Time: there just never seems to be enough of it, does there? In fact, I don’t think I know anyone – like, anyone AT ALL – who doesn’t regularly complain about the lack of time in their day for all of the things they have to accomplish: sometimes it feels like everyone I know is just rushing from task-to-task, constantly struggling to catch up with themselves.
While it’s definitely true that modern life has more than its fair share of stress, however, it’s also true that you CAN make some more time in your day, if you really want to. Here are some simple tips to try…
// GET OUT OF BED AS SOON AS THE ALARM GOES OFF
I’ve long-since accepted that I’m never going to be a morning person, and although it SEEMS like the best way to make more time for myself would be to start getting up an hour or so earlier, I know that’s never going to happen: and, if it did, I’d probably just end up going to bed an hour earlier to make up from it, so no extra time would be gained.
One thing I HAVE been trying to do, however, is to get up when I wake up, rather than lying in bed for another 20 minutes/half an hour/however long it ends up being. This is particularly hard when you work from home, and don’t have a set start-time for work etc, but if I don’t try to get up as soon as I wake, I’ll end up lying in bed for ages, scrolling through my phone, or just daydreaming – which is fun, sure, but ultimately a bit of a waste when I have other things to do.
// CLOSE DOWN YOUR INBOX
I have my email program set to refresh every few minutes, and because I get a ton of email, that means I’m constantly getting notifications – which I then convince myself I have to rush to look at. Of course, most of that mail just ends up being junk, and the time I spend reading it and checking it all adds up to a whole lot of wasted time. A better method is to either close down the program completely, and only open it up a few times a day, or change the settings so that it doesn’t automatically refresh. The latter doesn’t really work for me, because I’m such an expert procrastinator that I’ll end up just going in and refreshing it manually every few minutes, but the first tip is definitely a time-saver – when I remember to do it!
// CONSIDER HIRING HELP
It might seem lazy, or like a luxury you can’t afford, but if you work all week, the last thing you want to do is spend your evenings and weekends cleaning the house, so a regular cleaning or laundry service might end up being worth its weight in gold. These can actually be less expensive than you might think, so it could be worth looking at your budget and seeing if you can find room for it.
// GO MINIMAL
Organisation is one of my favourite topics, but having an organised home and closet doesn’t just reduce my stress levels, it also buys me time every day. When you have a ton of stuff cluttering up every shelf and surface, it takes you far longer to get dressed, find that essential item you need for the day, and perform basic tasks and chores. I’ll never be a true minimalist, but I’ve been gradually streamlining my closet and cutting down the clutter in my home, and it’s been a huge time-saver: and also quite enjoyable, if I’m totally honest.
// PLAN AHEAD
When I was much younger, I imagined I’d one day live a totally spontaneous kind of lifestyle, free of the constraints of any kind of schedule. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve discovered that I need a routine, and a bit of structure to my day, in order to stay on top of things. As a self-employed blogger, meanwhile, spontaneity can only be achieved after weeks of planning (which kind of ruins the “spontaneous” bit, doesn’t it?), so I now keep a calendar (actually, I keep two: one for work, one for life in general), and use it to plan everything as far ahead as possible. When I know I have everything mapped out and under control, only THEN can I really relax, and enjoy some time to myself!
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I am not a multi-tasker: in fact, I actually find multitasking quite stressful, and when I try to jump from task to task, juggling multiple different commitments, everything ends up taking me five times longer than it would have done anyway. These days, I much prefer to single-task instead: which simply means concentrating on one task at a time, and working on it until it’s done. So I’ll write all of my blog posts for the week at the same time, for instance, rather than creating one each day: that way, it’s much easier to concentrate and get the job done – which means I’m free to move on to something else.
// SCHEDULE TIME OFF
When you’re very busy, it can be hard to take time off: not just because you don’t think you have enough time for it, but because you feel guilty when you’re not tacking that To Do list. The answer? Make time off an item on the list. Schedule it into your diary – you might even want to book something like a dinner out, or a trip to the cinema, say – and treat it like any other appointment: it’s just as important, after all.[Image]