Life is hectic, there are no two ways about it. Not having enough time in the day is a common denominator shared among many of us, I’m sure. But, even if we did have a couple extra hours in the day, do you think we would use them productively? Or maybe we’d wish for just one more hour. It’s time to be purposeful with our time so we can make the most of what we already have. These are some of my favorite tips and practices to find more time in your day.
Yes, a calendar b-o-o-k! I know, we’re going to party like it’s 1999, but minimizing distractions from your phone can give you back time you didn’t even know you lost! Planners on your phone can definitely have their benefits, but how often do you get in your phone to check your schedule, get caught up scrolling through Instagram, then hey, those leggings are so cute and they are on sale today only, let me just check the website for my size, ooooh and they have cute tops too… better add those to the cart and what do you know, 30 minutes later and you forgot why you had opened your phone in the first place. It’s happened to me one too many times, I’m not proud of my social media black hole moments, but it happens. I can say with absolute certainty when I use my old fashioned pen and paper calendar book, I’ve never ended up in the wild, wild west of the world wide web filling my noggin with facts about the powdered orange stuff Kraft uses to make macaroni and cheese. So let’s kick it old school and save more time with our handy dandy calendar books!
Plan out your week in advance, but leave time for the unexpected
The day before your week begins take 15-20 minutes, with your calendar book, and write down for each day any upcoming appointments or activities for the week. Your workouts “bonus if it’s a spin class” :D, a tentative dinner menu, and a block of time each day to work on goals. Be aware if there is anything stealing your time, if it isn’t adding value remove it from your schedule. Remember, something unplanned WILL come up so be accommodating for any unseen circumstances. When you have your schedule planned out in advance, this will give you more time during the day for things you NEED to get done. Never underestimate the power of time management.
Prioritize your day and make the most of your productive time
We all have those peaks and valleys during the day. A peak is when we are more gung-ho to get things done and a valley is the exact opposite. Figure out when your peak or peaks are and get to doing! During a peak time aim to accomplish your most urgent task. If you can take care of business when you are most productive this will help fight off the procrastination that will likely ensue later in the day. Bonus: Break up your big tasks in smaller segments. Instead of staring down a huge project in front of you, take it little by little, this will help keep the momentum going!
It seems this is the solution to many problems… Want to lose weight? Get enough sleep! Want to boost your mood? Catch those Zzzz’s! Want to get your kid’s to stop arguing about who can blow the biggest milk bubbles with their straw? 8 hours o… wait my current situation is coming out on the keyboard. But heck, enough sleep would probably solve that too! Back to another reason we need enough sleep. When you aren’t well rested this can lead to fatigue, concentration problems, unclear thinking, memory issues, poor decision making, and mood changes. I know when I don’t get enough sleep my motivation goes out the window and it is a MAJOR struggle to complete even the smallest task. So, if you want more time in your day, spend a little bit more of that time in the bed.
Set the phone down and slowly back away
Cut out distractions. A recent article from the Mayo Clinic stated that people are spending an average of 7-10 hours per day on screens! Now, I get it, most of us have to use a screen for work purposes, but if you were to go into the settings section on your iPhone and click that little “Screen Time” button, what do you see? I know it might sting a little, it did for me. Recognizing where you spend a majority of time can really help you re-evaluate your priorities and restructure your current situation to help you find more time in your day.
This is a given coming from me! A workout is never a waste of time, and the numerous benefits for your body and mind after even a quick sweat session are fantabulous! After a workout your mind is more clear, you have a boost of confidence, it decreases anxiety and stress, improves memory, and seriously have you ever said after a workout, “Well that was a waste of time”? Probably not, but if you did, I’m sure there is an interesting story behind it! An indoor cycling workout, strength training, or a nice stretch session are all awesome options. If you are short time, I have created a 20 minute indoor cycling class so you never have to miss a workout!
This might be last on the list, but it is definitely not least. Your time is precious. Time is the one thing that you can never get back and you can never buy more of. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! Your time is an investment, use it wisely.
Taking control of your time is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. You’re worth it. There is no time to waste. Let’s be purposeful and productive with our time!