How To Find Time: 10 Simple Ways To Reduce 'Busyness' and Increase Happiness
Ten life coach tips and time management techniques to help you get organised and find more time for the things you love
At the pace of the world today, it might feel difficult to find more time for everything. But it doesn't have to be difficult. With good time management skills, knowing when to say no and understanding what you DO want to do, you can enjoy life and time out.
1. Stop saying ‘I don’t have time’
How often do you hear yourself saying ‘I don’t have time’? Instead, keep saying ‘I have time’, to yourself and to other people. I have time. I have time. I have time. This will change your attitude towards time and as the brain believes what you tell it the most, you will start to believe that you do have time.
2. Values alignment
Your values are what is important to you, for example, wellbeing, friends, community, sport, music or art.
If you spend lots of time doing things that don’t match your values, you are more likely to feel like you never have enough time and may feel unfulfilled or even unhappy.
Therefore, when you do spend time on things which are aligned with your values, you enjoy life more and feel happier because you are spending your time well.
What can you change or eliminate so you can spend more time on activities that match your values?
3. Avoid procrastination
Don't let procrastination waste time by asking yourself these two questions;
1) ‘What will happen if I do this?’ Will you save time in the future? Be able to finish early on friday? Will you increase your income? Meet a new client? Pocket money for a holiday? Feel more organised? Be able to pick the kids up from school?
2) ‘What will happen if I don’t do this?’ The answer here is usually ‘nothing will happen’ or ‘I will miss out on XYZ’.
4. The percentage time rule
Think about how you spend your waking hours to identify what is eating up your time. Label with percentages.
If you realise you spend 80% of your waking hours on work (including travel to work, answering work emails/calls, thinking about work), you only have 20% left for you, your family, hobbies, eating etc. What changes can you make to create more time for activities outside of work?
If you realise you spend 65% of your downtime scrolling through social media or watching TV, you only have 35% left to do more fulfilling - or healthy - activities. Reduce screen time and introduce more face to face or physical activities.
If you spend 15% of your week in unnecessary meetings, on unfulfilling coffee dates or on time wasting phone calls, and know you have much better things to do, just cancel them! People might be put out, but they’ll calm down. This is setting a boundary.
5.Time management chunking
It can be deeply demotivating or frustrating if you set aside a certain amount of time for a task and get nowhere near finishing within the allotted time. Appreciate that it takes time to set up, get started, focused and in the zone. Depending on the task, add an extra 30-60 minutes to your scheduled time to take this into account. Allow time for breaks.
6. Time management goal setting
In the same vein as no. 4 above, be detailed when you set tasks or goals to avoid frustration or ‘running out of time’. Be specific when you set goals or tasks.
For example, planning to ‘write a new sales presentation’ or ‘organise the attic’ is vague. There are likely many more steps, for example, a new sales presentation may require research time, designing a template, sourcing images, writing text, editing. Organising the attic may require you to take everything out, put it into category piles, decide what to keep/throw/donate, clean the space, put back up in an organised way.
When you identify the steps, you are more efficient and less likely to lose time.
7. Choose a time management affirmation
Repeating a positive affirmation such as ‘I am focused’ at the start of a work session helps you to avoid distractions and stay on track. Say it out loud several times when you start a task and repeat it if you feel the pull of a distraction like the ping of an email or an urge for a sneak at Instagram.
8. Bring in some help
Could you find more time if you hire a cleaner? Find a virtual assistant to write your business social media posts so you have more time for yourself or time for family? (There are many great VAs who charge only £15 an hour). Is there a short professional course you could take to reduce the amount of time you spend on a certain activity eg accounting, DIY, Powerpoint presentations, web design?
9. Prepare the night before
Decide the night before what you want to do the next day. This is one of the best time management tips if you are susceptible to procrastination or faffing.
If you want to go for a run, get your kit ready the night before. If you want to eat healthily, prepare your food the night before. If you have a to-do list, decide the night before what task you will do first; does it need any prep? What headspace do you want to get yourself in before you start that task?
10. Schedule time for yourself
Schedule time for relaxing, family time, hobbies, even thinking sessions. Schedule this time in your diary, like you would a work meeting, to reduce the risk of it being dismissed for something else. It helps your mind to appreciate that it is important and you don’t want to be distracted.
If you would like to find more time and need a little help to organise your time better, please book a Time Management coaching session with me. In 90 minutes, I will help you cut through distractions, get organised and achieve more.
One 90-minute session costs £135.
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