As business owners, we’re all stretched for time. You can’t wave a magic wand and make the day longer. But there are things you can do to save time. And there are things you can do to maximize what you accomplish with your time. In essence, you can add hours to your day.
This will require a change in your habits, but many of these strategies are self-rewarding. Once you see the benefits to be gained, you’ll be motivated to continue.
Follow these tips to add hours to your day and accomplish more:
- Put things away when you’re done with them. Rather than creating clutter that gets in your way and is emotionally distracting, put things away when you’re done using them. Tell yourself that a task isn’t complete until everything is picked up.
- Do easy things during your least productive hours. Everyone has a time of day when their physical or mental energy is low. Schedule easy tasks during these times. It can be a good time to read emails, file papers, or tidy up.
- Do your most challenging tasks during your most productive hours. Likewise, you have a time of day when your focus and energy are high. Do your most challenging tasks during this time.
- Reduce the amount of time spent on low-value activities. You might be surprised by how much time you spend watching TV, surfing the internet, or texting friends. Putting this time to better use can easily add a few hours of productive time for most people.
- Batch your activities. Answer all of your emails at once. Pay all of your bills twice a month. Remember that it takes time to switch tasks and regain your focus.
- Make use of waiting time. If you’re stuck in traffic, make your phone calls. If you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, deal with your email. Waiting for your child to get dressed? Clean up the kitchen.
- Track your time. The average person has little idea about how they spend their time. Track how you spend your time for a week. Every 30 minutes record how you spent the last half-hour. Divide your activities into different categories and see how much time you spend on each.
- Get help. Ask for help at work. Give your spouse or children some tasks to do at home. Is your mother constantly asking you if she can help? Give her something to do.
- Hire someone to mow your grass.
- Hire a cleaning service.
- Buy your groceries online and have them delivered.
- Pay someone to run your errands.
- Schedule your day. Make the most of each day by making a schedule and sticking to it. Decide the most important tasks that need to be done and do those. You’ll waste less time and add hours to your day.
- Go to bed earlier. Most people don’t accomplish a lot in the evening. Shorten your evening by going to bed earlier. Then, you can add hours to your morning by getting up earlier. There are very few high-achievers that don’t get up early every day.
- Eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone. Use white noise to drown out distracting sounds. Close all of your computer windows and tabs other than what is needed. If you can get more accomplished each hour, you’re adding hours to your day.
The length of a day is fixed. After sleeping, there are a finite number of hours left. You can’t make the day longer, but you can get more out of each day. Get as much out of each day as you can. The more effective you are at using your time, the more success and free time you’ll enjoy.
Do you have any other tips for stretching the hours in the day?