Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Could you use an extra hour in the day? Want to know how to create one? Here are 8 tips to materialize another 60 minutes in your day without too much compromise.
Another 60 minutes in a day would mean you could get those smaller, more annoying jobs out of the way, right? Or maybe it could be used to spend a bit more time with the kids. If you want to find another hour in your day, I might just have a number of things for you to try.
- Get out of bed 30 minutes earlier, and go to bed 30 minutes later – perhaps a real obvious one, but have you considered it? To be honest, this was a tough one for me. I like my bed. But I was surprised to find out how little I missed that extra hour. For me, going the full 30 minutes on either end of the day was too much a leap of peril, so I decided (to the mirth of my wife) to move it out by 10 minutes each day for 6 days. I expect this felt more of a psycholigical victory than absolutely necessary, but it worked for me.
- Listen to podcasts, instead of reading – I read a lot, and if you do too then you will find time to save by listening to podcasts of my favorite content. Have you tried podcasts yet? You will find that many of your favorite media outlets provide podcasts of their content in addition to text. (Shame on me – I don’t offer this on my site, yet). So instead I whack the podcast on my iPod and listen to it in the car or the train.
- Check emails only twice a day – are you addicted to your email? Do you keep checking it over and over? Your addiction is sapping up LOTS of time. For one day, try checking your email just once mid-morning, and once mid-afternoon (or use a sensible downward adjustment for your job). Then, see how much time it saves! And you will find that your productivity hasn’t been negatively affected. If you’re similarly addicted to Twitter or Facebook (if you are, you join a cast of thousands!), then the same applies too.
- Don’t watch so much TV – I wouldn’t say I have ever been a TV addict, but it is fair to say I used to watch too much. I would often let the TV schedule rule my own. I guess with Tivo and YouTube, we can choose when to watch during more convenient and abundant time. But cutting out watching many of the shows that were ‘on the fringe’ of my interest has saved bags of time, and I don’t miss them at all. I watch less than 5 hours a week now, rather than the 25 hours + I used to!
- Walk to work – (hey, wasn’t this about saving time?) Ah yes, walking to work can save lots of time, if you work out in the gym. If you walk for 30-60 mins to work then you don’t need to spend that time working out. The net benefit is saved time (and quite possibly, saved money from not using the gym). Similarly, if you own a dog you could take a more strenuous walk with the pooch rather than going to the gym seperately.
- Plan your day – those who fail to plan, plan to fail – the old saying goes. But some simple planning can also save you lots of time. When I say planning, perhaps preparation is a better word. Preparing for tasks and activities in advance, perhaps the day before or during a quiet moment, means that the planned time is spent on the task itself, not the preamble. When I take this approach, I find that tasks are completed in the time I allowed, without having to steel time from other activities which has a knock-on effect of eventually eating into my own time!
- Don’t aim for ‘perfect’ – This isn’t the same as ‘accept sloppy work’, but instead, accept that not everything has to be perfect to get the job done. Especially when writing documents and reports, content is superior to style. The other thing is that your ‘perfect’ isn’t always the same as the next guy’s. If you normally set a high standard, then perhaps your ‘perfect’ is just a stage too far for someone else. A powerful way of getting over this is to product a ‘draft’. Your draft is an imperfect product, purposefully. A draft can be reviewed by everyone, and then only the very necessary points of perfection need be added.
- Avoid busy places at peak times – sounds obvious, right, but why are the busy places like that at peak times? Because those folks don’t understand this too! Sometimes, convenience is as such (convenience, to me, isn’t standing in long lines). Try to do your grocery shopping and activities like that when everyone else is watching their favorite show! You have Tivo, right?
Do you have any tips on saving time, without too much pain?