10 Ways to Find More Hours in Your Day
Have you ever complaint about not having more time in a day? Here are some useful tips from writing coach Ali Luke, on how to find more hours in your day. Feel free to forward this email to your friends.
10 Ways to Find More Hours in Your Day
1. Get Out of Bed Earlier
“If you normally get up at 7.30am, try getting up at 7am. That half-hour might
not sound like much — but it could be time that you use to meditate, to
exercise, to read that book you’ve been meaning to finish, or simply to get
your day off to a calm and organized start.
The first hour or half-hour of the day is often a great chance to work on
something important, before other demands crowd in on you. And if you need
your beauty sleep? Just get to bed half an hour earlier.
2. Use Your Commute Productively
How much time do you spend commuting every week? Unless you work from
home, you’ve probably got at least a couple of hours each week when you’re
traveling between your home and your workplace.
Use your commuting time for something useful. If you drive, you could listen
to audio books. If you take the bus or train, you could read a book rather
than grabbing a free newspaper. And if your workplace is quite close by, you
could try walking or cycling to work — this builds exercise into the natural
rhythm of your day.
3. Tackle the Important Tasks First
Once you get to work, take a few minutes to prioritize your tasks. Get the
important ones done first (not the easy ones, or even the urgent ones).
You can afford to spend at least an hour working on big, important tasks
rather than on all those little urgent ones.
If you work like this, you’ll usually save time: the urgent tasks will still get
done, and you won’t spend hours procrastinating over the important ones.
4. Don’t Check Email So Often
Your colleagues and clients can wait for a few hours — or even a day or two –
for you to reply to their emails. If there’s something truly urgent, they’ll pick
up the phone.
Keep your inbox closed when you’re working, and only open it when you’re
ready to spend 30 minutes or so dealing with emails. It’s much more efficient
to batch-process your emails than to keep popping in and out of your inbox
to deal with individual ones.
5. Reduce Interruptions
If colleagues have a habit of hanging around your desk to chat, or if the phone
is constantly ringing, you might find that it takes you half the day to finish a
simple task like writing a letter. Constant interruptions don’t just eat up time –
they also break your concentration.
When you’ve got a big task to focus on, let your calls go to voicemail. If you
have an office door, close it. If you work in a cubicle, wear headphones:
having them on makes it less likely that people will try to strike up a
conversation (you don’t have to listen to anything through them).
6. Stay Focused on Your Work
You might have heard the saying “procrastination is the thief of time.”
When you want more hours in the day, procrastination can be a real problem.
A few minutes chatting, browsing the web, updating your Facebook status,
and so on, can easily turn into hours of wasted time over the course of a day.
When you’re working, work. If your concentration is slipping, take a proper
break: go and get a glass of water, or stretch your legs a bit. And if you’re
facing a difficult task, try breaking it into small steps or stages so that it’s
easier to tackle.
7. Go Home on Time
If you’re supposed to finish work at 4pm, but you never make it out of the
office door until 6pm at the earlier, then it’s no wonder you don’t have enough
hours in the day.
In some jobs, it is difficult to get away on time (if all your colleagues work late,
you might feel obliged to do the same). But if you’re staying because you only
ever seem to get any work done in a mad dash at the end of the day, then your
working habits need to change.
8. Delegate Some Chores
Perhaps you seem to be the only person in your household who’s capable
of unstacking the dishwasher or ironing the clothes. If your evenings get taken
up with a long list of chores, see whether you can delegate some of those.
Your partner, housemates, or kids can pitch in and help out. Even if you just
free up 20 or 30 minutes every evening, you’ll have a bit of extra time to spend
on something important to you.
9. Eat Dinner at Home
Although going out for dinner might seem like it saves time (after all, you don’t
have to cook) — you’ve got the time cost of traveling to the restaurant, ordering
the food, waiting for it to arrive, paying the bill … and it might well be faster just
to cook and eat at home.
If you don’t have much time to cook during the week, try making extra portions
at the weekend so that you can freeze some. That way, you’ve got an
almost-instant meal (and one that’s probably healthier and cheaper than a
restaurant meal, too).
10. Limit Your TV Watching
If you put the TV on as soon as you get in from work, it’s easy to end up
spending hours slumped on the sofa. Instead of watching whatever happens
to be showing, try watching just one or two programs each night.
You might also want to have at least a couple of TV-free evenings; a great
chance to read a good book, or to work on a project around the house.”