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Time – How to Get More In Your Day

This blog title is a lie.  We all know you cannot physically add time to a day.  The day lasts 24 hours and that’s how it is. Adding time is impossible.  However, changing the way you work with time, can feel like more has been added to the day.
Working Day
Now the simple way of changing the way you work to add more time is starting your work day earlier, or finishing later.  This can seem too easy, but I can certainly recommend it.  Even if you are just waking up 15 minutes earlier than previously, that’s adding nearly 2 hours to your week and a massive 91 hours to your year!  That’s an incredible amount of hours for a small amount of effort.
If you would like to read a book about waking up earlier and changing your mindset towards early mornings, I thoroughly recommend a book called ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod.  My friend wrote a fantastic blog post reviewing it and she converted me (and several other people I know) into being morning people.
Outsourcing
I spoke about outsourcing in a previous blog.  The term ‘self employed’ does not mean you have to do everything by yourself! Why not get your time back by getting rid of the tasks that doesn’t need to be completed by you?  There are so many businesses that can help you with your business tasks and personal chores such as:
  • Social Media Manager
  • Bookkeeper
  • Accountant
  • Virtual Assistant/Administrator *waves excitedly*
  • Cleaner
  • IT Support
  • Website Designer
  • Photographer
  • Driver
The cost of using all of these services may be substantial, but the value it will provide by giving you time back will more than justify the cost.  If it is something you cannot afford, maybe try to pick just one task to outsource that is currently costing you a lot of your time.
Quick time management tips
How are you using your time today?  Are you being efficient with it?  Your time is a valuable asset to you, so there are a few ways that you can work to save time, effectively adding more time to your day,
  • Lists
Make a list of all the tasks that you need to do that day.  You may remember them in your head but if you get them down on paper, it seems more manageable which is great for your mindset.  Ticking them off is a great stress-reliever, so make those tasks small and tick more often!
  • Plan your time
Take your to-do list and map it out onto your diary or day planner.  Make sure you are over-estimating the time each task will take by around 20% as a buffer.  This may need a bit of self discipline, but give it a try.
  • Power Hour
Monitor your focus levels for a week.  Is there a particular time of the day that you have more focus, more motivation and consequently work more efficiently?  This is known as your ‘Power Hour’ and should be when you schedule in any difficult tasks.  Also, the time of day where you have little or no real focus, (maybe near the end of the day?) I call my ’Sour Hour’.  For this I book in my easiest tasks, things that I could do without needing too much brain power.
  • Take a Break
You must take a break.  Even when you have a dozen things to do, and nowhere near enough time to do it in.  Your output will rapidly decrease in the afternoon if you have not taken some time out for a lunch break.  The 30 minutes you think you have ‘saved’ by eating at your desk or skipping lunch altogether, will be wasted with lower productivity you will experience in the afternoon/evening.
  • Distractions
Studies have shown that one distraction, can cost between 22 and 35 minutes of concentration.  This means that distractions are massive time-thieves.  Of course we can’t eliminate every distraction trigger, but there are things you can do to minimise them. For example, if you have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy mobile, you can use the ‘Do Not Disturb’ setting.  You can still enable those important calls from your child’s school or your family members but it can eliminate the unnecessary text message alerts or alarms or notifications that trigger your distraction.  The same can be said for notifications on your desktop.  Email notifications can use a lot of time, the alert can trigger your need to respond to the email in your mind, so you are wasting time without even replying to it.  So turn all those pop up notifications off.
  • Emails
Emails do not need to be answered immediately.  It just becomes another way that your day is spent inefficiently.  A way to avoid is this by scheduling time every day to solely deal with emails.  I know that some people block out two hours in the middle of the day, whereas some bookend the day with 30 minute sessions of inbox management.  It’s really up to you and how it works for your inbox.

 

It may not be that all of these tips work for you.  I suggest that you pick a few tips to try for a week or two, then if they don’t work for you, try something else.  I would love to hear how you get on.

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