Add Hours to your day: The Lockdown Edition!

Firstly I'll say you can’t wave a magic wand and make the day longer. And I'm sure the majority of us are thankful that we can't at this particular moment in time. However there certainly does seem like a lot of stuff to get through in a day.......Whether you are juggling home schooling with your business, your job with your business, your family commitments around your household and business or just plain juggling running a business through a pandemic there's not many of us out there who aren't trying to squeeze in more to our day during this time and although we unfortunately can't make the day longer or hit reset on the past few months, there are practical things you can do to save time. And there are things you can do to maximise what you can accomplish with your time therefore adding 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 hopefully be motivated to continue. Which at the minute I'm certainly not underestimating.....personally I'm squeezing in home schooling my 10 year old with additional needs and a 6 year old who loves any excuse to go and grab the paint tubs when nobody is watching her alongside running large communities of wedding pro's around the world, blogging, keeping in touch with our community via email and inside of our groups, podcasting, drumming up more business and I have an amazing bunch of one to one clients who are juggling pressures inside of their business too and are also looking for a way to manage their workloads too.

Follow these tips to get into some positive habits for adding a bit of extra time to your day to accomplish more:

1. Put things away when you’re done with them. Rather than creating clutter which 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Reduce the amount of time spent on low-value activities. You might be surprised by how much time you spend watching TV or surfing the internet endlessly with not a lot actually achieved. I'm not saying don't watch TV - gosh please do! I use my TV time as reenergising time but if you feel like you can quite easily waste days on end in front of something you aren't even interested in watching.....putting this time to better use can easily add a few hours of productive time for most people. If you have ever read the 4 hour work week Ferriss says the average human being is flooded with information on a day-to-day basis, most of which is “time-consuming, negative, irrelevant to [their] goals, and outside of [their] influence.” And with attention spread so thin, how can anyone ever be fully focused?

In the book Ferriss suggests that everyone go on an “information diet” and practice “selective ignorance”—at least for a week to try it out. Stop watching the news (read the headlines if you have to). Stop surfing the web unless it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t read any books (unless it’s fiction and for pleasure). I find this has a positive impact on my own mental health, I'm incredibly selective about the news I consume and the time of day I consume it. Try it and see how you feel!

By only consuming information that is pertinent to your immediate goals, and ignoring all the rest, you can begin to focus your attention on the things that really matter.

5. 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.

6. Make use of waiting time. If you're stuck in traffic, take some of your phone calls. If you’re waiting for that zoom call to start, send an email. Waiting for your child to get dressed? Clean up the kitchen.

7. Track your time. The average person has little idea how they spend their time. Ever felt a whole day go by and you're not really sure what you actually did? Track how you spend your time for a week. Every hour or so record what you did. Divide your activities into different categories and see how much time you spend on each.

8. Get help. Ask for help at work. Talk to your partner and involve your children in some tasks to do at home. Give them something to do. Hire someone to mow your lawn. Hire a cleaning service. Buy your food shopping online and have them delivered. All freeing up time for you to be elsewhere.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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 are needed. If you can get more accomplished each hour, you’re adding hours to your day.

Like I stated at the beginning of this article, unfortunately and I still believe it to be a blessing at this time that you can’t make the day too much longer we don't need this month dragging out any longer do we! but you can....... get more out of each day.

The more effective you are at using your time, the more success and free time you can enjoy.