There is one constant in this world which is equal for everyone, we all have 24 hours per day; nothing more, nothing less. So how can it be that some of us feel totally overwhelmed whilst others breeze through each day without any concern about not having enough time? How do we find that extra hour?
The answer is simple; it’s all about how you manage your time!
Eight Techniques To Gain That Extra Hour
No matter how much we wish it, there is not a magical time creating machine, that will let you expand your day like you need it, yet you can improve the way you work to make better use of the time you have. Be Sensibly Selfish and create the space you need to make time work for you. Find that extra hour. You will find a whole chapter about time in Sensibly Selfish Secrets – How To Put The Me Into Midlife which you can buy by clicking HERE.
1. Law Of Control
First, you need to overcome the delusion that time is uncontrollable and start believing that you have the ability to control and assess, and use it in every way you wish. Once you start to change your belief system, everything else will change to your advantage, too.
2. Get Up Earlier
This won’t be the most popular option for most, but there is no denying that early morning hours can do wonders for your productivity. Getting up as little as half an hour earlier can give you some extra time to get focused and prepare for the day. Even if you only get a handle on your emails whilst sipping a cup of coffee, it is time well spent.
3. Schedule It And Stick With It
Organise yourself! Write down your ‘To Do’ list, but don’t overdo it, start by putting down three tasks and increase the number as soon as you are ok with it. No more that seven items a day. Schedule your time and make long term plans. Think about when each task fits in best: it will stop you from going back and forth. Stop waffling around, instead of spending all morning looking for the cheapest airfare to save $ 15 decide on a certain time and stop when it’s over.
At the end of the day do a daily review and think again: where do your plans need improvement? What are your strengths? Very quickly, you will find a system that works best for you – stick with it!
4. Learn To Say ‘No!’
Do you feel as if most of what you’re doing is irrelevant to your goals? Then stop doing it! Don’t get caught up in doing things that aren’t on your list, especially since you don’t have the time for them. Learn to say no; you will find that the more you say it, the easier it gets. I dedicate a whole chapter in Sensibly Selfish Secrets – How To Put The Me Into Midlife to saying “No”!
5. Handle Things Once
When it comes to email, voicemail, and paperwork, allow yourself to do it once (or if necessary twice) a day. It will save you loads of time since you won´t have to interrupt work to come back to it over and over again. Use the same tactic for things such as shopping, cleaning and doing the laundry. For example, instead of driving to the supermarket three times a week, make a list and have a big shopping day once a week.
6. Monitor Your Time-Sapping Addictions
The average U.S. citizen spends 2.6 hours watching TV every day. Reducing this by five hours a week will give you up to 11 extra days a year. Think how much time you spend every day surfing the Internet and reading gossip magazines and reduce it to your personal minimum. Imagine how much extra time you will gain!
7. Identify Your Most Productive Time
Are you a morning person or an evening person? Find out when your mind is the freshest and use it on your behalf. Remember to turn off technology during this high-energy time; by removing all distractions your work will be more efficient and you’ll finish it earlier.
8. Allow Yourself A Break
It may sound counterproductive, but after a break your brain will be refreshed, your productivity will have recovered and you will have a fresh perspective on problems. Go for a walk and spend some time doing nothing to find new motivation. You will be surprised how much you can accomplish after a short break.
There are hundreds of ways to find your extra hour. Finding what works for you often comes down to trial and error. If you find any of the above particularly effective – or not, or if you have other ideas to share below, please do!
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