A common complaint in today’s world is that there aren’t enough hours in the day. Between jobs, housework, kids, pets, working out and running errands, it seems near impossible to find a few minutes purely for ourselves.
If you feel like you’re working from the minute you get up until you turn the lights out, know that it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are several strategies you can implement to start making more free time each day. Here are 11 tips you can use to get the most out of your 24 hours.
- 1 Start Planning Your Meals
- 2 Optimise Your Commute
- 3 Check Your Email Strategically
- 4 Allow Your Kids to Work For You
- 5 Exercise Smarter
- 6 Create a Schedule
- 7 Make the Most of the Morning
- 8 Get the Easy Tasks Done ASAP
- 9 Learn to Say “No”
- 10 Delegate
- 11 Get Rid of Distractions
- 12 Making the Most of Every Minute
Start Planning Your Meals
Creating a meal calendar is a great way to free up time throughout your week. Instead of wondering what you’ll have for dinner that night, you’ll know before you leave work that day.
Setting a meal schedule will also help cut down on your shopping time. You can go to the supermarket once a week instead of multiple times.
Meal prepping is another great way to save time while also looking out for your health. It can take just a couple of hours per week to chop up, marinate and saute fresh food. Simply pack your meals into jars/containers and they’ll be healthy, delicious and ready to go.
Optimise Your Commute
If you’re struggling to find time to finish all of your work in a day, use your commute to your advantage. If you use public transportation, you could be using this time to study, read, meditate, prepare for work, or check your emails.
If you drive yourself to work, try listening to a podcast. If you have a shorter commute to work, you can likely find some other way to incorporate these ideas into your schedule when you have downtime.
Check Your Email Strategically
This tip will be used on a case-by-case basis. Of course, if you’re expecting an important email, you’ll want to have a tab open and check your inbox regularly.
If it’s a typical workday, though, plan a specific time when you check and respond to emails. Checking your inbox every hour is a massive time waster. Instead, only check your inbox a few times a day to free yourself up for larger tasks.
Allow Your Kids to Work For You
If you have children, they’re bound to be your pride and joy. They’ll undoubtedly take up a fair bit of your free time, though.
If you teach them about work ethics and responsibility, they can be part of your solution to gaining more free time (and they’ll be learning along the way).
Start teaching your kids how to take care of the family pet, pick up after themselves, and help out around the house. Instead of picking up after them, give them an incentive to do it for themselves.
Exercise improves our focus, helps us sleep, and brings a long list of health benefits to our bodies. At the same time, going to the gym after a long day’s work can be a massive time-suck.
Instead of spending an hour or two at the gym every night, research a plan that has you finishing your workout in a half hour.
Research suggests working out any longer than 45 minutes in one go is suboptimal. So a quick, efficient workout is said to be best, both for our schedules and our fitness.
Create a Schedule
Want to get the most out of every minute in your day? Scheduling your day may be the strategy for you. If you have your daily schedule laid out in front of you, you may find that you have more free time than you thought.
Plus, ticking off a checklist provides a visual representation of your daily achievements. Being productive has never been more satisfying.
Make the Most of the Morning
The morning is the best time (for many of us) to get tough tasks out of the way quickly. Maybe you can move your workout session to before work.
This way, you have a specified time limit and won’t spend too long at the gym. If you have to write a tedious report every day, don’t wait until 4:00. Do it at 9:00 when you get in, and you’ll find it’s quicker and easier.
Get the Easy Tasks Done ASAP
If you group all of your small tasks at the end of the day, it’s a free-time killer. Instead, finish the easy and quick responsibilities as soon as you can.
It’s common for people to put-off the most straightforward tasks to the end of the day. Before you know it, you have to spend an extra hour at the office to complete ten tasks that take five minutes each. Get them done immediately as they come, then continue with your central piece of work.
Learn to Say “No”
A lot of us tend to say “yes” to things we don’t want to do because we’re afraid of being perceived as rude.
If you have a full schedule, saying “no” to things that are not priority is okay. Your time is valuable, and if you’re looking for ways to make more free time, you’re already jam-packed.
If you’re a supervisor and still can’t find enough time in the day, you likely aren’t delegating enough.
It can be hard to delegate tasks, especially if you’re a perfectionist. You may want to do everything yourself to make sure it matches your standards.
If you want to have a life outside of work, you need to start delegating responsibilities. Gather a group of employees you trust and give them tasks that will lighten your load.
Get Rid of Distractions
A busy schedule means there’s no time for procrastination. Even those who can’t find time for themselves waste an hour or two each day in one way or another.
Try to eliminate your distractions by shutting your office door, turning off your phone, and forcing yourself to focus on work. You can take a quick break now and then, but keep yourself in check and don’t waste time unnecessarily.
Making the Most of Every Minute
There are ways for even the busiest of us to make more free time in our days. It may be as simple as setting a schedule or eliminating distractions.
If you implement a few of these tips into your life, you’ll undoubtedly start to uncover more hours you can use at your leisure.
Now that we’ve helped you find some extra time, why not spend it checking out some more of our tips for a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle?