6 Hacks to Find More Time in Your Day
All the technology we enjoy today was supposed to make our lives easier, simpler and less stressful right? And perhaps it has made it easier in that we can shop online on Monday and – for an extra fee – receive what we purchase on Tuesday. We can start our cars from inside the house with the push of a button. We can program our coffee maker to start brewing in the morning just in time for us to walk bleary-eyed into the kitchen at exactly 6:12 a.m.
Yet, like the prediction that computers would make us a paperless society (yes, wise people actually said so), technology only seems to complicate things, causing us considerable stress, angst and a feeling of overwhelm.
The reality is that too often, technology doesn’t make life easier. It simplifies tasks but complicates our lives. As our lives have become more complicated, so has this feeling of being utterly overwhelmed with things that must be done. To-do lists become tomes. Waiting for the dentist becomes a time to send some emails to clients or colleagues. Our heads hitting the pillow at 11 p.m. is merely a signal to check just one more time to see if a client sent a panicked email in the last hour.
Our days aren’t our own anymore: They belong to technology. So how do we fight back? It’s time to become our own activists to save ourselves from tech’s tyranny. To help, we’ve put together a shortlist of six hacks to help you find more time in your day.
Unplug fully for at least one day a week.
We know, this is hard. (What if the kids/my mother calls and I don’t answer? Trust us, if you give them fair warning, they won’t panic, and if it’s a true emergency, they’ll figure out a way to find you.)
But unplugging completely has many benefits and perhaps the best one is the feeling of utter peace you will feel during the day. You will feel untethered, in control of your life. You won’t feel disconnected in a bad way, but free and full. Try it; you’ll see.
Turn off the TV.
We work eight hours a day, we commute back and forth to work for an average of almost another hour a day, we sleep for 6-8 hours a day, leaving us just eight hours a day for “living,” and what do we do with it? We watch television for an average of five hours a day (this also applies to binge watching videos and shows on Netflix/Hulu, etc.). Which leaves us just three hours to eat, spend time with family and friends, exercise, bathe and pursue hobbies or entrepreneurship.
Even if you simply reduced your time in front of the tube by 1 hour every day, think of what else you could do with those extra 7 hours per week!
Learn how to say no.
Many folks advocate sitting down and having a deep heart-to-heart with yourself in order to decide what really matters and to, then, set priorities. Doing so means you’ll likely have to give some things up. Once discarded, you soon enough will have the opportunity to fill the open time with requests that result in new obligations. Choose carefully, and practice saying “no” graciously.
Check e-mail just twice a day.
Unless your job absolutely requires that you be available on e-mail at all times during work, set aside time in the morning and afternoon when you will check email and keep it off at all other times. Let colleagues, etc. know of your new policy and stick to it. Refrain from checking email first thing when you sit at your desk. Instead, do your most important task first and then check. Reply to emails only during your planned times. This will allow you more time to actually get work done, rather than being stretched in all directions.
Always set aside time for exercise/relaxation.
It’s amazing how much less stressed you’ll feel if you exercise, perform yoga, meditate, or even just go for a walk. Taking this time away from “modern life” and spending it taking care of your physical self provides huge benefits mentally as well as physically. If you struggle with feeling like taking this time is “selfish”, consider what a better person you could be to others if you were less stressed, more relaxed, and more physically healthy.
Additional productivity hacks that can add time to your day:
- Plan your next day out before you head home from work.
- Pack your lunch and lay out the clothes you will wear tomorrow the night before.
- Take five or 10 minutes before heading to bed to tidy up the kitchen, living room and other lived-in areas. Have all family members do the same before their bedtimes.
- Consider cooking several days’ worth of meals on the weekend and placing in the fridge, or freeze to use throughout the week.
- When getting the mail, open it right away and decide right then what to do with it (discard, act on, put away for later – and make sure to put it away for later in the same place).
- Always create an agenda for business meetings. (Also, for quicker meetings, consider having everyone stand up during the meeting.)
If you decide to practice yoga, or already do, check out Beckons Yoga Clothing. We offer men and women sustainable, cotton clothing, allowing your body to breath. Contact us at 303-881-0872 for more information.