
Be aware of how you spend your time, and then make the firm decision that you want to change it up and prioritize your time differently. Figure out what YOU want to spend your time on. What is important to you, right now, in your life?
Let’s say you wish to be healthier and lose weight. Exercising daily is your new priority.
If it’s starting a business, then signing up for a domain and Blue Host is your new priority.
Make the decision, get committed and change your schedule. Watch one hour less of Netflix and do your thing.
Time management is not about jamming even more things on your calendar, it’s about doing less and making time for the things that support you and make you happy. 🙂
In my world, Sundays are bonus days. I treat Sundays like any other day. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t head out to my corporate job, but I generally try and get up at 6 AM to clock in those extra hours in the morning to work on my #1 goal, which is my business, this blog – what you are currently reading.
Sundays = Mondays
This is great if you, for example, have a side-hustle that you wish to spend more hours on or if you’d just like a little me-time. Wake up early on Sundays, and don’t sleep for 12 hours – you’ll just be even more tired. Fact.
Get the most out of your bonus day. This may mean hanging out with loved ones, going to the movies, side-hustling, working on the biz, go through your goals, doing your weekly shopping – whatever well-spent quality time means to you.
Make Sundays productive and the week ahead will thank you for it.
Tip! Sundays are also perfect for checking in with your goals. Are you moving forward? If not, what held you back this week? Sit down for an hour and take the time to work on your personal development, evaluate and reflect on your progress so far this year. I do this every Sunday evening.
WAKE UP EARLY
You saw this one coming, right? It may be a little obvious, but it’s seriously the best (and my favorite) way to sneak in a little extra time in your day.
This doesn’t mean that you will also stay up all night and work on your goals. Nope. You will need to go to bed at a reasonable hour (hello mom!), preferably so you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Your morning routine starts the night before, so make sure your evening routine is just as good.
- If you are on the look-out for some help with your routines, click the links for a free checklist for both your mornings and evenings.
If you don’t sleep, you’ll be tired, grumpy and groggy! And you won’t be your useful self when your alarm goes off in the morning and it’s time to savor those extra crispy hours in the AM. Wake up early and you’ll magically (!) get 2-3 more hours in your day.
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Outsourcing certain tasks can be a lifesaver. I know, I know – you want to do it all yourselves. But sometimes, asking for help will do you good – and you can focus on other important things.
You can, for example, outsource the following..
- Cleaning the house
- Doing the laundry
- Hire a virtual assistant for your online business
Outsourcing generally comes with a check, so if you do decide to outsource make sure they do a darn good job and are worth the money. If you’re not into hiring people to do your work, then delegate more. Make your kids help with the dishes, your husband to help with the laundry and reach out to a good friend if you are struggling with something specific that they may be able to help you with.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
JUST SAY NO
“Real freedom is saying ‘no’ without giving a reason.”
― Amit Kalantri
- Are you coming to the party on Friday?
- Want to have dinner tomorrow?
- Let’s go to that office party after work!
- Come on, everyone will be there.
Any of these sound familiar?
If you want more time on your hands, learn to say no to things you don’t want to do.
Stay clear of the FOMO and only do things that align with your big picture. I’m not saying that you should never have any fun or be social. I’m strictly referring to invitations that you’d rather not go to anyway.
Stop the people pleasing right now and you do you. This applies to everything in life, really. Spend your time wisely with the people you love and devote your time to things you believe in.
As I always say..
Quality trumps quantity when it comes to parties and people in your life.
Say no more and don’t feel bad about it.
This can be hard, in the beginning, especially if you’re used to saying yes to everyone, but then again you’ll get the evening to yourself and get to spend it however you want. Also, you never have to explain yourself to anyone. Just say no, no explanation needed.
Don’t excuse yourself.
Learning to say no is a practice you will get better at with time.
Say no to other’s and yes to yourself! 🙂
Plan your way to more time. Once you know what your priorities are and what you need to do in order to achieve the results you want in your life, you can plan for them on your calendar.
This is something that I go on and on about and something I’ve learned from Natalie Bacon (the planning wizard!). Plan your actions on your calendar ahead of time and plan down to the hour.
This way you will be more likely to honor the commitment you’ve made to yourself and you will avoid any external (or internal) distractions because you will ALWAYS know what to do. It’s on your calendar for crying out loud.
If you get lost or sidetracked, have a look-see at your calendar and it will tell you what you ought to be doing right NOW to move forward with your goals.
This is such a life hack. I can’t say enough great things about planning for results ahead of time.
My favorite planners are:
As long as you have a clear-cut vision of what you want to achieve in life, planning for such an achievement is a thrill in its self and managing this time in detail on your calendar makes it easier to tackle, one hour at a time.
Plan your way to Awesomeville.
The less time you spend in “I don’t know” the more time you can spend on things that matter to you. Don’t set up camp in “I don’t know”-land, you are doomed to waste precious time.
Indecisiveness is a time-killer.
Make a decision. Quickly. Follow your gut, weigh the options against each other and decide which result will support your life best and don’t look back. Don’t second guess your decision, move forward and own your decisiveness.
Guess what? Second guessing also kills time. Don’t do it 🙂 You’ll feel so much better if you stick to it.
Yes, yes. We all know we should never juggle multiple things at once, but we ALL do it.
I’ve got a challenge for you. Right now…
- Close all the browser tabs you’re not looking at and focus your attention on one thing (or tab) at a time.
- Put down your phone, disable your WiFi if you must. Put all distractions to bed and focus.
I’m currently loving to work in Pomodoros. I do 25 minutes of deeply focused work, take a break for five and then resume and repeat. Resume and repeat.
- Can this wait?
More often than not, it can.
BEFORE YOU GO
I really hope this article has helped you gain some clarity on how we can better improve the use of our time. If you have any time-hacks that I’ve forgotten about, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to know what you do to manage your time better. 🙂
And if you want to know the key to having an even more productive life, you can check out the mini-ebook I created, just for you. Sign up using the form below and plot down your first name and email and I will send it straight to you.