You know the drill, you have a million and one things to do, and not enough time to do it. Everyday is a constant struggle, to keep on top of your daily chores, it feels like a giant hamster wheel, where you wake up and hit the floor running.
Thirteen hours tick by and you are depleted, by all the things you have had to do, whether it gave you pleasure or not. You sleep and wake up more exhausted from the night before, body in knots, not having slept as well as you had hoped, to only jump back on the wheel.
Repeat this for 20 years, and the prime of your life just passed you by, filled with excuses and exhaustion. I’ve heard this story, repeatedly, across generations, by individuals full of regret, not pursuing passions, that they had wished they had time for. You and I know we are not born for 9-5 slogging. I am born for a higher cause aren’t you?
Well it’s time to shake it up, take the day by the horns and own it. Get more out of your day, squeezing out hours you thought you didn’t have, making up for lost time and living a life worth living.
See below ways I carve out more hours in my day, doing less of the mundane and more things that excite me and reignite my passions.
Write a To Do List
Simple as it may seem – all my tips are as it happens- a day that starts with a to do list can only be a good day. You’ll be more focused, tackling your top priorities first and knocking them out of the park with visor since you get to do what you like once its done.
Write down all your important tasks of the day that you must get done. This clears your mind and unblocks it with new and creative positive thoughts since you don’t need to burden yourself with million and one things to remember.
Don’t have so many things on your to do list have 3-5 things max that you want to get done. The more you have the more stressed you will be that you have too many things to do and you’ll overburden yourself and use up needless time tackling anxiety. Think attainable goals for the day. Happy vibes all around.
Golden Nugget: Have 3- 5 attainable tasks for the day.
Plan out your day
Just think, everyone has the same mount of hours in the day, yet some people seem to get more done, even though they have a lot of balls juggling in the air.
The trick is, not to think you don’t have time. You do. Its just a matter of priorities, act smart with the time you have. Plan wisely the things that you are doing now.
What things are sucking out the excruciating hours of your day, which you can change? Your commute? Your hair dresser? Your car wash? Your grocery? Whatever it is, see how you can change, fix or adapt it.
I know men, who wake up at 7.30am, every weekend, to get their haircut, just so they save an hour of waiting time. Thats not vanity, thats knowing the value of time.
I also know a guy who to avoid 90 minute morning traffic, get out the house at 5.30am, reaching their work an hour early and sleeping in the car as apposed to sleeping at the wheel of slow moving traffic.
I also knew a guy, who went to work 2 hours earlier than when his work started, to avoid congestion charges and traffic. No surprise then, that the two men are related.
I’m not suggesting you go to work early, I mean you can, if you want to be dedicated. But once at the location you can do something with that extra time you have.
- Join a gym near work,
- cycle in the park near work,
- write a book whilst waiting for work,
- learn a new language whilst waiting for work
- Go for a walk
- Grab a bite to eat,
- Listen to podcasts
- Listen to audiobook on commute to work
- Read a book whilst waiting for work
- Write out a meal planner for the week
- Make a shopping list from meal plan, save time on mindless shopping
The list is endless, and can take you where ever you want. Point is, you just bought yourself more time on your hands, Bingo!
Golden nugget: Avoid places and busy times, so you dodge waiting and queuing.
Are you a traditionalist? Why do you still have to go to the bank and wait in queues to pay your bills. Every department these days has an online payment system. Save yourself time by using it.Fix up and shape up your time spent in queues, unless you enjoy it of course.
- Everything is online no more juggling paper and filing it away, you can see your incomings and outgoing all on one page.
- If you’re a forgetful person note down your big expenses, since you don’t want your expenses running out of control, have a sit down and put in reminders, so that you are in sync when money is coming in and out of your account.
- Also have a general idea of how much is your total monthly expenditure, this includes grocery, loans, other monthly commitments. Your monthly outgoings should not exceed your incomings, come on I learnt that much being married to an accountant. This way you’ll always be on top of your money and not have nasty surprises because you let the ball slip out your hand.
- If you don’t know how to do it ask a trusted person to guide you. Once set up you don’t need to do anything. All is taken care of every month, you just need to keep track of it with your eyes and finger tips and not by your feet and carbon miles.
Golden nugget: Automate bills and forgerabourit- after putting in a fool proof system of course.
Potential time saved 1 hour
Have a Routine
It’s a bit like automating, saves you time, since your daily tasks, are like you’re on auto pilot. You can perform them, with our eyes closed.
- If you have kids you know what I mean, the nagging will never stop but when the kids know the drill there is no surprises when mom is so shrill- wow that rhymed. They know what is expected of them, the little dough eyed souls oblige, because you have a plan, with charts, stickers and rewards.
- If you don’t have kids, congratulations! You can watch the news in the morning, have a breakfast, a shower and comb your hair. Whatever your ritual is in the morning, time yourself and see if everyday you are rushing or you are at ease. If you’re rushing and running out the door as apposed to whistling out the door, you need to fix it.
- Reduce screen time whether it be on the phone computer tv if this is where all your time is warping away limit yourself to 30 minutes at the end of the day.
- Get rid of mediocre game and social media apps that beg for your attention. You can’t afford it with your time, you’re too busy, building yourself in being awesome.
- Wake up 5 minutes – not two hours like my friend above – come on you owe it to yourself.
- Set out your clothes the night before, this reduces crucial decision making time in the morning. Have your clothes ironed and laid out ready to slip on and look awesome.
- I would even go a step further and think way ahead at the buying process. Only buy clothes that go together, when you choose pieces make sure to have an outfit in mind, so you quickly can put things together
Golden Nugget: Build a morning routine, an evening routine, a bedtime routine a routine about having routines. You get the picture. You’re not boring, you’re just doing things, that you like, and that work for you, repeatedly. Simples.
Potential time saved an 2 hours
If the washing, grocery and other mundane tasks are sucking away your energy and time give it some one else to do, if you have the means. I hate ironing and cleaning the bathrooms its the bain of my life so those two things I happily outsource. The list of things to outsource though is as long as your mind can stretch
- Have someone help you with your weekly cleaning challenges
- Have your clothes ironed and delivered to your house
- Have you’re groceries delivered
- Have your meals planned out and ingredients sent out
- Have a cook make your food
- Have a babysitter come in one or two hours a week so you can get things done
- Have your car washed at your door step
- Have a tutor for your kids
Golden nugget: Outsource mundane tasks that you hate to bring some sunshine and bounce back into your life.
Potential time saved 2 hours
I used to be the sacrificial mom, juggling home and school, groceries, after school clubs. Having two children, who were finishing school two hours apart, when school was a 25 minute drive away, was not nice.
Then with the birth of my third child, breastfeeding, sleep less nights and all the above I felt like a ping pong, rushing housework and always on the road picking and dropping the kids.
I was a grumpy, uptight, no fun mom, running a tight ship. Always snapping at my kids, because we need to be somewhere, and do something, before it was too late.
Something had to change, I had to change, I couldn’t do it all alone. I shouldn’t think that have to.
My husband stepped in and shared the school drop offs, so I wasn’t on the road three times a day. This was a huge relief. It meant that, he had to wake up an hour earlier and reach work an hour earlier. But hey partners in crime, partners in time, right?
Let go of the guilt, if you’re anything like me, don’t try to do everything by yourself. Delegate tasks, that you know other members of the family can do. Like, I don’t give the husband breastfeeding, but I do, give him nappy changing. If you’re kids are old enough, rope them in also!
- Give out chores to kids such as making beds, taking out the garbage, washing dishes, putting clothes away, hanging out laundry etc
- Give tasks out to partner picking up daily things like bread, milk on way from home saves me an additional trip with one or three kids in tow.
- Carpool school pick up, drop offs with neighbours to reduce the time spent on the road
Golden nugget: You are not a sacrificial lamb, repeat, you are not a sacrificial lamb. Share out the tasks.
Potential time Saved 1 hour
Now I just reclaimed several hours of my day and week so that I can dedicate and focus on self development, growth and progress on my passions. How do you squeeze out every hour of your day? Let me know in the comments below. Happy living!