In 2020, Americans spent 3 hours and 43 minutes watching live tv and 3 hours and 46 minutes staring at their phones. Was this time wasted?
It depends. This year, it's worth taking a look at how you spend your time and deciding what the real cost of working, resting, playing, and running errands really is.
Here are 5 ways to save time this year so you can spend it wisely.
Track Your Time
The best way to make the most of your time is to figure out what you're doing all day. Take one week to track your time in 15-minute intervals.
Is this a pain in the butt to do? Kind of, but it's also highly effective because it gives you a lot of insight. This insight can help you make smarter decisions on how and on what you spend your time on.
If you find you're spending too much time on tasks you hate, find ways to delegate those tasks.
If you realize you don't have enough downtime, schedule downtime.
If you find you need more time to accomplish certain tasks, you can schedule that into your day.
It's hard to make positive changes until you become aware of what's really happening. Also, don't feel you have to make massive changes immediately, even making one small change can lead to positive results.
2. Create a Schedule
Whether you're a student, retired, run your own business, or are an employee, having a schedule helps ensure you can get it all done. But without burning yourself out.
I find it's harder for me to accomplish what I want if I don't have a plan put in place. When I create a schedule, I give myself plenty of time to accomplish tasks.
I also ensure that I give myself plenty of time to sleep, play, and nourish myself with healthy meals (rather than eating on the go). Make sure to plan in extra time for unexpected events because life will tend to get in the way despite your best-laid plans.
3. Clear the Clutter
I say this often, but it's true and it sucks so it bares repeating. Clutter causes anxiety and depression.
Clutter also is a huge time suck. It often takes up to 20 minutes for a person to get back on task when they have to stop and search for an item.
Not only are you wasting time looking for something (that often was right in front of you 2 seconds ago), but you waste your time fighting off feelings of being overwhelmed, annoyed, frustrated, and sometimes fearful because now you're running late.
Here's how to help cut down on clutter:
Assign a designated spot for everything you own
Put everything away as soon as you're done using it
Keep only on surfaces what you use every day
Decluttering doesn't necessarily mean you have to tackle your whole office or home in one day. Tackling one area at a time works just as well.
4. Have Fun
It may seem odd that one of the ways to save time this year is to have fun, but life isn't meant to be all "have-to" and "need-to." Doing all the "should-do" begins to feel like drudgery. And when it isn't fun, it becomes really hard to maintain any positive changes you want to make for yourself.
So plan in those "want-to" activities! Have fun! Whether that's taking a nap, spending time with friends, joining a book club, taking that vacation, or watching that movie, do it!
You'll find when you take time for fun, you're more likely to be more productive when it comes time to tackle those "have-to" tasks. You might even find a way to make those tasks more fun by:
Making a game out of it
Giving yourself a time limit
Or hire someone else to do what you hate doing. Do yourself a favor by calculating the cost of the time and energy you would spend on that task and how much it would cost for someone else, who is probably better at that task and actually enjoys doing it would be.
5. Purpose, Priority, Productivity
I'm a firm believer in getting more done in less time. I do this by first knowing what my purpose for doing anything is.
If there's no purpose, what's the point? It's hard to stay motivated if you don't know or understand why you're doing something.
Next, it's important to figure out which tasks are most important to help you fulfill your purpose. And once you figure out which tasks are most important, you do the most important tasks first and leave the least important tasks to the end.
This method helps you get more done that will help you get closer to your goals. And if you can, delegate those least important tasks to someone else.
Work With A Coach
There are many ways to save time, but holding yourself accountable isn't always easy. Especially when life seems to always get in the way.
If you're struggling to keep yourself on task, that's okay. It might be time to start working with a professional time management expert who can help you clear the clutter, create new systems and help support you as you hold yourself accountable.
Click here to book a room audit and to learn how we can work together to create a new way of thriving this year.