It is true that we all have only 24 hours in a day. But given the same 24 hours, some people are able to do things that they love, build multi-million dollars businesses, and live a passionate life. On the other hand, there are also people who find it extremely busy and they don’t have any additional hours for things that they love.
No matter who you are in this world, whether you are a teacher or an engineer or the president of a country, we are all given the same 24 hours a day.
Hence, your mission is to learn to be more productive and make good use of your time. When you’re effective and productive, you will find that you have more time than you imagine.
And in this article, you will learn the 10 clever ways how you can make more time in your day:
1. Eliminate unnecessary activities
One of the easiest and fastest ways to have more time in your day is to cut back time on unnecessary activities. There are things that are not important in life, so don’t do it, or do less of it.
For instance, do you watch too much TV? Or do you spend too much time on mobile gaming? Technology is meant to make our life convenient and comfortable, but not to take away the meaningful part of your life.
If you’re spending too much time on unnecessary activities that are not contributing to living the life of your dream, eliminate them. And if you can’t get rid of them, spend less time on them.
I’m not saying you should stop watching TV or stop playing mobile games altogether, I’m suggesting you spend less time on them. Be moderate.
2. Get up earlier
So you want to have more time? Simple, just get up earlier. Yes, waking up earlier gives you more time to do what you want, but you have to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate your health and productivity.
Studies have discovered that most successful people wake up early:
• Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple starts his mornings as early as 3.45 AM to go through emails, exercise, and then grab a coffee before he starts his work day.
• Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the famous Hollywood movie star says he hit the gym by 4 AM to get an edge on the competition.
• Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO wakes up at 4.30 AM, walk his dogs, exercise, and makes coffee before he goes to work.
• Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square and Twitter gets up at 5 AM to meditate and exercise before he gets his day going.
Successful people choose to wake up early because they want to make full use of their mornings. When you start your morning with greatness, the rest of your day becomes great too.
Plus, the wee hours are usually quiet and without distraction, you can focus on doing your most productive work before the world awakes.
3. Use your gap time
Never underestimate your gap time – the time between your tasks. Gap time is usually not long enough to get a big task done, but it can be used as a filler for smaller and more productive tasks such as:
Reading – whether it is a book or a magazine, report or even emails.
Listen to audio – you can use your gap time to charge up your energy by listening to uplifting music.
Plan your day – why waste time while waiting? Use it to plan for your next task or day.
Meditate – yes, meditation doesn’t need to be long. You can focus on your breathing to lower your stress and tension.
The above are just some examples. You can use your gap time to get smaller tasks done. For instance, while waiting for a meeting to start, do a mental rehearsal for peak performance.
4. Create a to-do list
Some people say that a to-do list does not work, well, it is because they don’t work on it. A to-do list is an effective method that helps you get more done.
When you write down what you need to do for the day, you are doing a “brain dump” and avoiding information overload. People feel overwhelmed because they have too many things to do and have no idea where to start.
Plus, writing down your tasks allows you to be more specific with what you need to get done. You become proactive rather reactive and wait for things to come to you.
5. Batch your tasks
Another great idea to make more time in your day is to batch similar tasks and do it all at the same time.
For instance, if you are in sales and you need to do prospecting calls plus updating your client’s info, choose to complete one task before you move on to the other.
When you make prospecting calls, make all the calls before you switch task. After you have done with your calls, only then you move to the next task and update your clients’ info. This way, you save yourself a lot of time because you don’t switch from task to task that distracts your mental power.
Hence, try to batch similar tasks together and get them all done before you start another task.
6. Be more effective by taking short breaks
I bet you have had times when you feel you are so productive and you get the work done faster and deliver a better result. And you have also had times when you don’t feel like doing at all yet you have no choice but to do the work. And when that happens, you spend a longer time to complete the task.
The key here is to be effective by creating more moments of optimum productivity. And to achieve this state, you need to manage your energy level.
Imagine if you need to write a 50 pages report, are you going to spend 24 hours to work on it or are you going to break it into smaller tasks and complete it step-by-step?
Remember, you want to maintain your level of energy. When you become stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted, you can’t perform at your best. This is why it is important to take rests.
Follow the Pomodoro Technique where you work for a certain time frame, and then you stop to take a short and quick break before you continue the work again.
When you take time to recharge your energy, you can tackle the task better after the break. You feel fresh and are productive rather than stressed and exhausted.
7. Reject unimportant requests
Yes, you have to learn to say “no” to unimportant requests. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should say no to everything or everyone, but you have to gauge your own limit before you choose to take on another new task.
A lot of people find that they don’t have enough time because they are trying to be everything to everyone. They want to do their best, but little did they know that to perform at their best, they need to focus.
When you work, choose to put in 100% concentration on your work. Don’t switch from tasks to tasks and try not to allow others to distract you. Lock yourself in your room and switch off your phone if necessary.
And if someone asks for your help but you’re not available, try to reject or delay the request. You have to understand what is important and what is urgent. Most of the time, things that are urgent may not be important at all. Thus, just focus on getting the most important work done first before you put your attention to the urgent.
8. Declutter and organize both your workplace and home
Clutter can make you stress and take away your attention. And if you want to create more time in your day, just declutter, organize, and make more space, both physically and mentally.
You can’t focus when there are too many things on your work desk. You need to organize and create space for what’s important.
A good tip is to spend a few minutes to declutter and organize your workstation before you leave the office every day. And when you’re at home, use your weekend’s morning to clear things up and make your home fresh again.
9. Trust others and delegate
You can’t get everything done all by yourself. You need help and this is why delegation and outsourcing are important.
Things that you are not skillful enough to do, outsource them to others. This is especially true if you want to build a successful business. No man is an island. When you build a company with a team, your chances of success will be higher than doing it alone.
10. Reflect your day
If you want to create more time, you must reflect on your days or weeks or months where you spend most of your time.
It is like weighing yourself. If you want to lose weight, you must first weigh yourself. The same goes if you want to make more time in your day. Reflect and review so that you know you spend your time, what activities are productive, and what activities are not important.
When you have the answer, you can then adjust your plan and do more on what works, and let go on what does not work.
Making more time in your day doesn’t need to be complicated. You just need to be creative in using your time, work on your priorities, and manage yourself well. And don’t forget to use the 10 methods shared above to do so.
AUTHOR BIO: Want to discover the secrets to unleashing your potential and live a great and successful life? Follow Shawn Lim on his blog, StunningMotivation.com