How to get more time out of your day: 6 tips to maximize your time savings.
I hate that I even have to do this but sometimes it seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get the things done that need getting done. Because of this I’ve had to find some creative strategies for squeezing in more activities into the time that I have. A sort of time savings account if you will. Here are 5 tips I’ve found to help be through the busiest of days.
1) Create time budget and associate it with each task.
This concept really is meant to speak to the idea of being intentional or “on purpose” about the tasks we choose to do. Just doing the dishes can take 20-30 minutes if you saunter through it, but since we’re talking about making better use of our time, let’s try to beat the standard time. There’s a fine line between rushing so much that you’re in a frantic frenzy and simple not allowing yourself to be distracted. Almost without fail, when I set a realistic time budget, I find that I can do better than I had mentally been telling myself, and b) I enjoy the stimulus and engagement of having a time challenge within reason. I use to tell myself that oil changes take “forever” but found it was more like 20 minutes once I started measuring it.
2) Run 1 errand every day on your lunch break.
The deceptive and also awesome thing about making very small, incremental, and continuous improvements is that you can accomplish very large goals simply by breaking them down into bite sized pieces. It makes daunting, unmanageable, or overwhelming tasks seem completely doable. All you need to do it chip away at it one little piece at a time. Look back after a day, week, a month, a year and the incredible things you will accomplish will surprise even the most ardent skeptics. One down side to a strategy of continuous improvement such as this is, that if you’re like me, it can rob you of that feeling of having everything completed as you look back at your day. This can feel like you’re not making a dent. For this reason, I like to write it down so I can see visually how much I’m accomplished at a glance. Progress not perfection is what you’re going for.
3) Set a timer for 20 min in the morning or evening when you get home and blast through some chores.
I call it my 20 minute blitz. You’ll find that when you’re singularly focused and on task you can really blast through much more than you could otherwise. The time savings you can get from this is huge because you don’t dilly dally. This in turn frees you up for whatever you’d like to do after your agreed upon 20 min.
4) Make a list using a list app on your phone.
The quote “We need reminding, as much as learning” really hits home for me about the need to organize and store your thoughts, tasks, and priorities. Remembering all those items that slip your mind, that need to get done is sometimes more challenging than actually doing them. Not being able to connect to the important activities that matter because you can’t remember them has the effect of wasting the time where they could actually be completed. The list app is a great equalizer but if you need even more of an edge try…..
5) Google now reminders.
These can be set based on time or location. Say you need to remember to get the trash bin out for pickup when you get home from work. Just tell google to remind you and your smart phone will use it’s GPS to pop up a reminder when you arrive at your destination. This task works great for other addresses as well. I set reminders for my friends’ addresses who have borrowed tools and not returned them. This way, the next time I’m there I’ll remember to pick it up. You can download it from the app store on your phone.
6) Put your phone and TV away from your bed.
Across the room is a good place. This will help you stop wasting 10-30 minutes before bed on Facebook watching cat videos, and possibly another 10-20 minutes in the morning watching people argue about politics. Bam! Just like that you got nearly another 6 hours of time savings back in your week for doing tasks that actually have importance to your life’s outcome.
Do you have a life hack of your own? Post it in the comments below.