All day, you’re glancing at the clock thinking, ‘Oh! Is that all it is?’ and time seems to be stretched. It’s only one hour, but it feels like longer. You can pack more into the day, get more done, sleep more, relax… it’s magical!
Alas, it only happens once each year, but there are lots of things we can do to create more time every day – or at least the illusion of it. Here are five:
Curb social media
Jump onto the Facebook Time Machine and find out how much time you’ve spent on the website. Once you’ve recovered from the shock, make a new rule. No Facebook before 8pm. Or no Facebook after 8pm. Or none during the week. Or none at all.
Use an application like Keep Me Out to help you stick to this. You set the rules, it enforces them.
Let people do things differently
The belief that ‘nobody does it as well as I do’ can fill your days with unnecessary tasks. Hoarding work because ‘it’s quicker just to do it myself’ spreads onto the home front, where you’d rather do things ‘properly’ than watch someone else take longer or do it differently from the way you would.
Becoming comfortable with people’s different approaches to things that really don’t matter in the long run will save you bucketloads of time (and angst). Let it go.
Drop ‘I’ll just…”
I’ll just do the washing. I’ll just tidy my desk. I’ll just check Facebook. I’ll just read this one article… I’ll just, I’ll just, I’ll just…
At the end of a day of ‘justs’ you’re inevitably behind on your work, staying back late or staying up late to catch up.
Have some ‘non-negotiables’ in your week.
Whether it’s picking the kids up from school each Friday or swimming or running or having a long soak in the bath with a book, catching up with friends, coaching a sports team or something else – establish a routine of self-care. Book appointments with yourself first and don’t allow other pressures to encroach on this time.
When you have a reason to leave work and a pre-scheduled commitment, you’re more likely to prioritise during the day in order to meet it.
I once decided to drop ironing everything except school uniforms. Then I dropped ironing those too. At the end of the semester the school report said that my daughter was “always immaculately presented”. That was enough for me! I probably get the iron out five times a year for special occasions now (although it should be said that my husband irons his work shirts).
It’s not about being lazy, it’s about choosing to do something that you decide is more important. For me, that’s spending time with the kids and writing.
What can you cut and out of your life to squeeze an extra hour into every day (which is an extra 15 days every year!)
If you’re keen to take a guided course in changing how you do things, try My 15 Minutes.
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Untangle yourself from doing too much