How to Find More Time in a Day

“Ti-i-i-i-i-me is on my side, yes it is…” Such a good song, such a good feel.

When was the last time you felt like that?

Seems that enough time in a day is what we actually want, time to spend with our loved ones, with ourselves, time to do what we truly love. But 24 hours is all we get. Or 16, 17, 18 waking hours – depends on how much you sleep. The only way round the conundrum of finding more time is to make better use of the time you already have.

Since we are a referral agency offering cleaning services in Santa Monica and across Los Angeles, every day we come in contact with people who want to manage their time better. Here are some hacks that we have collected.

Drains, gaps and triage

The guiding principles of time management are: recognize time-eaters, reclaim gap time and focus on what’s important. When you take a close look at your average day, you’ll see where you waste time – working without producing results or having leisure time that doesn’t bring joy. Another thing that will stand out is the gap time you could be overlooking – time between activities that isn’t long enough to start something else, like when you are commuting. Finally, when it comes to the crunch when you have to decide which things you’ll spend time on, prioritizing is the best way (and the hardest, but it pays off).

Robbers and gems

Here are some areas of life where you could be robbing yourself of more time or you could be oblivious to hidden time gems.

Try watching only the most favorite shows on TV or TiVo the shows you’re interested in. Avoid watching the news in the morning, because it has a way of depressing us. Plus, it distracts you from being present in the moment and getting ready for the day ahead of you, both physically and mentally.

Try out an Internet diet. Limit your surfing time to one hour per day. When you know you have a designated amount of time to spend surfing, you’ll do it more consciously and efficiently.

Stop yourself from checking the email for the nth time. Checking emails and responding to them is best done in a chunk of time. It distracts you from other activities. The same goes for voice mail and all kinds of paperwork – deal with it once and don’t go back to it until tomorrow. That will enforce your focus.

Housework is another Bermuda triangle for time. Consider hiring maids because their job is to do things that are just a chore to you. If you are not convinced this would be money well spent, read this article about reasons for getting professional cleaning services. Otherwise, you could take your cleanliness standards a notch down and approach cleaning as a way to keep things going, rather than achieving spotless shine (which is something professional cleaners could achieve for you).

Be present in the moment as opposed to trying to multi-task constantly. A clear head brings more value to the time you’ve got. On the other hand, some things can get done simultaneously like – waiting in line and organizing your calendar, or waiting in line and reading something. Cooking and washing the dishes could also work. Talking on the phone using a wireless headset and doing a 10-minute decluttering routine could do the trick. Find activities that you can group together in a way that doesn’t sap your physical and mental energy.

Protect your high-productivity time in the day by redirecting calls and not checking the inbox during that time. Find out which period is your peak productivity time and make most of it.

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