I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m always looking for ways to create more time in my day, and more efficiently use the time I already have, so today I thought I would share what I’ve learned with you.
Eliminate Time Wasters
Be honest with yourself, how much time do you spend each day watching Netflix/TV/YouTube videos, scrolling social media, sifting through junk emails, etc.? These things are time wasters! Now, I’m not suggesting you completely eliminate Netflix from your life. As a self-diagnosed Netflix addict, I assure you that’s not the case. But do work on practicing some self-control. When you sit down to watch a show, limit yourself to one episode instead of one season. I’ve definitely been guilty of sitting down to watch a show, insisting that I’m going to work on my blog while watching. Well wouldn’t you know it, hours go by and I haven’t opened my blog yet.
As far as social media, it’s really easy to get caught up in not wanting to miss anything. I don’t have any suggestions on that front because it’s something I struggle with as well. But I do know that social media takes up an obnoxious amount of time, and setting limits for yourself can only do good things for your productivity and mental health.
You Might Also Like: 7 Ways You Might Be Wasting Time
Shorten Your To-Do List
Sometimes it’s not a matter of too few hours in the day, but a matter of overscheduling the number of hours there are. Take a look at your daily to-do list and really be honest with yourself about whether it’s realistic. I can give you all the productivity tips in the world but there does come a point where you simply can’t fit any more into one day and you’re setting yourself up for failure with your over-done to-do list. If you find that you are falling short of your to-do list every single day, try scheduling two fewer tasks, and see if that helps. Putting too much on your plate and creating that excess mental clutter is only going to make you less productive, not the other way around.
Here are some other reasons your to-do list might not be working.
Not only are you more likely to get your tasks done if you actually schedule them on your calendar like events, but batching your tasks is a great way to get more done as well! The best way is to batch one activity together (writing, photography, admin, social media.) For example, I sit down once per week and schedule all of my social media posts for the entire week. I try to do the same thing with my blog posts and emails for the week. Once I’m in that headspace, it’s easier to whip them all out at once. I’ve found this works really well for me, more so than jumping around from task to task all day. It also helps me take advantage of motivation. I’m not always motivated to write, so when I am, it makes sense to do all my writing for the week.
When I’m doing this, I like to turn off/close distractions such as email, social media, TV, etc. I am super focused for a relatively short amount of time, then I take a break.
Learn to Say No
Other people-pleasers out there probably also struggle with saying no to people. In some ways, it’s a great quality to want to help others and take things off their plate. But when a large chunk of your day is suddenly filled with doing tasks you’ve taken on as a favor to others, you’ve got a problem. It can be really hard to put your foot down, but it’s a necessity.
This is something bloggers will be able to relate to as well. There are so many opportunities for bloggers for collaborations, events, courses, etc. If you’re not careful, you can take on way too much and suddenly you’re stressed and can’t physically finish everything on your plate.
Take a look at your tasks and figure out which ones are for you and which are for someone else because you couldn’t say no. Figure out your priorities, and starting say no to the rest.
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that this is something I’ve repeatedly recommended, and once again, I can’t recommend it enough. As much as I tried, I used to really struggle with mornings. I would be really unorganized, I wouldn’t have time for breakfast, I would be constantly rushed, and I would get to work frazzled and not remotely ready to start my day. Creating a morning routine changed my day immensely. Now by the time I get to work I’m awake, relaxed, and already in the headspace to tackle whatever work tasks are needed that day.
If you want to start incorporating routines to help you be more productive, I would start by tackling whichever part of your day is the most troublesome right now. Start by making a few minor changes, and work your way up from there.
Utilize Time Gaps
There are many times throughout our day where we’re between activities or doing an activity that requires our physical presence, but not our brain power. Find something to fill these gaps. Here are some examples! Driving, cooking, and working out on the treadmill or elliptical prevent me from working on something else, but they don’t prevent me from using my brain. I like to use this time to catch up on some of my favorite podcasts. You could also use this time to listen to audiobooks. (Hint – if you don’t want to pay for Audible, your library may rent out audiobooks.)
I also like to take advantage of the time I’m waiting in lines (whether it’s at work, the grocery store, the post office, etc) to scroll through social media and engage with my followers. This includes responding to comments and liking and commenting on other people’s content.
I also keep my laptop with me when I’m watching TV so I can utilize commercial breaks to get a few quick blogging tasks in.
You can find more examples on this one in this post about multi-tasking the right way.
Declutter Your Home and Office
In addition to the other problems clutter can cause, it’s also quite a time-waster. That’s because a more cluttered atmosphere means you’re going to be spending more time looking for what you need. Whether it be your keys, your phone, or the post-it note you jotted your to-do list on, things tend to disappear when you have a cluttered home or work environment. When everything has a place, you’ll immediately know where to look for whatever it is you’re looking for.
Which of these do you need to incorporate to create more time in your day?