Finding pockets of time in your day can be really hard and a daunting task at the very least. I’m going over my top 5 tactics to finding that time in your schedule and then how to go about prioritizing your time to work for YOU. When you don’t make time for yourself or your family and other priorities, you will get stressed and even lose sight of your goals. Learn how to make more time in the day for yourself and your family!
Whether it’s at home or work, there are ways of banking up your time just like you save up money. The best part is… it’s actually easier than you think! For even more details, head over to iTunes and listen to my podcast episode on finding pockets of time in your day. Or go to the 022 show notes pages for resources and links!
Think about where you spend the majority of your time in your daily life. Ask yourself these questions:
What are the activities that you do that get you the most results? The results that make you happy. What helps you advance towards your goals? Where can you cut your time waste? When you’re measuring and reflecting, you can realize that you can’t do it all. Everything is not equally important. Determine what the most important things are and focus on those. Delegate and outsource tasks you know others can do.
Automate tasks that you do every day, every week, or even every month, then try setting up automations to make them get done without having to think about them. For example, we have a four-week automation calendar setup. Each task is assigned to the person who needs to complete it. The tasks repeat every 4 weeks, so if it’s a task that gets done weekly, it repeats every single week. If it’s done once a month, it repeats once every 4 weeks. When it’s done, we check it off and we don’t think about it again, until it pops up on the task list again.
Reducing your meeting times, or if possible – stop going to unproductive meetings all together. Now, I know you might laugh and think, “That’s not possible,” but have you tried? Have you tried saying, “No” to some of these meetings? Think about asking for an agenda when you’re invited to a meeting, to see if you can determine whether it’s really essential for you to attend. That way, the meeting leader has to clarify what they called the meeting about in the first place, and then you have concrete reasons to say why, maybe you can’t attend the meeting, because you don’t have relevant knowledge or expertise to contribute, or you won’t be affected by the outcome of the meeting. Even if you’re not the team leader, to try to streamline your meeting so you can bank up your time.
You can consider extending your child care time just a little bit. Even taking on an extra hour, and then use that time purposely for yourself. Get smart about your kids activity time. For example, if your kid is always at soccer practice during the same time each week, maybe you could use that time between dropping them off and picking them up to do something for yourself. One of the moms in Laura Vanderkam’s book, I Know How She Does It, used soccer time, to go grab sushi and wine with another one of the soccer moms. So, start thinking creatively about what you can do when you’re taxiing kids around, or if you have childcare. Start seeing if you can build a little bit of time in there for you to get a few things done.
I think is the biggest one. Our biggest shiny object offender: Technology. So, whether you think you do or not, you probably have a little more leisure time at work than you really think, but you’re maybe spending it on things like BuzzFeed, or Pinterest, or Huffington Post. Try considering using that time a little more purposefully instead. Turn off your notifications. These distract from the task at hand, and it will only cost you time to get back to work. You may be able to find huge pockets of time from the amount you spend on your phone. Most people are very distracted by their phone, and it takes real conscious work, not to get stuck down that rabbit hole. I know it’s something that I’ve struggled with too and I’m working on this for myself and as an example for my kids.
Consider downloading an app, that tracks your phone usage. I use Moment, which has a free and a paid plan, and throughout the day the Moment app runs in the background. It totals up the amount of time you’re spending on your phone, and it records when you pick up your phone so you have the timeline of each day. It shows you what time you picked up your phone, and how long you used it each and every time. You’re going to be really surprised at how often you’re picking up your phone. Trust me on this. What you can do, is you can set a limit for yourself. The app will tell you when you’re close to your limit or when you’ve gone over your limit. A notification will pop up every few seconds, telling you to put your phone away for the day.
I promise you… If you just try one or two of these tactics for banking up time, you’ll see a difference. You’ll have more time for yourself (which we all know is actually very important and beneficial!) You’ll be less stressed in every environment. You can see that these tactics give you time at work, home and personal. And like I’ve been reiterating… it’s about finding harmony in all of these compartments of your life!
Listen to episode 022 of the podcast for even more details and comment below which tactic you’ll try out first!