How many times have you heard somebody say: “I wish there were more hours in the day?” Unfortunately, there are only ever 24! Time cannot be changed, but we can change the way we use those hours.
Although it is impossible to have more than 24 hours of chronological time in a day, it can be possible to have more hours of functional time. Here is a list of ways to make time work for you. Even if you only implement a few of them you should be able to save a couple of hours each day!
1. Optimise sleeping patterns
The amount of sleep that one needs to be able to function properly varies from person to person. Some of us need a whopping ten hours of sleep a night, while others can perform perfectly well on only four hours. Try reducing the amount you think you need by setting your alarm clock just 10-15 minutes earlier than normal and getting up the minute it goes off. This will get your shower out of the way before you would normally be awake – you’re already winning! As this gets easier, keep adjusting the alarm.
2. Turn off the television
This is probably the best step to implement if you have square eyes! The average person watches approximately 3 hours of television each day. That is 21 hours a week – nearly a whole day! It is very easy to get caught up in ‘favourite programmes” – decide what you want to watch, then turn the set off straight afterwards, before another series becomes your favourite as well! Many people have televisions in their bedroom which contributes to sleep disturbances. Any sort of visual or audio disturbances should be removed, to benefit from the hours you spend asleep.
This is an obvious but important step nonetheless. When it is done right, multitasking is one of the best ways to save time throughout the day. You could combine talking on the phone with clearing your e-mail inbox, or tidying your desk.
You will be surprised at just how much time is wasted by simply not being focused enough on the task in hand. Each person is distracted by different things – whether it be surfing the internet or discussing the latest office gossip with a work colleague. The important thing is to ascertain what your weaknesses are and catch yourself every time you feel distracted. You could easily save about an hour a day!
Planning your day is an effective way of making sure that you accomplish all of your tasks. Fifteen minutes spent planning the day could save you an hour by allowing you to group seemingly unrelated tasks together. For instance, by deciding to walk to that 3pm meeting with a client, you not only slot in exercise and the meeting, but you could also pick up your dry cleaning and swing past the bank. Each of those activities has the potential to eat into your precious time throughout the day, unless you choose to manage them.
Having a list of the things you want to do on a daily basis will not only save you time, but it will also act as a reminder of other things you want to find time to do, such as visit an old friend, read a book, play with the kids.
Saving time is only worthwhile if you invest it well!