Being busy all the time might sound good in theory, but in reality, it just wears you down and you don’t have time for the things you love.
What would you do with an extra 40 hours or more every month? You could spend more time with family, finally watch that TV show you’ve heard so much about or treat yourself to more nights out with friends.
It’s easier than you might think to reclaim your time. All it takes is a few tweaks to your schedule and changing a few habits.
Learn To Say No
Think about all the things you’ve committed yourself to recently. What if you had said “no” to just a few of them? Your time is valuable and you shouldn’t waste it doing things you don’t have time for. Instead, learn to say “no.” You don’t have to be mean about it, but be firm. Explain why and offer an alternative, if possible.
Consider your schedule, what you really want and whether the task is worth your time. If you’re too busy and it’s just not worth your precious time right now, say “no.” You’ll feel better and free up hours every single month.
Skip Social Media Distractions
Odds are, you use social media. Whether it’s Facebook or Snapchat, you likely have a favorite social network or app. This infographic showcases the obsession with social media. On average, people spend 35 minutes a day on Facebook, 40 minutes on YouTube and 25 minutes on Snapchat.
Of course, this doesn’t factor in all the time lost as you switch between tasks and checking social media. Eliminating even half of your social media use each day results in hours saved each month. With Facebook alone, you could save nearly nine hours monthly.
Focus On A Single Task
Despite the popularity of multi-tasking, it’s actually a productivity killer. The problem is, you’re just switching tasks, not actually doing multiple tasks at once. You could end up being as much as 40% less productive as a result. Instead of getting more done, you make more errors, waste time between each task switch and use up more energy. Your brain gets tired and then you’re sluggish for the rest of your tasks.
Go ahead and just focus on a single task at a time. When you’re done, go to the next. You’ll be amazed at how much more quickly you finish and how much time you have left over every day.
Use The Right Tools
The right tools are crucial for saving time each month. For instance, if you’re trying to manage a budget, you could do it all by hand or you could use a spreadsheet or app that creates charts and reports for you. Think about tools that make your life easier. If it automates a task, it’s saving you time. Think about the areas you spend the most time on and find the right tool to get your time back.
Create A Detailed To-Do List
You already know creating a to-do list helps keep you on track, but it could also save you valuable hours. To-do lists help your brain focus and makes switching between tasks much easier. That alone saves you time. However, when you learn to create to-do lists the right way, you’re even more productive. Greatist has the perfect step-by-step guide to creating lists that ensure you get more done in less time.
Take More Breaks
As strange as it might sound, taking more breaks during your day helps you to get back hours every single month. Why? Your brain needs brief breaks to function efficiently. When you push yourself too hard, you’ll spend two to three times as long to complete the same task. For instance, Chris Winfield explained how using the Pomodoro Technique helped him turn a 40-hour work week into a 16.7-hour work week. By taking regular breaks, he saved 93.2 hours a month.
Make sure you schedule in regular breaks at least once an hour while you’re working. Your brain will reward you by working more efficiently and adding hours to your month.
Ready to reclaim your time? What would you do with an extra 40 hours or more each month?