If there is one thing we feel we never have enough of – it is time.
Yet all of us have exactly the same amount of hours in each day. As we are only too aware, it’s how we use those hours that counts.
To be honest, I debated on the title for this post. Technically speaking, we cannot ‘have’ more time. We get 24 hours every day. We don’t get extra hours for good behavior.
Neither can we ‘save’ time. We can’t take two hours out of today and bank it into tomorrow. We can’t stop the clock if we are wasting time and start it again when we do something purposeful. The clock keeps ticking on regardless.
It seems to be more about finding some free time in our busy lives as well as not wasting the precious time we have.
Here are some tips on having more free time.
Watch Less Television
I have already written two television related posts, Could You Give Up Television? and Do You Need to Rethink your Television Viewing?
Many of us (including myself on some days) spend too much time watching television. Yet we keep telling ourselves we don’t have time to get the important things done.
Imagine for a moment it is a weeknight. You sit down to watch the evening news, a current affair program, a reality show, then you settle in for a dose of CSI and Law and Order. That selection alone could add up to 4 hours a day.
Times that by 5 days a week and you have spent 1040 hours watching television in a year. This staggering figure equates to 43 days out of your year. Well over a month! Not to mention, this is a conservative figure at best, considering I didn’t take weekend viewing into account.
Think of your goals and imagine what you could be achieving with that time?
You might be thinking, this doesn’t apply to me because I don’t watch much television.
Let me ask you – how many DVD’s or music videos do you watch? How many boxed sets of your favorite programs do you own and watch regularly? I talk from experience here because this is where I sometimes come unstuck. Box sets can suck a huge amount of time out of your day.
Know the difference between a want and a need
Your to do list is huge and you wonder how you are ever going to get through it.
Okay, let’s have another look at your list. This probably applies more to personal task lists over work related ones but I am sure the same logic can apply in some cases.
You are stressed because you have so much to do. You spend Saturday running around like a maniac, collapsing in an exhausted, complaining heap at the end of the day.
Have another look at your list. Did you really need to do and buy everything on the list today?
Were all of the tasks equally important or did you merely want some of them? Any list, whether it’s a shopping or to do list will contain both wants and needs.
Learn to understand the difference between the two and make the decision on whether you want to run around town exhausting yourself for a pure want that can easily wait.
Get up early in the morning
If you are a parent with young children, you probably do this already. Most likely you are up early looking after the kids.
One of my friends is an early riser, like ridiculously early and she often mentions it on Facebook.
What she doesn’t realize is her natural body clock is a wonderful opportunity for her. Instead of playing games on her mobile, she could be using this time more wisely. She has several hours in the morning before the rest of us have gotten up to work on creative, fun or interesting projects.
If you are a gifted or cursed (depending how you look at it) early riser, make the most of it and ensure those extra hours in the morning work to your advantage.
What makes us think we have to do everything ourselves?
What makes us assume no one else can do a task to our satisfaction? Whatever the reason, you need to throw out the concept of having to do everything yourself.
Ditch the perfectionism. Delegate where possible. Learn how to ask for help.
I admit this one is a double-edged sword. It takes time to get organised but by being organised you can save time.
I will give you a basic example. Are you constantly running around in the morning before you go to work, looking for things? Always forgetting where you left your mobile? Can’t find your car keys?
If you know where things are and they are where they should be, you will save a lot of time not having to rummage for things. I have to admit I’m still working on this one myself. What can I say, it’s a work in progress.
When you use your time wisely, you will find you have more time.
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