How many times a day do you hear or say ‘I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time”. These phrases have become a badge of honour because you must be doing very important things if you cannot possibly focus your energy on anything else, right?
Wrong, what if we told you that you could save yourself at least an hour every day? With the help of Tim Heppell’s book ‘Save Yourself an Hour Every Day’ we have come up with 9 smart ways to save time:
- Find out what is going to motivate you – what are you going to use the extra hour for? Once you start thinking about what it would allow you to do that you don’t get to do currently, your motivation will suddenly increase and you will be inspired to get going.
- Break your day down into blocks and identify where you are currently not making the most of your time. You have 96 15-minute time blocks each day, make the most of them and cut down on wasted blocks of time.
- Have a clear-out – whilst your time is precious and you don’t want to waste any of your 15-minute blocks, using some of your time to have a good sort-out will clear space in your life. Clutter weighs you down. Clear your desk, your car, your briefcase and your e-mail folders, and keep things organised. It will save you time further down the line.
- Be in the now – avoid “I’ll do it later” or “not right now”. If it will take less than 60 seconds to complete, do it straight away. Your to-do list will look much smaller the next day and will only have substantial tasks left on it.
- Commit to actions by telling other people about them. Commit to outputs by always having an agenda for meetings, tell your family or partner what you are going to do that day, or even send yourself an e-mail, text message or voicemail with your actions and why they are important.
- Rethink your to-do list – if you start being ‘in the now’ and taking actions as soon as they come up, your to-do list will already be shorter, but now start writing down the five most important things to do the next day. Only five, and write them down the day before. They are then captured on paper, they have been prioritised, and they demand action.
- Social media and smartphone games – get disciplined, this tip alone might give people their extra hour a day straight away (and possibly an extra hour on top!). Delete the games, they aren’t giving you anything, and limit your time on social media, either limit total time spent on it or give yourself small windows at fixed times of day. Don’t let social media run your day.
- E-mails – how often does e-mail pop-ups interrupt what you are currently doing and make the task take twice as long by the time you have read the e-mail and responded? Turn off the e-mail pop-ups unless they are absolutely necessary and set aside a couple of 15-minute blocks to deal with e-mails during the day rather than doing it constantly.
- Meetings – spend less time in them. Schedule meetings for 45 minutes rather than 60 minutes. If you are efficient, stay on the agenda, and arrive on time, the chances are everything will still get done and you can enjoy the 15-minute block of time you have just won back.