9 Ways to Find More Time in Your Day
One of the things we dislike the most is when somebody wastes our time.
- The somewhat older, slower driver in front of you.
- The slow pump at the gas station.
- The cashier who needs a “price check.”
- The crowded bathroom at halftime.
- The doctor who makes you wait 2 hours.
Why can’t people be more considerate? Why do they go about as if you have all day?
You have been there. Wait and wait and wait.
Sometimes we even get mad about it. We tell people off. We let them know.
Stop wasting my time!
When you look back at your day, searching for lost minutes, time you can never get back, what do you find? Is the problem external forces that were out of your control? Or was the real problem you?
If you are honest, you can only point the finger at yourself. You waste more of your time than anybody else.
Yes, traffic can be horrible. You wouldn’t have tried purchase the shirt if you had noticed it didn’t have a price tag on it. And doctors usually make you wait. Sorry.
But your day is littered with lost opportunities. Time lost. Maybe even time killed.
If you learn to limit these time wasters and harness the lost opportunities, then your ability to get more done will increase.
Here are 7 easy ways to help you waste less of your own time.
1. Get up an hour earlier. It is important to get a good night’s rest. Instead of staying up late and sleeping until the last minute, try going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. You are likely to find that an extra hour each morning can be your most productive time of the day.
2. Turn off the Television. There are numerous time wasters, but this is a good place to start. According to Nielsen.com, in 2009 the average American watched 5 hours of TV a day. Maybe you are less than average (or is it above average in this case?), but even 2 hours per day is a lot of time. That adds up to 14 hours per week. Thirty-five if you are average.
3. Make a Plan. Not enough of us plan out our day. We can find space for more, if we are intentional. I am all for spontaneity. Be flexible, but plan everything you know you need to fit in. Exercise. Sleep. Reading. Turning off the television. Date night. Planning uses the time better. Plus you spend less time deciding what to do right now.
4. Learn to say no. Over commitment plagues us. The only way you can learn to say no is to understand what is important. Does this request from someone fit in with your plan? Is this more important than what you are spending your time on right now? If not, don’t do it. Focus on doing what is important.
5. Buy a Kindle or a Nook. There will be lapses of time in your day. To some degree this is out of your control. Be prepared by having something to read with you all of the time. E-readers make it easier to read when you find yourself waiting. Plus they can sync with your smartphone, so you don’t even have to remember to bring it. Plus you can read something that helps you learn how to keep saving time.
6. Limit distractions. Multitasking is a myth. You can only do one thing well. When you let distractions interrupt your work, you waste time. The distraction itself takes some time. Then you have to refocus on what you were doing. By limiting such interferences, you can get your work done faster.
7. Remove the Games from your Smartphone. I love games. They are fun. They are challenging. They can make you think. But I find it really hard to limit the time spent on them. Instead of trying to control this, just remove them. If they aren’t there, you spend too much time playing them.
8. Fix problems early. By dealing with issues that come up early, we can keep from wasting our own time later. Fix that leaky faucet. Answer that person’s question. Stain that deck. Taking care of problems early can save the time and energy required to fix them when they become bigger problems.
9. Put items away. How much time have you spent looking for something such as your keys? When you put things in their place, they are easier to find. Plus a clutter free space make you feel better. Feeling better makes you more efficient.
These are just a few suggestions on how you can get more out of your day. Now it is up to you to use that time well.
The goal isn’t just to save time, but to spend that extra time doing something worthwhile. Living a life with purpose.
How do you waste your own time? How do you save time?
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