I get it. Life can get hectic. It may seem as if there are not enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished that you set out to do. You may fall behind on tasks because time seemingly slipped away from you. You may feel frustrated and defeated because of this.
What if I told you that you have more time to get more accomplished than you think? You can’t add more hours into the day. That 24-hour number will not budge. But there are things you could be doing to free up time in your life.
Here are six things you can do to reclaim time in your life and get more things done.
Be mindful of the time you spend on social media.
Social media can be a time suck. Trust me, I know from my own experience. I would mindlessly scroll on Facebook or Instagram for hours each day. I would lose track of time, and before I knew it, it was almost time for me to go to bed and I got zero things done during the day.
So, cut down the amount of time you spend on social media. Be intentional about that time. Set goals for specific tasks to accomplish on social media, such as replying to comments or checking the posts of specific people or groups.
Give yourself a set amount of time to accomplish your social media goals — up to 15 minutes in one sitting will probably be enough. You may even want to do two 15-minute social media sprints in a day. Once those 15 minutes are up, then log off from your social media account and get on with the rest of your day.
When I started implementing the social media strategy I just laid out, I saved two to three hours a DAY. That is two to three hours I can spend on other more important tasks — tasks that move the needle forward.
Schedule your tasks.
Figure out what you want to do on a given day and how long each task will take. Then, spend either that morning or the night before plotting the tasks into Google Calendar or even write them down on a piece of paper if you don’t feel too tech savvy.
Give yourself a realistic amount of time to accomplish a task. Don’t give yourself too little time, or else you may end up feeling needlessly disappointed. But don’t give yourself more time than it actually takes given normal circumstances — otherwise, it will take the full amount of time you give yourself. For example, if you give yourself one hour to do the dishes but it really only takes you ten minutes, then you most likely will take an hour to finish doing the dishes. So give yourself ten minutes.
You may feel inclined to pack your schedule full of tasks and think you will get so much done. But you need breaks, too. Schedule 15-minute breaks every two to three hours, and 30 minutes to eat and enjoy each meal. If you don’t schedule these breaks, you will almost certainly burn out and want to take the rest of the day off, thus leaving many tasks unaccomplished.
If you ride public transportation, figure out what tasks you can do on the bus or train.
You may have heard the saying “Everyone gets the same 24 hours each day.” I believe that is not necessarily true. True, there are 24 hours in a day. But for people who ride public transportation, time is even more limited. But there are things you can do while you are riding the bus or train, or even on the walk to and from the bus or train stop.
On the walk, you can listen to an audiobook or podcast to enrich your life. There are even self-help audiobooks and podcasts to listen to if you want to learn even more skills to improve your life.
While you are riding the bus or train, you can read a book or get some writing done. If you have a laptop, you can get work done on it, even while you are not connected to wifi. Or you can use your smartphone as a wifi hotspot if your phone has that capability.
You can even spend your 15-minute focused social media time on the bus or train if you have a device with that capability.
Outsource tasks if you can.
If you have the means to do so, figure out which tasks you can reassign to someone else. I understand that this tip may come from a place of privilege. But you don’t necessarily have to hire a housekeeper or landscaper in order for this to work. Tasks such as chores and yard work can be given to someone else in your household, such as your spouse or children. If you are reallocating your task to a child, then make sure it is an age-appropriate task.
Get enough sleep.
I can never stress the importance of sleep enough. On average, a young or middle-aged adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Get to know your body and figure out how many hours of sleep you actually need, and aim to sleep for that amount of hours each night.
Sleep refreshes your body so you can take on the day and get more things done. If you don’t get enough sleep, then you may feel sluggish, be in a bad mood, and not feel motivated to accomplish any tasks.
There you have it. Those are simple things you can do to free up more time in your life. This is not an overnight transformation, though. You may need some time to figure out how long it takes to complete a task or practice good sleep hygiene. But once you figure out your needs and turn this into a habit, then finding time to do everything should be a breeze most of the time.
There are some days you may need to take the entire day off. If you can, do that. Everyone needs a vacation once in a while. The tasks will always be there the next day.