Find time, for what really matters
Do you start out your day with great aspirations of spending time with your family, getting in a good run or catching that spin class at the gym, calling your mom and stocking up on good foods from the grocery store? How often do you get these things completed? What happens?
If you are like most people, life does. We get distracted – you check your email in the am- absently mindedly surf the internet, then you’re late for work , you forget to eat lunch. Get stopped by a co-worker who chats you up for 20 mins and you’re late for your kids game, forget the spin class. And so on… Life is hectic – there is a lot to juggle. Question is – could you be more efficient?
The number one excuse from clients and people I meet with, as to why they aren’t keeping up with their workouts or eating better- “I don’t have any time!” My answer – Really? Or do you just need to simplify – be a little more selfish – and set aside time for yourself , maybe say “no” more often. Remember you are a product of all your movements- the more you give in, the less you keep in good movements in your life. Check out my list of time management tips. I challenge you to exercise 2 new ones in the next 7 days. Then 2 more the week after.
15 Painless Ways to Free Up an Hour a Day for Your Goals
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau
What would you do if you had an extra hour a day?
When it comes to why you people don’t treat their bodies better ( exercise, prepare foods, rest) it’s because they don’t have Time! Time to pursue their dreams. People don’t have time to exercise. People don’t have time to get organized.
Well, it’s time to make time.
Then make sure you use that extra hour a day in the best way possible — book that hour on your calendar for something you really, really want to do
1. Make an appointment right after work. Whether it’s exercise or working on some other goal, make an appointment to do it right when you get out of work (at 5 p.m., for example). This works especially well if you have to meet someone else, such as a workout partner or other group or team or coach or partner. You’ll be sure to meet the appointment, which means you won’t stick around work too long, and you’ll be sure to finish all your tasks on time so you can leave on time. This makes you more efficient in the afternoon especially.
2. Wake up earlier, but I’ve found time for goals that are important to me by waking a bit earlier. Exercise, writing, reading — I do those now early in the day, so it doesn’t interfere with family time.
3. Turn off the phones. You don’t have to turn off phones all day long, but you should have some unbroken blocks of time when you don’t take calls, so you can concentrate on your important tasks. This allows you to get more done in less time, as phone calls can eat up chunks of your day if you let them.
4. Stop checking email. This doesn’t work for everyone, but if you can stop checking email except at one or two times during the day, you can free up a lot of wasted time. Checking email constantly takes up a lot of time.
5. Brown bag it.. While a relaxing lunch can be a good thing, if you take lunch to work, you can eat quickly and either spend the extra time 1) working on a goal; or 2) getting work done so you can leave earlier. Plus, brown bagging it saves money too.
6. Figure out your core work activities. What is it that you really have to do each day? I mean, the stuff you have to do or your job would fall apart. If you really think about it, a lot of the tasks you do each day (and phone calls and emails, mentioned above, are included in these tasks) don’t really need to be done each day. If you can learn to focus on your core activities, you can get your work done in less time.
7. Cancel a meeting or two. Think about the last 4-5 meetings you’ve gone to. How many of them were really valuable? How many of them did you need to be at? It depends on your job, but sometimes you can beg out of a meeting — or just outright cancel it if you have that power — and accomplish the same thing through an email or two. You just saved yourself 30-60 minutes per meeting canceled.
8. Delegate. Not everyone has this option, but if you can give some of the tasks on your list to others who are better suited to doing those tasks, you’ll free up time. Do you really need to be doing everything you do, or can some of those tasks be delegated?
9. Consolidate errands. If you routinely do errands throughout the week, you’re spending a lot of time driving. Instead, try to do all errands on one day, and plan out an efficient route. Most people will save at least an hour a week in total.
10. Know your priority. What is the one thing you need to do today? Get that done, above all else, and do it first. After you do that priority task, the rest is extra really. Cut back on some of the rest to free up time.
11. Shrink your task list. Once you’ve identified your core work activities and your top priority for the day, go over your task list and whittle it down to the essentials. Put tasks you don’t need to do now on a someday/maybe list, delete others, delegate others. Keep your task list down to the essentials, to keep from wasting time.
12. Say no. One of the biggest groups of time eaters is requests from other people. All day long we get requests, in person, on the phone, in email, through paperwork. Meetings, assignments, requests for information, requests to be on a committee or team … these are all requests that will eat up your time. Say no to all but the essentials.
13. Watch less TV. Many people watch hours of TV a day. You can easily save an hour a day if you cut TV out, or just watch your single favorite show each day. Don’t channel surf.
14. Just say, “That’s enough.” Often you are overloaded with information and tasks. But if you don’t respond to all of your emails today, or don’t read all of your posts , or don’t get to all the tasks on your to-do lists … what will happen? If nothing drastic will happen, consider stopping when you’ve gotten to enough.
15. Start work early. If you work before everyone gets in the office, you won’t have constant interruptions and distractions. You’ll be amazed how much you can get done between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m