Time is the most important currency in our lives. Everything else can be negotiated: there’s always money to be made. Everyone’s busy, we’ve got jobs, hobbies, kids, social lives, and the unexpected always loves to pop up. So, it would only make sense that we’re trying to find ways to declutter our lives Marie Kondo-style.
Everyone’s either trying to get more work done or find ways to slip out of the back door faster. Adding hours to the day is the one thing we all wish we could do. It’s either that or never sleep, which many of us are guilty of. Whatever the case may be, streamlining your day is always good, considering the amount of sheer “stuff” we interact with daily.
If you’re ready to hack off the excess time of your day, so it’s a lean, mean, fighting machine, let’s go. Some of these might seem obvious, but when you really think about it and make the changes, you’ll see an impact.
Get off social media
There’s no bigger time suck that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest – all of them. One of the easiest ways you can get time back in your day is to just say no. There are blockers which can limit your internet usage to only the essential stuff. While this works for your laptop, go the extra mile and delete them off of your phone. Phone deletion is the biggest one. You’ll find yourself more engaged in your world, but also able to get more stuff done because you’re not endlessly scrolling through photos of people’s dogs on Instagram.
Think about when you’re sitting in a waiting room or when you’re sitting in the car, waiting for your kid to get out of baseball camp. Use this time to get stuff done instead of using social media. This is the perfect time to catch up on phone calls, answer emails, or catch up on reading or even pay off the house note.
Turn off the news
By all means, get informed, stay informed. Following the news is a critical part of our lives to make social and cultural choices, but don’t watch it first thing in the morning. There’s rarely anything trending on the news, so you’re better off finding out what’s happening after you’ve had a coffee. Bad news can make us linger in front of the television, frantically searching Twitter to see what’s happening that very moment. This is problematic because it takes you away from time spent with your kids or getting ready for work.
Turn off the television
Are you noticing a pattern? The TV can be a vast time-killer, too. Now, we’re not saying unplug your TV, but if you’re trying to get more done in an average day, a great place to start is by cutting your TV time down. The average person watches almost 3 hours of TV a day according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s time that could be spent getting more done or improving a skill. If you took all of that time spent binge-watching The Great British Baking Show, you’d get 11 days back out of your year. Try only watching TV for an hour a night or schedule most of your watching over the weekend.
Set time limits on life
Hard deadlines are always effective. Whatever you’re working on, set time limits. If you’re searching for a new pair of Vans and after 45 minutes still can’t land on a pair you love, it’s time to put the shoe game on the back burner. Or if you’ve found a pair you like but are obsessing about the lowest price, after that 45 minutes, stick with the best one and move on. The time you’ve wasted trying to save $10 just isn’t worth it against the other things you need to get done.
If you need to catch up on stuff like emails, listening to voicemails, and answering requests on LinkedIn, try to carve out time for all of these things at once. It’s easier to do it all at the same time because grabbing all of these little things and compiling will ultimately save you hours on the clock. Spreading them out through the day will lead to backups for other things that need your attention. Give yourself an hour in the morning and an hour at the end of the day for all of these requests.
If you work from home, try multi-tasking during those boring calls. If you’re stuck in a meeting where you say nothing but have to be there, get the gardening done, or finish cleaning up a client’s books, whatever. Just maximize your time instead of wistfully staring out the window, wishing you weren’t on this call.
Write it down
Make lists of things you need to do. All it takes is a pen and paper. If you want to get a little more technology-advanced, get a Trello board. Trello is easy and free. You can create goals and tasks, moving them along into three piles: To-do, in progress, and done. People really like crossing things off the list – it works for a sense of accomplishment. This way, you’re not trying to overthink, “what did I need to do today?”
Trimming things down to help your day go faster is totally possible. All it takes is some dedicated effort on your part. If you’ve got some tips on how to hack down your downtime, we’d love to hear about it. For everything else, check out the Adia blog. We’re here to help make your every day just a little bit better.