So much to do, so little time. Let’s claim some of it back with these time-saving tips:
1) What are you waiting for?
Never wait for anything. I don’t mean be impatient, I just mean spend time ‘doing’ rather than ‘waiting’. Instead of waiting for the kettle to boil, put away the dishes. Instead of waiting for your lift to arrive, check your emails. Even simply meditating is better than waiting.
2) Tidy as you go
It’s quicker to keep things tidy than it is to tidy up. It might seem like effort, but it’ll give more benefits than simply saving time – research has shown that a tidy environment can improve your physical and mental health too.
3) Don’t hit snooze
If you need those extra 10 minutes, then set your alarm 10 minutes later. The worst thing you can do is hit that snooze button. Your body is likely to start the sleep cycle all over again and you’ll feel even more groggy the second time around (because we all only hit the snooze button once, right?). Alternatively, keep your alarm at the same time (although consider going to bed earlier too) and, instead of hitting snooze, use that time to prepare you for the day. Pray, plan, meditate – whatever it is that will help you start the day full of positivity and enthusiasm!
4) Talking of sleep…
Do you feel like you need more of it? Maybe you just need more quality than quantity. Try having a routine in terms of both what you do before bed and the times you go to bed and wake up so that your body gets into a rhythm – even at weekends. Switch off all those devices we check while in bed. I once was told that the bed should only be for sleep and sex. Well, one out of two isn’t bad 🙂 Cut down on caffeine and try to avoid it completely in the afternoon. Exercise in the day, but not too close to bedtime. If you find your mind won’t settle, try writing down what it is you’re thinking to give yourself permission to forget it and pick it up in the morning.
5) Are you watching telly for the sake of it?
I recently gave up telly (https://happilyhiggledy.wordpress.com/2017/02/06/1weekwithout-tv-and-dvds/), and found that I was so much more productive. You don’t have to be as extreme as that, but maybe cutting back and only watching programmes you’re genuinely interested in could free up an hour or two a week.
6) Organise your time
Know what it is you have to do and the order in which you should do it, then enjoy ticking each one off the list. The time spent writing it will be made up for by the time you save trying to work out what to do next throughout the day.
You might think that you can multitask, but I doubt it’s true. You’re just doing two things less well. When you do something, DO it. Give it your full attention. No distractions. Answering a text message doesn’t just cost you the time you spend sending it: you’ve interrupted the flow of your work and need to get back into what you were doing again. Try permanently turning off the alerts on your phone and dedicate time specifically to checking your emails, Twitter etc. rather than ‘multitasking’. (Here’s what happened when I gave up my phone enitrely for a week: https://happilyhiggledy.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/1weekwithout-my-mobile-phone/)
8) Delegation, delegation, delegation
The world will not fall apart if you’re not doing every job. Get help from others.
Enjoy your free time!