If you are anything like me, you have often wished for a few extra hours in a day. The to-do list is always slightly longer than is manageable, and there is little to no room in the day’s routine to add in anything new. I used to wish I had more time to devote to the gym, for prayer & meditation, or to learn a new skill or language. However, when I looked at my schedule, it just didn’t seem feasible.
That changed several years ago after I was given some advice that challenged my perspective on the amount of time I have available. A mentor advised me to step away from the overwhelming list of daily tasks and all the additions I wanted to make, and instead focus on identifying the “time-wasters”.
- What activities are not necessary?
- What activities are not adding value?
- What distractions keep you from your goals & work?
- Are you efficient in your transitions between tasks?
I quickly came to realize that a significant amount of my day was dedicated to social media, commuting, Netflix, complaining about my workload, or just getting lost bouncing from task to task without seeing to any of their completion. There was plenty of time to accomplish more, if I would live with intention and stick to my priorities. I made a few simple changes that significantly helped increase my productivity.
- I began to list the day’s activities, rated & planned their order, and then didn’t allow for low-level distractions to pull me away from the task (example: checking social media, unnecessary conversations, lower level to-dos).
- I found ways to double up on activities to accomplish more in the same amount of time. I used my commute as an opportunity to listen to audio books, podcasts, & study a new language. I even began watching my favorite Netflix shows on the treadmill.
- I restricted social media hours. This not only helped during the day, but opened up a portion of my morning and evening to allow for prayer and meditation.
There is so much hidden and lost time in every day. I challenge you to find where you are missing out on opportunities to live and do more! With a little self-reflection and planning I think you will be surprised by how much more your day has to offer.