While it’s true that we all have the same amount of time in each day, there are ways we can better use the time we have to make it feel like we have more of it. That’s why others are able to get more out of their day than others.
But there’s no reason why we all can’t have the appearance of more hours and minutes in our day. It just takes implementing a few simple tips each and every day to see that it happens. Here are 6 tips that you can use to get more time out of your day – and get more time on your side as a result.
1. Check email less
Email is one of the greatest time sucks that we have coming at us every day of the week. If we treated it more like the mail it was meant to replace (snail mail) and not like a command or an order, we’d be able to save tons of time sticking to the task at hand and not diverting our attention to our inboxes.
Create a rule for yourself – and everyone that corresponds with you via email – that you are going to limit the amount of times you check email per day. Be ruthless about it. If someone really needs to get a hold of you, there’s always instant messaging or the telephone. Set some standards to live by with your email management and you’ll find you’ll more hours to live with in the end.
2. Plan the night before
Take some time the night before – or even at the end of your work day – to map out what you plan to do the next day. Doing this will accomplish two things:
It will remove the mental clutter from your head so you can leave all of your work for the day behind until the following day.
It will allow you to come in the next day and know exactly where to start; no more slow starts to the day…just action.
3. Don’t fight your body clock
If you’re an early riser, great. If you’re a night owl, that’s fine. Just don’t try to change that unless you absolutely have to for reasons that can’t be avoided.
Night owls and early risers are equally productive; they just produce the results at different times of the day. For example, I’m writing this piece at nearly midnight, just as my creative juices are beginning to wind down for the night. Other writers may have already gone to bed well before this time and are up at the crack of dawn to tackle their next work. I’ve tried to fight my body clock more times than I’d like to recall – and it isn’t worth the battle. go with the flow on this one – you’ll be better off for it and so will your work.
4. Eat less and eat well – but eat more frequently
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are key meals to have every day, but they aren’t enough if you want to keep the energy going. You need to eat a little bit less during those pre-ordained meals and at 2-3 more eating periods during your day.
Of course, you need to eat well. Try to limit your sugar and caffeine intake. I have found that a small amount of almonds and some cucumber at the ready always makes for a good snack to keep me going. Don’t sacrifice your health for more time – because doing that will have the opposite effect.
5. Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of water. Keep a water bottle nearby and try to drink water that isn’t ice cold – the body has an easier time dealing with it that way.
Tea is also great if you need a break from the mundane. But remember to limit the caffeine intake – some teas are chock full of the stuff.
6. Do the hard work up front
Get the tough stuff out of the way early on. Whether that’s setting up a system so that you can be more productive or whether it is a task that is going to take more mental and physical energy to complete, do those things off the top.
Setting up an app like Evernote, Hazel or whatever task manager you choose takes some doing in the beginning, but if you spend the time doing the hard work up front it will pay off in spades over the long haul.
These 6 tips may seem simple enough, but they are not so simple to maintain. But if you keep at it and keep your eyes on the prize – which is more time for you to do what you really want – then you’ll find that sticking to them is time well spent.