Do you ever yourself missing out on things you value because there aren’t enough hours in a day? I used to. I had my schedule packed so tight of ‘work’ stuff there wasn’t a lot of room for the important ‘family’ stuff.
Finding time for what’s important can be a challenge in our busy day-to-day lives but it CAN be done.
The first step is figuring out just what your priorities are. Next, you need to make some conscious decisions what you will and won't do and then commit to altering your daily routines. It takes discipline but the rewards are oh so worth it.
It really comes down to scheduling and priority management. For instance, consider how much more time you’d have if all family members got their hair cut at the same time instead of making separate trips to the hair salon over the course of a month or six weeks? (The same goes for routine medical appointments like dental check-ups.)
And what about routine tasks like cleaning the bathroom? Wouldn’t it be more efficient, not to mention easier, to quickly spray the shower after you use it instead of having to scrub off the soap scum that’s built up?
We often do things a certain way because it’s a habit, and not because it’s the best way to do it. By altering some of your habits, creating new ones, and doing away with ones that are counterproductive, you’ll find you can actually carve out more time in an average day.
Set your priorities and stick to them. Never start your day without a plan, or spend more time on the trivial and less on what’s really important. Not having a plan is one of the best ways to derail your day.
Here are a few ways I like to save time...
Group like errands together
Plan in advance. Schedule errands based on location so you aren’t driving all over town.
Don’t just buy one greeting card
Stock up on several greeting cards at the same time. Having a healthy supply of cards for all occasions saves a huge amount of time. Keep a good supply of stamps on hand as well.
Do the things only you can do and then pass along the rest to others. Think of delegating this way; you’re not losing control, you’re gaining control of your time and your life.
Do your office filing once a day
I find I’m more productive when I save all my filing to the last half hour of my workday when I’m clearing up and preparing my notes for the next day.
Simplify your hairstyle
Simple “wash and go” hairstyles are tops in my book. Having a no fuss, no muss hairstyle goes a long way to getting you up and out in the morning. I purposely grew my hair long so I could pull it back and save time on styling.
Keep your gas tank above a quarter full
Waiting to refuel when your tank reaches empty may result in adding undue stress being late for work or an appointment (which can cause a domino effect and can turn into a negative for a whole lot of other people).
Decrease time spent in line
Stuck in a long line at the bank or grocery store? Opt for the line that’s next to an unopened till, that way if it does open, you may be able to move from last to first.
Keep your wardrobe functional
Wash and wear is the way to go. If you’re serious about freeing up more time consider getting rid of any clothing that demands special care. If it doesn’t go in the washing machine, it doesn’t go in my closet.
Watch less TV
I rarely watch television anymore and when I do I'm selective. I make a plan to watch a specific program and then turn it off. Alternatively you could record favorite shows and watch them at a more convenient time. Being able to fast-forward through the commercials is a huge time saver.
Stop mindless surfing
I never surf the Internet or spend time on social media without a clear objective and setting a timer. I rarely ever read email forwards and if I do, it is over my lunch break and not at the start of my workday.
So what actions are you going to take today to start freeing up your time so you can focus more on your priorities?
I welcome your feedback.
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