If you’re like most people, you feel crunched for time. You spend all day jumping from one task to the next, with no free moments left over to relax and care for yourself.
There has to be a better way, right?
4 Tricks for Saving Time
You don’t need to go from working five days a week to only working four days a week. (Though that would be nice.) And you certainly don’t have to quit your job and become your own boss. All it takes is a few adjustments and you can carve out some free time.
Imagine what you could do with an extra 60 to 90 minutes per day.
You could read 50-plus books per year, learn a new hobby, create memories with your kids, or take more naps. It’s totally your call!
Most people trip up because they try to reclaim 60-90 minutes in one fell swoop. The key is to do it incrementally. You save 10 minutes here and 15 minutes there. And when it’s all said and done, you suddenly have a lot more free time left at the end of the day.
Where do you start? Let’s explore some tactics:
1. Have a Process for Everything
If you want to be efficient in life, you need to create a process for everything. Whether it’s mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, or submitting a proposal at work, a process allows you to spend less time figuring out the details and more time getting stuff done.
Let’s use mowing the grass as an example. Your process might look like:
- Fill the lawnmower with gas
- Pick up sticks in the yard
- Mow the front yard
- Empty the clippings
- Mow the backyard
- Empty the clippings
- Edge the yard
- Blow off hard surfaces
- Put lawn equipment back in its place
Do you see how simple and straightforward that is? What your process looks like is less important than the fact that you have a process. Become streamlined in every area of your life and watch as you get faster and more efficient.
2. Stop Multitasking
Research continues to reveal the irony of multitasking. In almost every case, it ends up costing people time.
Create a prioritized list of tasks for each day and tackle them one at a time until completion. If you must stop a task in the middle, find a clean breaking point, stop it completely, and then shift to the next task. Don’t do them both simultaneously.
3. Automate the Small Things
It’s not always the big tasks that are most time-consuming. It’s the dozens of small, repetitive tasks that compound to eat up valuable hours in your day.
Take a real estate investor, for example. It’s not the finding properties and securing financing that takes up valuable time. It’s chasing down rent checks, responding to plumbing emergencies, and reviewing accounting statements that throws everything into disarray. Thus, smart real estate investors hire property management services to streamline all of these tasks on their behalf.
You don’t have to be a real estate investor to follow this formula. Whether you’re a copywriter, electrician, or stay-at-home parent, there are ways to automate via delegation or technology. Use these opportunities to your advantage.
4. Learn to Say No
Most people spend their time saying yes to everything.
- New project at work? Yes.
- Child wants to join the soccer team? Yes.
- Drinks with friends after work? Yes.
- Two-week vacation next month? Yes.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these things in isolation. The problem is that it becomes habitual. Learning to say no is the skill that you should be working hard to cultivate. It’ll make your life a whole lot more enjoyable.
Optimize Your Days and Rediscover Freedom
Think back to a time in your life when you had ample free time. It might be back before you had kids, or prior to starting your own business. Or perhaps you have to go all the way back to when you were a kid yourself. Whatever the case may be, take a mental journey back to that period of your life and recall how free you felt.
Circumstances have changed, but your ability to feel that freedom has not. It’s all about optimizing your current set of circumstances in a way that frees up your schedule to indulge in relaxation, hobbies, and personal interests.
Are you willing to make free time a bigger priority moving forward?