Having looked at my week and decided I could definitely make time, here are some ideas from my trials and comments I have received:
1- Use the commute to your advantage! TIME SAVING c.6 HOURS PER WEEK.
Use that time to do something: read up on your project or favourite topic, listen to audio books if you’re driving (my brother drives 1 hour each way daily and is becoming quite an expert on Greek mythology!), do exercises like tensing your core or meditating, write a to do list for the day, write your master plan, and maybe even better if you can cycle/ run part of the journey (it might make your commute longer but 100% more interesting and ticks off gym time!). I personally now run home once a week and cycle in/ out another day, that’s my exercise for the week done!
2- Cut out internet surfing or minimise. TIME SAVING 7 HOURS PER WEEK.
Do you really need to know every single news/ gossip story out there? We have way too much information on everything. Over information is becoming an issue for our age. We stop focusing on what is relevant. If you insist on knowing what is going on, merely scan the headline or ask friends what’s going on: they’ll tell you the 2-3 key things you might need to know. Replace that time with research on your chosen topic, especially if you were doing that during office hours. Don’t forget that modern technology means bosses know exactly how long you’re spending playing on the web.
3- Change your approach to emails. TIME SAVING 7 HOURS PER WEEK.
Don’t be a slave to your email. Depending on how potentially time critical things are at your work, decide how often you will check them. For example, every 2 hours, check and respond immediately to your emails, then shut them down and don’t look for another 2 hours. Constant email interruption has been shown to reduce people’s ability to do tasks and even lower IQ at work!! Be in charge: you decide when you want to deal with emails, not the other way around.
4- Day dreaming and TV. TIME SAVING c. 10 HOURS PER WEEK.
Those can be important parts of some people’s lives, but I would actually cut down TV, more so than day dreaming. Bizarrely day dreaming for a bit everyday enables your unconscious mind to bring to the fore ideas/ thoughts about things you have been focusing on. As you spend more time on your chose interest, these day dreams will become more relevant. If you must watch TV, chose 1 specific program you really want to watch and that’s it, don’t sit there channel surfing looking to be entertained.
5- Sleep 1 hour less and have a 20 minute nap instead during the day (commute or at lunch). TIME SAVING 4.6 HOURS PER WEEK.
I have been doing this for 1 month and though initially a challenge, now feels completely normal to have 6 hours sleep and a 20 mins nap at a set time.
6- Use walking. TIME SAVING ARGUABLE BUT BENEFITS NOT
Consciously change “walking” to “exercising” by walking faster, or decide on a topic/ issue you want to think about and use that time to resolve it on your walk.
7- Use the bathroom. TIME SAVING POTENTIALLY HUGE!
No we’re not talking about truly changing anything much about your bathroom habits, but just using a little trick to optimise everything you do in your day: take the time in the bathroom to decide and plan what you will achieve by the time you are back in bathroom again. The old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” is true, if you decide on the steps of what you want to achieve, you will do so as you will be more effective and efficient.
8- The final piece of advice, I had this one sent in and it may not be for everyone, but if you have become more efficient and optimised your time as per the above, after a month or 2, you will have advanced a lot on your goals and your work will be improving. If you want more time for you, ask for a 4 day week. This will have a financial impact yes, and not all jobs are conducive to this. But if your goal is getting out of your job anyway, and your circumstances permit, then that’s a great first step. TIME SAVING 8.5 HOURS PER WEEK. 4 day work, 3 day weekend, much more balanced.
The Result: more time for the fun things in life
So all in all, as we saw, of your 168 hours per week, you may only have 20 hours spare at the moment before social life, etc. By putting in place some of the strategies above you could create 20-30 hours a week for your chosen goal, without changing your life too much, just optimising it to help you do what you truly want to…
Say you save 25 hours per week, that’s 100 hours per month on what you want to do!! Imagine how much you could do/learn/live in 100 hours per month!? How much better you could be at your chosen goal with 100 hours to dedicate to it?
If you had an extra 100 hours this month, you could learn to:
Speak reasonably well a new language;
Become an expert on a topic, like internet marketing or ancient Greeks;
Read 10 books
Get really fit
And anything you want to Achieve!!
So what would you do??