Time is our most precious resource. We trade it for moments: sometimes to make money, sometimes to have fun or to spend time with loved ones.
Either way, it seems that time is constantly moving away from us.
With my busy life and many goals and aspirations, it becomes easy for me to feel overwhelmed, like there is not enough time for everything.
Nevertheless, I’ve found a way around this. I have discovered how to stretch time, or rather, how to create more time in my day.
Here are my top 8 ways that I create more time for myself. Before I give you the keys to the kingdom, however, you must promise one thing.
You will spend every minute of the “new” time you create doing something you love, or spending time with someone you love – not working more!
Here are 8 different ways you can create more time in your day:
Don’t spend another minute of your precious time doing something you hate. If you don’t like to grocery shop, have your groceries shipped to you or hire someone to shop for you.
Don’t enjoy doing the laundry or cleaning the house? Both of these tasks can take a lot of your time and are even more draining if you hate doing them.
You can hire someone to come in each week for a couple of hours and take care of these things for you.
Not great at changing your oil, working on your yard, or washing your car? You can hire those things out too.
If you don’t think you can afford to do that, try “bartering” your talents with a friend or relative. I will gladly do a grocery run for any friend willing to pot the flowers I bought before I remembered that I hate gardening.
I’ll volunteer my husband to shovel your snowy sidewalk if you’ll make a dessert for my book club. See how that works?
You should be spending your time doing the things you love or are really good at. This will save you time in the long run.
Believe me. I learned this after spending a frustrating year building my first website, only to realize that website design is not one of my talents.
If only I could get those hours back, I would gladly hire out that job and save myself the headache.
There are so many requests of our time, from our family, our work, the community, and even the little voice in our heads with all of its “shoulds”.
One really good way to create more time is to say “No” more often. This is hard for a lot of people, myself included.
Saying no may upset the other person, make us look bad, etc. However, when you say yes to something that does not make your heart sing, you will not have the time to say yes to the thing that does.
A key to saying no that I found to be helpful (I am a perpetual people pleaser – it sucks) is to create a list of “policies.” I have these in each area of my life, not just business.
Then, when I’m faced with a request, I can hold it up to my policies and have a better way to say no.
For example, one of my family policies is that we spend time together from 5pm until the baby goes to sleep each day.
If someone is requesting something of me at that time I can easily say, “Sorry, but that’s our family time.” See? Easy peasy…and what is important to me stays in the forefront.
Take some time to create policies for yourself so you can really focus in on what is most important to you. Create policies for each of those areas of your life.
I have included some examples to help get you started:
There are many more you can create, but brainstorm and really figure out what is important to you.
The policies you create around those things makes it easier to make decisions and say no to all the extra demands on your time.
Exercise and meditation are the two best ways to create more time, clarity, and energy in your day.
The days that I exercise I have so much more energy and gusto for my life. Add meditation to that and I feel so much more clarity…and so much less of that murk from all of the extra thoughts and emotions swirling around my head.
Find an exercise you enjoy and do that every day. I have a couple that I enjoy at the moment.
I recently have gotten into cycling and go almost every day. We hooked up a chariot to the back so I can take my toddler with me on our little daily adventures. It’s turned into our nature, exercise, and bonding time together.
I also really enjoy trail running. The time spent in nature, moving through the trees and plants, clears my head, grounds me, and reconnects me to nature.
At the beginning of the week, I schedule in all of my workouts and exercise to make sure I have time to fit it all in.
I bet when you wake up in the morning, you do the same thing every day. You get up, wash up, pick out clothes, eat breakfast, check your phone, and so on.
Did you know you could save time in your morning by automating the repetitive tasks of your day?
For instance, what if you ate the same thing for breakfast every day so you never had to think about it.
Each day I eat pretty much the same breakfast. This makes it easy for me to shop, have the goods on hand, and make breakfast quickly.
Another area is your clothing. You could have a small bullet wardrobe, one in which any piece of the wardrobe can go with any other item in the wardrobe, making it easy for you to pick out what to wear.
By making your daily tasks simple and refined, you can save time by not having to figure out what you are going to eat or wear every day.
If fashion or cooking is your passion, though, you would want to spend your time in those areas and automate other areas of your day. Make it fit you and what you care about.
Having a gratitude practice each morning, where you focus on 3 things you are grateful for, can really put you in a more positive and productive mode.
When you are feeling happy and good about your life, you become more productive and have more energy for your day.
You also will attract more good things into your life. What you focus on, you create.
Eat as many plants as you can on a daily basis – leaves, fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.
All of these foods give you tons of energy fuel so you can move through your day with gusto.
Try starting your day with a big fresh squeezed juice or a smoothie. Continue eating a plant based diet for lunch and then for dinner, you can eat your heavier items.
Give it a try and see how you feel. When you have more energy you are able to get more done in less time.
You are also able to think more clearly and help the body to reverse any damage or health issues you may be experiencing.
If you were to look at my “to do” list, you may get anxiety. My task list can go on for pages but I have a discipline where I only focus on 3 tasks per day.
If there are other things that need to be done, then they need to wait until the next day. I use Asana for task management and the Productivity Planner to plan my 3 most important tasks per day.
This discipline has made my day run smoothly and has made me more productive.
This is one I come back to again and again. Moving towards needing less creates less overhead, which creates less work.
Working less leads to more time with your family and time to do the things you enjoy.
Do we really need the most expensive car we can afford? Do we need the big house, the closets of clothes, and so on?
You may be at the point where you have so much money that it does not affect you either way (awesome), but if not, try living on less so you don’t have to work so much.
Having less things to take care of will also save you time. Believe me – this is coming from someone who loves to shop online (I’m working on it).
These are the 8 ways I have been able to create more time in my day. My hope is for you to take control of your day so you are spending time doing the things that matter the most to you.
Time is precious. We cannot refill or buy more of it. Your priorities and life will shift when you really get this and start enjoying your time as the gift it is.