Do you find yourself wondering where the time went? Like the entire day just went by in the blink of an eye? Do you wish you had more time on your hands as 24 hours is never enough for all the tasks that you want to do and get done? Well, you’re not alone.
From parents juggling career and kids to students cramming for exams and homework – all are saying that there’s so much to do yet so little time. But don’t worry, a lot can be done to have more time in a day.
Know your ‘why’
While having ‘less’ time in the day can leave many people feeling stressed, a study shows that people who have too much tend to feel idler. In this research conducted by Marissa Sharif (University of Pennsylvania) and Cassie Molginer and Hal Hershfield (University of California, Los Angeles), the authors were able to trace a correlation between free time and happiness.
So ask yourself why do you need more time. Is it to do more tasks? Or is it to spend more time with family? For leisure? To destress? By knowing your ‘why’, you can better plot and plan out your day.
Taking personal control
Now that you know your ‘why’ and what you expect to accomplish for today, here are a few things you can do to add more time to your day:
- Scheduling – some people find that having a routine leads to more productivity, and for them, more productivity = more free time.
- Consolidate – what are the things you can do with this task or errand in order to save more time? Need to go for a run but have to walk the dog later? Bring your dog along for your run – not only will it save you time, but it’s also a great time to bond with your pooch.
- Delegate – you don’t have to take on everything all at once. You can assign tasks that you know won’t require much of your personal attention so you can focus on other things. With Thanksgiving around the corner, you can make the stuffing, mom makes the turkey, and the kids can go on and decorate the table.
- Get organized – how many minutes have you wasted because you couldn’t find your keys? Being organized isn’t just aesthetically pleasing but it also cuts down the number of steps you have to take just to get something done. Getting organized can be as simple as putting your keys back on their key holder or tray, or even laying out your outfit the night before.
- Learn how to say no – saying ‘no’ can save you both time and sanity. You can always turn down requests nicely.
- Prioritize – do the most important or most urgent thing on your plate. Once you’ve tackled it, the other tasks would seem like a breeze.
- Keep a list – and check it twice. Having a checklist can help track your progress and even give you time to delegate tasks and even re-prioritize tasks if the need arises.
- Cut distractions – distractions can come in many forms but do note that what can be a distraction to you might not be for others. Switch off the tv, keep your phone on silent or activate voicemail, and stay off social media if you really need to finish something. If noise distracts you, you can opt to work in the office, or a quiet space at home. If distractions for you mean lacking facilities to get reports printed out, you can also work in a co-working space or library. That way, you save time and effort (and gas) moving from place to place just to finish up that project.
- Get motivated – sometimes we all just need that extra push. Motivation can come in many forms – it can be a reward after a task, it even can be something that will make your day better, like music for instance. Some find that playing music (of their choice) can help them focus and breeze through chores. Others are motivated by food – a choice of “brain food” snacks can come in handy while studying for those big exams. Plus, having snacks on hand means fewer trips to the kitchen, and more time to focus on studies.
Technology to the rescue
Technology is here to help make our lives easier and allows us to help manage our time better. Having an appointment reminder or similar software or service can be helpful especially when it comes to planning days ahead. It can be as simple as setting an alarm or reminder date on your phone or computer’s calendar. Even some appliances like a smart fridge have a reminder setting telling you when you’re about to run out of eggs and milk.
Appointment reminders come in several types and the most common are the ‘day-of’, ‘confirmation’, and ‘advanced’ types. Day-of reminders are sent at least an hour or 2 before a scheduled appointment or event. It serves as a last-minute reminder and tells you that you need to get ready. On the other hand, confirmation reminders work by sending you a reminder a few days before the set appointment date. This is great for both businesses and users as it gives a chance to confirm an appointment or service date and free up a slot for those who would really need it for that date. Advanced reminders are set and sent to you weeks in advance. A lot of people find this kind of reminders very helpful not just for appointments but for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. This gives ample time to prepare, double-check items on your to-do list, help keep things on track, and even clear out your schedule for that special day.
How we use our time simply boils down to us. It’s really in our hands how we choose to make the most of it. A lot of us would truly like to squeeze in as much activity in a day. And for others, more time doesn’t necessarily mean long hours in a day, for them it’s the quality of those hours (no matter how long or short) that count. With all that said, let’s all make the most of our time, however, way we want.