This is the final post in a 5 part series on “Making Time”. Go Here to start from the beginning.
Finding time for yourself and the things you want to do isnâ€™t always easy between work and family obligations. Much of our day is spoken for before we even get up. If we allow it, life will simply take over. Start taking control of your time and carve out a few hours for yourself here and there using the practical tips below.
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Tip #1 â€“ Put Yourself on the Schedule First
Time is like money. No matter what we do, we always run out at the end of the day, the week, or the month. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s important to schedule some â€œme-timeâ€ first. Trust me, youâ€™ll be able to fit everything else you need to get done around it.
Tip #2 â€“ Stop Procrastination with a Timer and Reap the Time Rewards
When we donâ€™t want to do something, it can take us forever. We spend all weekend procrastinating on the yard work we should be doing. Grab a kitchen timer, decide how long it should ideally take you for the task, and get to work. Get through it as fast as you can. Try to beat the time. Then enjoy the rest of your weekend and do everything youâ€™ve been wanting to do but didnâ€™t think you had time for.
Iâ€™ve started using the Pomodoro Method (work for 20 minutes, rest for 5) using this timer, and I think itâ€™s really helping me to be more productive!
Tip #3 â€“ Cut Out Distractions
Another important strategy when it comes to using your time wisely and making sure you get done with hours left to do something for yourself is to cut out distractions. Close the door to your office. Turn off your phone. Put the XBox away in a closet. Cut out as many distractions as you can and get to work quickly and efficiently. A reminder of what youâ€™ll do for fun when you get done will help keep you motivated.
Tip #4 â€“ Delete or Delegate
The best way to save time is to cut things out completely. You can do that in one of two ways. You can cut it out, or you can get someone else to do it for you. As you look through your calendar and to-do list, ask yourself if you really have to take care of this personally. Does it have to get done at all? Start by deleting things that donâ€™t really need to be done from the list. Then go through what remains, line by line, and decide if someone else can do it for you. Get in the habit of delegating or consider automating tasks. Before long youâ€™ll reap the time rewards of not doing it all on your own.
Which tip will you try out first? Do you have one that works well for you that you would like to share? Leave a comment below so we can all benefit from even more practical time-saving tips.