There’s a stack of more than half a dozen books by my desk, waiting for me to finally squeeze in some time to read. I also have yet to spring-clean my house- and trust me, it is in need of some good, deep spring cleaning. I just don’t have the time.
We all have the same amount of time available to us, so how is it possible that some feel like 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough, while others have no trouble balancing their work, social and personal lives? I’ve decided to regain some of that lost time and devote it for things that really matter to me. Here’s how you can do the same.
Don’t try to multitask
Sure, a lot of us like to think we’re great at doing several different things at once, but the truth is, most of us are probably not. When we try to do few things at the same time, none of those tasks get our undivided attention and focus. I know that if I’m trying to respond to an important email, while also trying to drink my morning tea and get ready for the day, I’m wasting time. Because I wasn’t 100% focused on responding to that email, I’d have to revise and proofread it a few times before hitting “send”, which, essentially, is a bit of a waste of time. Same thing used to happen to me at the office, all the time. Trying to work on five different projects at once meant that I got barely anything done.
Take a step-back
Take a step back and take a good look at your life. Are there some things that you find yourself do everyday that you don’t particularly enjoy? What is it that actually takes up all your time? Are there any small, insignificant tasks that you can eliminate from your day? Can you identify any “time-wasters” in your day, like TV, Facebook, games, the Internet, etc?
Learn to say “no”
During my early twenties I was horrible at saying “no”. It didn’t matter if it was work related or not. Need me to take some extra work home? No problem, I got this. Want me to baby sit your kids tonight? Yeah, no, that Organic Chemistry final that I’m taking tomorrow is no biggie. Need me to pick you up from somewhere? Yeah… no, I’m already in bed, but I will gladly get dressed and drive half an hour just to pick you up (OK, I’m exaggerating with the last one, but you get my point). You need to learn how to (politely) say “no” to some of those requests. Your time is your time, and it’s mighty precious. You shouldn’t feel guilty about staying in and watching cheesy Lifetime movies when you’re having a shitty day, instead of going shopping with your friend.
Take a break
Deepak Chopra once said that if you don’t think you have enough time to meditate once a day, you’re the one who probably needs to do it twice a day. The busier you think you are, the more you are in need of that break. Sometimes you can find yourself taking care of everyone and everything else, but yourself. If you can’t seem to find an hour, somewhere during the week or weekend, just for yourself, you’re way overdue for some self-care. I always tell you guys that the most important relationship in your life is the one that you have with yourself. You love taking care of others, make sure you take care of yourself too. A warm bubble bath on a Wednesday afternoon sounds a bit out of order, but sometimes that’s all you need-one hour break, just for yourself. Whenever you can, try to work less and play more. Remember that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. Make sure you take time out of your life to enjoy “the little things”.
Make the best of your mornings
Few weeks a ago, in this post, I told you guys why I love my mornings and how much they mean to me. Getting up early will help you get some extra time in your day. You can devote that extra hour or two to whatever you please; do some laundry, grab a workout, read a magazine, plan your day ahead, take your dog for a walk, etc.