Time is the one thing we all seem to not have enough of.
It would be great to have an extra hour – wouldn’t it!
Well – I’m a little short of being able to create a 25 hour day any time soon, so I want to look at how we can save an hour out of the 24 that we already have instead.
Same result – but less need for time travel!
So – without further ado, let’s get going, shall we….
#1 – Set Your Day Up The Night Before
I am a world leader in procrastination when I let myself – wasting so much time trying to decide what to do.
But I’ve learnt over the years that the best way to avoid that waste of time is to create a plan for the following day, the night before.
You can be as detailed as you want/need to be – but outline what you want to achieve so that you can hit the ground running the next day.
Write down what the essentials are, and fit other things around that – so that you fill your day (but not overload) and feel that you have achieved something by the end of it.
The beauty of planning up front is that you can see whats possible – and what isn’t. You will learn to not overload yourself, and be more productive as a result.
#2 – Stop Aiming For Perfection
From a perfectionist this is said with a wry smile.
If you have ever tried to finish something so that it is 100% perfect, you will know that you will have spent a large chunk of time on the last 10% of the task.
Trouble is – this last 10% is probably not required in order for the task to be considered complete by most people. It is usually good enough when you are 90% finished.
So – aim for 90% perfect every time and you will then save so much time over the course of a day on all those things you do.
#3 – Multitask When Possible
Multi tasking is a great time saver – as long as you do it when you really can.
The way to make multi tasking work is to do things that don’t require much thought. You can’t split your brain power two ways very easily, but you can split other things: –
- Call someone while washing the dishes or folding laundry
- Listen to a podcast/audio book while cleaning
- Walk with friends instead of having coffee – you get exercise at the same time as the catchup
- Watch TV and iron
You get the idea!
#4 – Delegate What You Can
Of course – the biggest time saver is to not have to do tasks at all, and that’s where delegating comes in.
Why not ask the rest of your family to do their bit with the housework (they live there too), or pay for help by hiring a cleaner.
TIP – If you are short of money to hire anyone to help you – why not hire them for just part of what you need. For example – if you want your home cleaned every week – hire someone to do a fortnightly clean, and that way you get every other week to spend time on other things. Or just hire them to do a specific task that takes you the longest. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Whatever you can manage, you can get great benefits from freeing up your time this way.
#5 – Shop Online
No more travel, queues, walking around for hours looking for specific things – the internet it a fantastic invention and can be a real time saver when it comes to shopping.
Consider getting your weekly food shop online, and buying presents and cards for people in the comfort of your own home.
You get them delivered to your home, and can then get on with doing other things while you are waiting for the delivery. Perfect! (and a little multi tasking as well ;o) )
#6 – Limit Social Media
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest (to name a few) can be the biggest time wasters in our days – sit and start to look at any of these and hours can pass without you realising.
If you can, start the habit of setting a timer when you go onto your social media so that you are aware of how much time has passed, and you only allow yourself what you can afford to spend.
A great option is to check your accounts just a couple of times a day. Lunchtime and evening usually work well for most people. But stay clear of first thing in the morning, because you will still be in bed at noon if you’re not careful!
#7 – Love Leftovers
One thing that can take time out of the day is preparing food.
Of course, we all have to eat, but we can be savvy about how much time we spend preparing our meals.
Some ideas are as follows: –
- Heat up leftovers from last nights tea for your dinner today
- Cook double and freeze so you have a quick evening meal another day
- Cook a whole chicken and use it over the course of the week in different meals
#8 – Exercise Smart
Another daily event in a lot of our lives is exercise, but finding the time to do it can be hard.
My advice for this is two-fold: –
- Be as active as you can in your usual routine – take stairs rather than the lift, walk to work, take a 5 mimnute break each hour to grab a drink and a quick walk etc… Staying active over the course of the day will keep you fitter and help you be more alert so you naturally get more done.
- For exercise routines – try HIIT. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and it basically means you do whatever exercise you are doing as hard as you can for a set time, and then have a short break – then repeat that pattern a few times. It usually means that you can get a really effective exercise routine into 10-30 minutes instead of up to an hour on a traditional routine.
#9 – Watch TV Faster
Ideally, to save time we would all stop watching TV completely – but I want to be realistic because TV is a part of most of our lives, and can be a great source of information or gives us the ability to relax at the end of the day.
As such, I want to look at minimising the wasted time with TV as much as possible.
My main tip for this is to record all TV that you want to watch.
This has two main advantages: –
- Firstly, you can skip through all ad breaks so that you can watch programmes much faster
- Secondly, you can choose when to sit and watch things, so you aren’t being run by the TV schedule. Having to be on the sofa at a certain time means possibly waiting around for a few minutes at the start so that you don’t miss anything, or stopping something else so you can go and sit down and watch it (and having to go back and finish what you stopped may take longer because you need to re-acquaint yourself with where you got to).
#10 – Have A Place For Everything
How many times do you lose something each day?
How long does it take you to find it (if at all)?
The best way to get back potentially wasted time from losing things is easy – don’t lose them in the first place!
I know, it’s obvious – but it can really save hours each week if you get organised and sort things out once and for all.
If you set up your home so that there is a place for everything, and instil the habit in everyone who lives there to always put things back when they have finished with them, then you will be able to find what you need exactly when you need it, with no time delay or stress.
#11 – Learn To Say NO
Last but by no means least is learning to say no.
Understanding what time you actually have, and what you can really say yes to when people ask, means that you won’t overstretch yourself too much, and you will have enough time in your day for what you need it for.
Saying no to something means you are saying yes to other things that you really want to do instead.
If you can manage to do each of these 11 things, then you will gain a considerable amount of time each and every day – getting you that elusive extra hour – at least!
Good luck, and I’d love to know how you get on!
P.S – want even more tips on how to save time? – just CLICK HERE