Can I be honest? I have a love hate relationship with cliche sayings. They’re packed with a lot of useful meaning but they’re the phrase people use to prove a point all the time. In fact, I think cliche sayings are overused. I’m at the point where, when I hear them, I want to roll my eyes and say “dduuhh” lol. I brought this up because I wanted to start this post off by saying “It always feels like we never have enough time in the day.” For some people this is a very true statement. I’m sure a parent who works full time, who also has to come home and take care of the kids, cook, clean, take the kid(s) to whatever activities they’re involved in, help with homework, wake up in the middle of the night to feed the baby, find time for themselves, etc. then there really isn’t enough time in the day. Even if you’re not a parent, at times it can feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to get all your tasks accomplished.
While I’m sure many of you have a scheduled list of things that you use to get things done during the day, there are some of us who; regardless of how busy our days tend to get, prefer to just “wing it.” The things is, when we just “wing it,” we lose a lot of time because chances are some of that time is spent on activities that aren’t productive. Wasted time is the time we’ve lost when some of us feel that we don’t have enough time in the day to get things done. How much time do you spend wasting? I can use myself as an example. I know I waste a lot of time scrolling through social media, I start with checking the traffic for my blog, check my Twitter feed, my Facebook feed and then my Instagram feed. I only spend about 5mins on each platform (if that) but I repeat the process two or three times as if I fear that I’m going to miss something if I don’t get back on in the next few minutes. I’m not saying we should never have leisure time but I want to encourage us to spend that time more wisely. Do we really need to scroll through social media multiple times a day? Do we really need to watch hours of television every night? The answer is no.
I’ve worked on a few strategies we can all try and use to utilize our time more wisely so we can get the most out of our day. The methods I came up with are tailored to help us focus on our current methods that may (or may not) be working for us, and how we can tweak our current process to help us get more accomplished while still enjoying life.
- PRIORITIZE YOUR TO DO LIST what takes precedence? What items can you move to another day or the following week. If you have a laundry list of things to get done, don’t feel overwhelmed or defeated, if you feel like you won’t be able to get everything done in one day. Look at the items that you know will negatively effect you in some way if you don’t get to it right away. For example, if you have to grocery shop but you know that you always have pasta and tomato sauce in the pantry then maybe grocery shopping can be moved to the weekend or the next day. But if you need to schedule your child’s physical or they won’t be able to start school the following week then you know what you have to do. Another tip would be to schedule small mundane items at the end of the day or before you officially start your day. Examples of these items are returning a phone call (you can probably do this in the car or while you’re getting dressed), updating your to do list items (you can do this while you’re having breakfast), or everyone’s dreaded chore (I personally don’t mind it), folding laundry (you can do this while you’re catching up on your shows).
- PLAN YOUR WEEK much like the first method, you can get the most out of your day by planning your week ahead of time. You shouldn’t always start your week just winging it, especially if you know you have a lot to get done. I’m a huge fan of encouraging people to start small, a friend of mine says “you can’t go from 1-60 without getting through 1-59 first.” If you think this will be too much all at once, write down one or two things you need to get done for each day of the upcoming week. If you already plan your week out ahead of time, then when was the last time you cleaned up your to do list method? Maybe something you’re doing isn’t working for you but you haven’t had time to address it. Spend some time working on improving your method before the upcoming week.
- WAKE UP EARLIER not my personal favorite lol. I’m not a morning person and I really enjoy my sleep but I had to add this to the list. Waking up an hour earlier gives you more time, it’s just that simple. Most people use that extra time to workout, meditate, journal, or so they can have some time to themself before the rest of the family wakes up. What do I always say? Start small. If you don’t wake up until 9am or 10am, I wouldn’t recommended waking up at 5a or 6a right away. Try waking up 15-30mins earlier first. I feel like when we rush into something we are more likely to self sabotage because we get burned out. Always start slow and small when implementing something new to your routine.
- WATCH ONE LESS HOUR OF TV this really only applies to my readers who aggressively binge watch television on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching tv and I’m not suggesting that anyone should stop watching television but if you can’t seem to get anything done because of the tv or any other distracting electronic devices then you have to make some adjustments. The tv and your shows aren’t going anywhere. Start with cutting an hour away from your tv time and see how much you can get done in that hour.
- CUT BACK ON SOCIAL MEDIA this one was created for me lol but in my defense, because of my blog and the groups I’ve developed on social media, I have to keep an active presence to engage my blog audience. But even I had to create a boundary because it was becoming overwhelming. Instead of feeding the constant need to post, I told myself I will try to post three times a day and that’s it. Some days it’s a little more and some days it’s less but I had to release that anxiety of constantly needing to be on social media. If you engage in mindless scrolling and posting often, create a boundary for yourself. Especially if it’s distracting you from accomplishing what needs to get done during the day. I know people who only check social media in the morning or at night. In some of my old self-care challenge post I’ve talked about not checking social media until noon, or putting the phone away at night to get other things done. Maybe some of these boundaries will suit your lifestyle.
Change takes time, and for some of you this may seem like a lot to ask for in one sitting. Maybe you’re not ready to cut into your TV time or to interfere with your current sleep schedule and that’s completely acceptable. We have to start where we are. I would recommend choosing one or two of the methods from the list because I want you to walk away from this post feeling empowered and encouraged. Plus I want to offer help if you need it. For the month of February my wellness Wednesday blog post will be centered around the word focus. And this week that means putting your head down and getting shit done. If you haven’t figured it out already, my goal with this blog post was to encourage you to stop wasting time and focus so you can get more done. I know this will look different for everyone because we all have different lives and responsibilities. Just remember that your success will look different from someone else’s, but success is success, no matter how big or small. What methods do you use to ensure that you get more out of your day?
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