Are you constantly trying to fit more activities into your day? Do you feel like time is your own worst enemy? If so, this might be the right moment for you to start doing things differently. These days, so many people live their day-to-day lives with a hectic schedule, so they get overwhelmed with their work and don't have time to connect with their loved ones, friends, community, or even just to relax and have a little self-care moment.
Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons: Grant Hutchinson
Changing your routine is not an easy thing to do, especially if you're a busy person. If you can't make drastic changes, you can start small and go from there. To start, try to get just 5 extra minutes each day. Here are some simple steps to take so that you get those extra 5 minutes:
1. Rise early and get started earlier than others
This is probably the simplest action you can take to get extra free time every day. But it is easier said than done if you're not used to waking up early. You probably have an alarm clock on your bed side table, but it's going to take more than that to help you wake up earlier.
One smart solution is to put the alarm clock out of reach, so you have to get up to turn it off. Another solution is to get a unique alarm clock that "forces" you to wake up. For example, there's an alarm clock that throws balls all over the room. The annoying sound will not go off until you have collected all the balls and placed them back in the clock.
If your workplace happens to be at a considerable distance, you may cut down the time spent on commute by leaving your car behind and commuting to work with a smart electric bike, like the Liberty Trike, which gives you the freedom to move quickly.
2. Avoid spending too much time in meetings
If you're in charge, you can control the length of meetings. Just stick to the important subjects and call it a day if you think everything has been covered- remember, less important subjects can always be covered via email!
3. Lessen the time spent on commute
Have you ever thought about being an online entrepreneur? If you have what it takes to start your online business, then go for it. The best thing about working from home is that you have the freedom to arrange your own work schedule and you can have all the free time you need.
4. Try to find new ways to get your tasks done faster
If your workload is the main reason that you don't seem to have a lot of free time, then try to find new ways to get your tasks done faster. Keep track of your time spent on tasks each day, so you can have a realistic expectation of the time you can allot for each one, or find ways to prioritize the most important ones first.
Maybe there's a new application that can help you finish your report faster. If your work is demanding you to meet with multiple clients or colleagues in different places, maybe you can encourage them to meet through Skype or other messaging services instead of wasting time driving around the city to meet with them in person.
5. Stop doing unnecessary tasks
Evaluate your daily activities thoroughly and try to find some unnecessary things that you keep doing every day, according to Jason Koertge, CEO of Swantree 30A. Do you spend more time on your laptop mindlessly browsing? Perhaps you're easily distracted with funny articles that are all over your Facebook news feed? This might sound strange, but actually this is quite normal. A lot of people do things simply out of habit, not because they are necessary. Try and take scheduled breaks so you can keep track of the time spent on these small tasks, instead of them eventually accumulating and taking time away from more important tasks.
By monitoring how you spend your days, you'll have a better understanding of where your time is going, and be able to plan how to optimize your schedule. This will ultimately allow you to have better control of your time. By cutting down on unnecessary activities, you will have more energy and brainpower to do more important activities, as opposed to focusing on things that you probably don't enjoy and are making you unproductive as a result.