Time is the one thing we never seem to have enough of. It would be great to have an extra hour every day, right? No worries, they are working on it, one second at at time. (I’m not kidding, our days are getting a bit longer every now and then.) In the meantime, we have to get all our things done in 24 hours every day. There are ways to save time though. Here are a few.
1. Plan Your Day the Night Before
A great way to avoid wasting time is to plan ahead, the night before. Write down a maximum of 5 things you must do the next day. Not more than 5 though. A to-do list that’s too long will add to frustration instead of making you feel happy about your accomplishments. Make sure to write your list every night and not the next morning. Why is that important? First of all, it helps you relax. After writing down your top 5 you can go to sleep without having to ponder over the things you need to do the next day. Putting it to paper will help you avoid that. Second, by doing this at the end of every day it will become a habit and you learn to do it in a few minutes.
Always stick to just the 5 most important things you want to do the next day. This will help you stay focused, not overload yourself and be more productive. At the end of each day, you will have something good to look back upon. What if you only managed to do 3 things though? Easy, you roll-over the remaining 2 items to tomorrow’s list.
2. Do Not Aim for Perfection
A perfectionist myself, I know this is easier said that done. But let’s face it. The 80-20 rule applies to all work and activities. The 80-20 rule asserts that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of all inputs for any given event. If you have ever tried to finish something at 100% perfect, you will know that you will have spent most of your time on the last 20% of the task. But this last 20% is probably not required for the task to be considered complete by most people. It is usually good enough when you are 80% finished. So, aim for at least 80% every time and you will save so much time during the day on all those things you do.
3. Save Time by Multi-tasking
Most of us know by now that multi-tasking isn’t a real thing. I mean, none of our brains are made for multi-tasking. And none of us are able to give our complete and undivided attention to more than one thing at a time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t do several things at once. The way to make it work is to do things that don’t require too much thinking. You can’t split your brain but you can split other things.
- Call someone while washing the dishes or folding laundry
- Listen to a podcast/audio book while cleaning
- Walk with friends instead of sitting down (free exercise included)
- Watch TV while you iron your clothes
4. Limit Your Time on Social Media
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other apps on your phone can be the biggest time wasters in your day. And for many people it starts just a few minutes after they wake up when they start checking their messages and news feed. An hour passes before you even realise it. That same hour could be used to get in more precious sleep, or a home workout, quick cleaning tasks, or other useful things.
One great way to prevent distraction by social media is to not check your messages first thing in the morning. If you’re hooked to your phone, this will not be easy. But not picking up your phone after waking up turns out to be an extremely good way to spend your time more efficiently throughout your day. Leave your phone in another room if you must. Set a timer when you do start using social media so that you don’t get lost in it. Or just decide not to use social media except for certain hours a day, like lunchtime or after dinner. If you have a hard time not getting distracted than check this article on how to get your focus back.
5. Don’t Lose Your Stuff
This one should be really easy. How many times a week do you lose something? Your keys, your glasses, your documents? How long does it take you to find it all? The best way not to waste time looking for stuff is by not losing them. I know, it’s obvious. But if you are prone to forget where you left things it can really take you a lot of time to find them again. So, get organised and sort things out once and for all. Have a place for everything and put things back where they should be when you don’t need them anymore.
6. Save Time – Shop Online
No more travel to shops supermarkts, no more queues, no more walking around for hours looking for things. None of that is needed if you shop online. Of course, shopping can be a nice way to spend time, alone or with friends. But if you are pressed for time, just go online. Consider getting your weekly groceries online, and buying presents and cards for people from the comfort of your own home. Have them delivered to your home and will save a huge amount of time. It’s perfect.
7. Take Care of Yourself
This one may not be immediately obvious. But the truth is, you are most productive if you get in enough sleep, healthy food, feel comfortable and get energised from excercising. You don’t need to go to the gym if you really can’t. Even a 30 minute walk will give you the replenishment you need. Make sure you take enough short breaks during your daily work. All these little things really do make a difference. They will make you feel more energised, less tired and thus more efficient and productive. So do not forget to take care of yourself every day.
Save Time to Enjoy Your Days
These tips should not make you feel like you need to make the most of every hour of every day. Life isn’t all about being productive and efficient all the time. On the contrary, you should enjoy your life. By making a habit out of these time-saving steps you can save an hour every day. No need to use that hour to work even more on things that must be done. Instead, make more time for the things you really want and like to do. This extra hour is yours. Enjoy it!
Don’t know what to do with the extra hour? How about reading a book? Click here to find out how that will benefit you. Afraid to get bored while in lockdown? No need. Here are 10 things to do at home while in lockdown.