Have you noticed that there seems to be less time in a day than there was in the past? This phenomenon gets worse with each passing year. It’s partially because a month, week, day or even an hour, is a smaller portion of our entire life as we age. So if an hour seems like less time, it’s because it is – at least relatively. But there are also things we do that suck up and waste enormous amounts of time. Eliminating some of these habits can help you to find more time in every day.
Get up half an hour earlier or stay up half an hour later
I know this seems obvious, and likely sounds awful, but it can make a big difference. Half an hour each day translates to 182.5 more hours in a year, or 15 hours a month. There was probably a time in your life when you got up earlier than you do now, perhaps when your kids were younger and you had to drive them to school or at a time when you had a longer commute. It may take a week or so to get used to it but your body will adjust.
Establish boundaries about TV time
TV is one of those things that can eat up hours. Before I met my husband, I almost never watched TV. Now I sit my butt in front of the set pretty much every night. I did the math to determine how many hours of my life I waste each year in front of the boob-tube and it was eye opening. But, it’s also a relaxing past time, a distraction. I’ve set a rule to not watch TV alone. If I’m by myself, there are more productive things I can do.
Audiobooks and podcasts are a great way to find more time in your day
I love to read and I love to learn. But taking time out of the day to sit with a book and enjoy is tough. Over the past few years, I’ve turned more and more to podcasts and audiobooks. There are plenty of free podcast services out there and a wonderful free library app called Libby. I’m guessing there are others as well. It took me some time to figure out how to navigate podcast apps, I am a middle aged woman after all!! But, I figured it out and listen to podcasts and audiobooks on the treadmill, while cleaning the house, and in the car. It’s a great way to find time.
Just say “NO!”
Many people, especially women, have a hard time saying no. Learn to do it. Practice daily.
It’s life changing.
You don’t have to be a bitch about it, just say no. Think about how many times you are distracted during the day by co-workers, your kids, or your spouse to help with something that takes “just a few minutes”. Not only do these things often take far more than “just a few minutes”, they also disrupt what you’re already doing so you have to start again when you return to your task – if you even remember what you were doing before your were interrupted.
Just say NO!
Get a screen time app
This is my most important recommendation to find more time in your day.
A screen time app tracks the minutes and hours you spend on your smartphone and categorizes the time for you. It shows email, social media, text messages, etc. and graphs it over time. I was HORRIFIED by how much time I was losing on social media everyday. The first week I used the app I averaged 4 hours and 22 minutes of screen time and picked my phone up 83 times a day!!!!
Are you kidding me?
Now, not all of that time can be eliminated. Some of it is communicating with friends and family via text messages or email. Some is for work. But too much was wasted scrolling Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In that first week, I clocked over 4 1/2 hours on social media – that is lost time. Last week my social media time was down to 2 hours and 4 minutes. I gained an additional 2 hours of my life back per week by using a screen time app to monitor social media time.
Try implementing some, or all, of these suggestions and you’ll find yourself with extra hours in your day. Be wise about how you spend your new found time. Be planful about it. Don’t let it get stolen from you by some new and distracting time waster. Good luck and enjoy your new found time!
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