Where does the time go? If you’ve ever stopped to ask yourself that question, prepare for a reality check...and getting rewarded with a few extra hours of “me time” in your day or week! If you’re seeking more freedom in 2019, this article will give you smart ways to step off the busy train, be more efficient and find time for (really) living.
1 - Start Keeping Track
In order to have more time for what matters, you have to track how you’re currently spending your time. Track every activity to the half hour. Tedious? Yes. But, this is the only way to get really honest about how you’re spending your time and start to make a change.
From your list, which activities stand out as energy givers (those that are a pleasure) versus energy zappers (those that are a pain)? Examples of time zappers may include scrolling through social media, sitting in traffic or washing and folding laundry. Cross those off the list.
Next, think of some ways you could outsource or eliminate such activities. Instead of checking Facebook, how about picking up a real book that you’ve been dying to read? Can you turn off your phone and set it out of reach for a few hours every day? Is it financially realistic for you to pay a wash and fold service to pick up and do your laundry? If so, go for it. Can you consolidate car trips for errands -- or get groceries, meals and household essentials delivered -- so you’re not battling traffic more than you have to?
Finally, tally up the time you just got back as a result of task elimination or outsourcing. How would you like to spend that free time?
2 - Look for Shortcuts
Don’t sweat the small stuff. The small stuff is life’s low-priority, time-consuming tasks that don’t offer much reward -- other than the satisfaction of finishing them. Look for where you can take a shortcut to get the job done faster. If it will save you time, don’t feel bad about buying pre-peeled garlic, pre-washed and cut vegetables, or a home delivery meal service. There are delivery services for just about everything these days -- from household goods to pet products -- so check your budget and see what would be the most helpful to you.
3 - Politely Decline
A “no thank you” or “ sorry, I can’t” sounds easy enough, right? Then, why do we end up saying ‘yes’ to so many things that suck our time, not to mention our souls? For one thing, no one wants to feel like they are letting someone else down. But what if saying ‘yes’ to their request lets you down? Ultimately, a ‘yes’ to them automatically means a ‘no’ to you, your freedom and your higher priority tasks.
When asked to do something that competes with your own personal priorities, be kind and decline. The key is to have a ‘no’ statement at the ready, like “Thanks so much for thinking of me, but my schedule is at capacity (today, next week, this month).”
Bonus: The #1 Efficiency Secret
Without quality sleep, you may always find your days to be unproductive and a little less joyful. Poor sleep makes you less able to concentrate, less able to take action effectively, and less able to recall important details. To support healthy sleep patterns, make sure you have a consistent bedtime ritual. This includes going to bed at the same time every night and excludes looking at your smartphone. The screen’s blue light disrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle.
Squeeze More Living Out of Life
Struggling to fit in more time for exercise, journaling, the kids or just doing nothing? By taming your to-do list, and getting a bit of help for routine, low-priority tasks, you can actually find pockets of time you didn’t know you had. There’s no time like the present; try these tips today so you can pave the way for a more efficient and more joyful new year.
Comments will be approved before showing up.