10 Ways to Find Extra Hours in Your Day
Not Enough Hours in the Day? Find the extra time you need to put your plans into action
How many times have you wished that there were extra hours in the day?
You have so many jobs to get done in your waking hours and little, if any, time left in the day to do the things you really want to do.
It’s so frustrating. By the time you get the chance to work on your own projects or goals, you are either too tired or can’t be bothered. So you eventually give up on the idea.
Miracle Workers or Superhuman?
You can’t help wonder, however, how other people are able to achieve so much in the time that we are given each day.
How can others find time for hobbies or to check items off from their ‘bucket list’?
How on earth do people manage to work, have kids and start up a side business?
That just sounds impossible and you wouldn’t be blamed if you thought that these people are either supernatural beings or they have a whole load of paid help that allows them to carry out so much in a day.
The reality is that these people aren’t superhuman, they are just able to manage the same 24 hours in a more effective way than most people.
It is that simple.
Well, perhaps it’s not simple - but it certainly is a habit that you can develop and this is what you are going to discover in this post, so keep reading!
Daily Time Wasting
Although we complain that there are not enough hours in the day, we certainly would complain more if we actually did have more hours! We would feel the need to keep awake longer and we would be tired, lethargic and never get anything done as we are all guilty of procrastinating!
Your days at work would be longer - not your free hours. This is not what you want.
What you need is the ability to have more control over the hours that you do have in the day.
What I mean by ‘control’ is that you make more conscious decisions over how you spend your time. Sure, you have to go to work, pick the kids up, cook dinner and do the housework, but can you do this more effectively? Are there other non-essential things that are eating up your time? Are you losing focus and getting side-tracked?
Everyone is guilty of this, but this is the main difference between those who achieve and those who just think about achieving.
Let’s take a look at how you can utilise your hours a little more effectively and perhaps reclaim some ‘lost’ hours in your day.
1. Turn the TV Off
With each programme lasting at least 30 minutes, it’s amazing just how much time TV eats up into your day.
Say you got home from work and turned the TV on at 6pm, then didn’t go to bed until 10pm - that’s 4 hours of TV watching per working day. That all adds up to 20 hours per working week!
At the weekend you may even watch more, as you turn on a film or reality TV show.
Just think - that’s like sitting in front of the TV for at least one whole day each week!
I’m not saying that you should dispose of your TV. I’m saying that you can be more mindful of what you watch and when.
Try watching less and be more choosy as to the programs you do watch.
Turn the TV off when the programme has finished so that you are not tempted to watch something else straight after it.
2. Pre-plan Meals
Pre-planning meals is a great time-saving exercise.
If you know what you are having to eat each evening, then you can pre-buy what you need in advance rather than having to go the shop every day to pick up what you can find.
I don’t need to tell you how busy grocery stores can be at 5pm, when everyone leaves work and decides to pick up food on the way home!
Avoid the queues and the hassle by having a plan in place.
3. Have Groceries Delivered to You
Where possible, have your groceries delivered to you.
There may be a cost for delivery, but it will be small and worth it to recover the couple of hours it takes you to go shopping each week.
4. Learn to Say ‘No’
Tempting as some invites may be, sometimes you need to say ‘no’.
The pressure may be on you to help out the PTA at the school fete, but remember that these events often eat up more time than you expect it to.
Don’t avoid everything - just be sure to have the time already available in your schedule. If you don’t have the time free, then you need to say ‘no’.
5. Switch Off Social Media
We all spend far too much time on social media. We scroll aimlessly through various platforms and completely lose track of time.
Set yourself times each day to check your accounts. Set an alarm to remind you to close the apps down. Stick to these times and you will free up more precious time in your day.
6. Use Lunch Breaks Wisely
Our lunch breaks are time away from work and a break for our minds. We can still use this time effectively, though.
For example, if you are studying, take 15 minutes of your break to read or revise over a subject. If you go for a walk on your break, listen to a podcast on the subject.
If you need more time when you get home at night, use your lunch break to make your phone calls, update your diary or draw up your weekly shopping plans.
15 minutes used wisely can really make a big difference - those 15 minutes all add up over days.
7. Smart Travel
Travel takes up so much time in our days. You can still tap into this time and multitask!
If you are driving, try listening to a podcast instead of the radio/music.
If you travel on a bus or train, you can do the same, or read, update your schedules, and make plans.
8. Delegate Tasks
You are not superhuman, and if you have a partner or family, you shouldn’t be expected to do all their tasks as well as your own.
Learn to delegate tasks, explaining that there are things that you need to focus on for yourself.
If your kids are a little older, start teaching them simple tasks they can do to help with the housework.
Think about hiring someone to help with your chores such as cleaning around the house and garden, and laundry. It may feel strange at first to pay for help, but you will have more time free to get on with achieving your dreams so you will soon get used to the idea!
9. Stick to Your Schedule
Take time to plan out what you need to do and when you need to achieve it by.
Share your schedule with your partner/family members so that they know what you are planning to do and when.
Try to stick to this schedule, saying ‘no’ where you need to.
Remember, it’s not being rude or selfish, it’s carrying out a commitment to yourself and taking the time out that you need to achieve it.
You would let others do the same, so now it’s your turn.
10. If the Task Doesn’t Compliment Your Goal - Avoid It
Your energy flows to where your focus goes. If you take your focus off of your goal, your energy will also be removed from it. This means that you will no longer be working towards achieving your dream.
Sure, not all tasks you do in a day will compliment your goal - but they will be necessary for other areas of your life.
Just be more particular in what you choose to focus on in your spare time.
If you are wishing to acquire a qualification, then focus on study and information around the topic.
If you want a new job, then focus your time on upgrading your resume and social profiles.
If you want to travel the world, then plan your itinerary, finances and what you need to pack!
So, these are my top ten tips for finding more hours in your day!
These are the tips that I use, and they work for me. Yes, it can be challenging, but always remember to keep your mind focused on the goal.
To help you, I have created a checklist that you can download. It will help you focus on what you can change in your day that will lead to more available hours for you to work on your dreams.
Download the checklist here.
Keep your focus - you can do this!