If you’re anything like me then you will have a huge list of things you want to do. Yet finding the time in your busy, jam packed schedule can be pretty difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You simply need to be more mindful about how you’re spending your time. Today I want to share with you some tips on how you can make time for everything you want and still have time to relax.
Cut Down Distraction Time
Sometimes we can feel like our schedule is completely full but in reality we are wasting a lot of time being distracted by social media. Browsing through Instagram and trailing off on YouTube, watching our favourite bloggers. Sometimes we don’t even notice how much time we’re wasting, 15 minutes here and another 15 minutes there all adds up, we actually waste a lot of time being distracted. If this sounds like something which you do then you need to cut down distraction time in order to make room for your passions.
One thing which I do to stop myself from being distracted is leave my phone in another room when I’m working on a project. For example, I like to wake up early before work to make time for my blog. As I’ve gone to the effort or waking up early I don’t want to waste my time being distracted, therefore I leave my phone in another room. I can then sit down and focus my time and attention to my blog.
The days of believing you’re good at multitasking are over. Research suggests that people who multitask are less likely to be productive, in fact we are much more effective when we focus on one thing at a time. To stop wasting your time, you need to stop multitasking as it divides your attention and leads to sloppy mistakes. By concentrating on one thing at a time you will eliminate distractions as well being able to complete your tasks quickly, you will also make fewer mistakes and therefore have less work to do. Sounds like a no brainer to me!
However, with that being said there are a few occasions when multitasking is perfectly acceptable and will actually save you time. For example, when you’re driving you can listen to helpful and educational podcasts. When you’re on the train to work you can read a couple of chapters of your book, sometimes I use my commuting time to write blog posts.
To make time for everything you want you need to decide on your non-negotiable’s. These are tasks which you absolutely have to do, such as going to work or picking the kids up from school. These can also be tasks which you really want to do, such as going for an early morning swim or doing yoga.
Task: Write a list of all your non-negotiable items.
My non-negotiable’s are:
- Commute to work
- Half marathon training
- Spending time with my boyfriend, Ash
- Seeing my friends and family
Dream a Little
Now that you’ve wrote a list of your non-negotiable’s it’s now time to dream a little, or dream a lot! Think about all of the things which you really want to make time for. What is your ideal life, actually, what is your dream life? Don’t hold yourself back from anything. There may be things in your non-negotiable’s which you wish you had more time for, such as spending time with your family or blogging, if so you can add these items to you ‘wish list’.
Task: Write a list of all the things you want to make time for. Then next to each item, write how long you would like to dedicate.
My wish list:
- Blogging (1.5 hours in the morning)
- Adventures and days out (Fortnightly)
- Yoga (45 minutes, once a week)
- Journaling (5 minutes a day)
Design Your Time
First, block out time for your non-negotiable’s such as work or school. Next, take out your ‘wish list’ and see where you can schedule these items. Be realistic and don’t pack too much into your schedule, by keeping space between each task you will allow time for self-care and those little unexpected things in life.
I recommend starting with your morning routine, if you set your alarm before the rest of the house wakes up and before you need to start your day, you can set time aside to do the things you love. That’s why I wake up early every weekday to work on my blog.
In the middle of the day there are so many things which can distract us. For example, in my personal schedule I would need to block the day time for work, therefore I don’t have much time for myself during the day. Apart from my lunch break when I can sometimes schedule in exercise, such as going for a run. However, you know what works best for you and your schedule.
The evening is a good time to wind down from the day, during this time you might want to schedule in something a little more relaxing such as journaling or reading. However like I said, you know what works best for you and your schedule, play around with your planner and see where you can fit in the things you love.
How Does it Look?
Now that you’ve scheduled your ideal week, you should hopefully be able to see that you can make time for everything you want. However, if your schedule is looking a little packed then I suggest you re-think your time. You want this schedule to become part of your daily / weekly routine therefore you need to allow yourself downtime, otherwise you will burn yourself out and end up not making time for any of the things you love. If you can’t fit everything from your ‘wish list’ into your week then pick your favourites for this month and then next month you can mix things up. You can do this exercise on a weekly or a monthly schedule, whatever works best for you. Remember, you are in control of your time.