20 Ideas That Give You More Time in Your Day

Does extra time seem like something you just never have enough of?  Do you miss having time for your favorite hobbies or time with your loved ones?  There are several ways to add more time into your day.  Read below to see if there are suggestions you may not have thought of.

What Would You Do With Your Extra Time

First, identify what it is you would like to do with your extra time.  See yourself in the act of doing it.  Want it.  Once you have these images you will be more apt to work toward finding the time by using the suggestions below:

Make a List

Make a list of all you do each day.  Everyone needs a starting point.  Knowing where you are will show you where you can improve.  Write the one thing you do and how long you did it for.  As soon as you stop doing something productive, record your time.  It should look like this:  Shower, dressed, teeth, hair = 30; coffee and e-mail =15; phone games =10; etc.

Try to lump time together when possible so you aren’t spending the day recording.  Try to account for as much of your day as possible.

Identify Your Personal Time Wasters

Identify the individual things you are currently wasting time on.  Review your list and circle the things you were doing that were non-essential and non-productive.  Circle it, even if it was 10 minutes of extra time.

Next, put a square around the other things that take 10 to 30 minutes that actually require your attention that you can fit in during unexpected down time.

Be Mindful of What You are Spending Time on

Be mindful of what you are doing as often as possible.  Do you keep catching yourself playing games on your phone, starting up video or computer games, reading what everyone is up to on social networks, having a conversation over text instead of making a quick phone call?  The list could be endless.

Keep that daily list of what you are doing going for as long as you can.  This will help you improve daily and keep your focus where you want it.

Prioritize

What are the most important things that need to get done in your day?  Add those to a new list in a scheduled manner, giving them their allotted times.  Leave holes between the necessary events.  This is where you will be able to add things that were otherwise missing in your life that you stated above that you wanted to do.

Stop Procrastinating 

When you put things off you will tend to feel guilty.  If you’re like me, you will fill that time with useless, time-wasting tasks such as checking your e-mail for the 20th time in your day.  Just do what needs to be done, keeping the goal of what you will do with your spare time fresh in your mind at all times.

Consolidate

There are things that you can do, such as checking your e-mails or texts for instance that do not have to be done every 20 minutes.  Set a time in your day to do these things all at once.

This can also be done with household chores like recycling cans, take them with you when you grocery shop for instance instead of making a separate trip.

When you have errands to run, map out where you need to go and get it all done at once so you are not back tracking over your route or forgetting things and having to go out later.

Get into a Habit

Use lists to get yourself into a habit.  If you do things in order over and over you will find they become a habit.  This is especially great for your morning and evening routines.  If everyone does things in order, things will run more smoothly and you will eventually get them done faster.

Getting children to follow a routine does wonders for them as well.  If you make yourself a list at night of what needs to be done the next day, you are a step ahead.

Sleep 7 to 8 Hours

If you do not sleep this much, you should.  It will keep you rested and you will be able to think better during your day.

If you sleep more than that or take naps, cutting back may add an extra hour or two to your day.  You may not actually even be tired, you may just be bored or restless, causing you to feel tired.  When you are filling your time with something you love to do, you will want to sleep less because you will find that you have more mental energy.

Use Time Saving Apps

One example that can save you time is banking apps.  You can pay your bills, check your balances, and transfer money all from your computer or phone.  This will save you from going to the bank as often.  There are some banks that even have the ability to take a picture of a check from your phone and deposit it for you.  With so many apps out there you can find several that will actually save you time.

Delegate

You do not have to do everything yourself.  I know personally that it can be hard to let things go and let other people do them.  Some people do not do things the way we want them done.  Relinquish control, realize that’s OK.

Hire a maid if you can afford it,  just to take care of the necessities.  Sometimes you can find a college student who wants to make a few extra dollars a week for gas.  Two hours a week could cost you as low as $20-$30 depending on what you negotiate.   Then it is a win-win for both parties.

Carpools can save you a great deal of time.  If you can get together with another parent and trade off getting the children to sports practices that’s huge.  You may also be able to find someone who works with you who you can car pool with.  Remember that when you are at practices and a passenger in a car or public transportation (as long as you do not get car sick,) that will give you extra time to check mail, answer texts, coordinate plans with others, research something to do with your hobby, check in on family, or spend quality time with the people you care about who are with you.

Homework time can be a dreaded time for parents.  Perhaps you can delegate to an older sibling who has been through the class.  Not only will it keep their skills sharp but they will be helping their sibling, creating a closer relationship between them.

Set up a chore list for all family members.  Having people be responsible for their own laundry, dishes or toys can be a great stress reducer and a great way to build character for young children while giving you more time.

If you have a loved one in the hospital, it’s not necessary to not be there every free moment of your time.  Find out what times other people have available and put together a schedule so they have plenty of company.  When you do go, take things with you that you could get done in case they are sleeping.  Remember, you are one person. Whatever situation you need to let go of the guilt, do so, otherwise, you will neglect your own needs and you will be in no shape to care for those you love.

Find a Quiet Place to Concentrate

Finding a quiet place when you are doing things that require concentration  will limit distractions and if you are able to focus, you can get things done faster.

Use Tivo, DVR or On Demand

If you have favorite shows that reduce your stress after a long day, instead of watching them when they are on, record them or watch them On Demand.  Doing so can save 10-15 minutes of time for each one hour program by cutting out the commercials.  Schedule a time that works best for you to sit and watch them.

My husband and I had a show we loved to watch but it wasn’t on when both of us were home.  Instead of watching it separately, we recorded it and waited until we were both home and able to sit together to watch it.  It added more quality time for us to spend together.

Folding laundry is a great chore to do while watching TV.

Maximize Lunch and Break Times

Make the most of your breaks and lunch times.  Dive into your original list and find things that take 10-30 minutes that you can conquer during your lunches or breaks.

My passion is writing.  I never seemed to have the time.   One day I realized I was just wasting my hour lunches.  For several weeks, I went to my car during those lunch breaks and read the poems that I had written over my lifetime into text messages on my phone and sent them to my e-mail.  When they were done, I formatted and edited them then self-published them.

Putting more focus time into what you love will give you the break you need to return to work refreshed and with a feeling of accomplishment.

Multitask

There is time while cooking dinner to clean up the dishes, sweep the floor, start or fold laundry, wash the counters, etc.  Delve into that list again and take care of a few things while you have a free moment.

Shut Down the Electronics

Turn off electronics for a designated time during each day.  You need that escape time.  Freeing yourself from the constant demands of a pinging phone, the notifications of your computer or being distracted by the storyline on what’s on TV will help you relax and let you concentrate on accomplishing something without distraction so you have more time later for what you love.

Stay Organized

Keep things organized, where you need them so you don’t have to search for them later.  If something is always put back in the same place, less thought is needed and it saves on gathering a search party to find things like your keys or a pen or a screwdriver.

Ask for Help Staying on Track

Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to hold you accountable.  People love this, especially teens.  I know mine love to catch me doing something I shouldn’t be doing and pointing it out.  I was trying to cut down my Facebook time and my young men took joy in constantly catching me and reminding me that I should be doing other things.

Grocery Shopping Time Savers

The next time you grocery shop, make a list of the isles or take a camera shot so you know basically what is in each isle.  Keep an ongoing list on your phone of what you run out of, listing each item in order by the isle they’re in.  Only shop once a week and try to be sure to do it on a week night if possible.  This will save you from waiting in long lines.  Once in the store, only get what is on the list.  Do not wander and look at everything.  This will also save you money.  Having everything in order by isle and only getting what you need will get you in and out much faster.

Facebook Time Savers

Facebook can be quite the time consumer but I do not want to discourage you from using it altogether.  It is a great way to network, stay in touch with friends and family and let people know what you’re doing.  My suggestion is to try not to get too consumed with it.  Set a time once or twice a day to give yourself time review what’s going on.

The following instructions can save you time:

If you want to keep in touch with someone specific and find out when they post, go to their page, hover over “Friends” and click on, “Get Notifications.”  This will send you a notification whenever that person creates a new post.  If you do this for too many people it can get overwhelming though.

Another suggestion is for keeping track of several people.  To create a group, go to the first person’s page who you want in the group, hover again over “Friends” then click, “Add to (another)  list,” select “+New list” at the bottom, name the list and hit enter.  It will place a check mark to indicate they are now on this list.  Go to other pages and add the next person.  Once all have been added on that list, you can go to your home or news feed and on the left scroll down to the “Friends” header and select that group.  Once you click it you will see a news feed of just those people’s posts.  That way when time is short you are not distracted by searching through posts from several hundred people.

I’m sure there are many more ideas you can come up with once you make your list and take a look at what your day consists of.  Please share some of your suggestions below to help others who read this.

If you could improve someone’s life, why wouldn’t you?  So please share this on Twitter and Facebook after you comment.

Strategies to Stop Worrying

Worry can consume you.  Some see it as a form of caring but if we look at it closer, it is a form of fear; fear that we cannot control or fix certain situations or that something could go wrong.

Worry has the ability to affect your health.  Have you ever heard the expression, “I’m worried sick?”  It can actually happen.

I have spent a great deal of my life in a worried state.  I believe I have come by it honestly through several generations of worriers.  As a child, I am told one of my favorite sayings was, “I’m so worried.“  I’m not sure if I knew then what worrying actually was.  I just saw so much of it being done that I thought it was what I was supposed to do.

As an adult I worried about everything; what would or could happen in any given situation; about what my future held; if I would see the end of the world; whether my children would be safe; if we would lose our jobs; if a relative’s illness would end their lives; if it would rain when we had big plans; if the person I just passed on the side of the highway would remain safe; if I would offend someone with something I said; if my friend’s problem had a solution; if people I saw on the news in a tragic situation would recover emotionally; if I would find a solution for a real issue; if someone was mad at me; or if my children would grow up with the values I tried to instill in them.  The list could go on and on.

Practical Solutions for Situations Within Our Control

There are many types of  realistic problems that may have a solution such as how to pay a bill, how you will meet a work deadline or the how to work out the details of a gathering, etc.  These issues require our thoughts but not our worries.  Here are some suggestions on how to deal with situations that require a solution:

  1. Create a time to worry, (or to think) about what you can do to find a solution.  Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D wrote an article entitled, “How to Stop Worrying – Self Help for Anxiety Relief,” at HelpGuide.org, in which they state that you should give yourself a time period of approximately 20-30 minutes during the day for which to focus on your issue(s).
  2. Never dwell on issues at bed time.  Be sure to not schedule your solution time too close to bed time, or while you are in bed.  This will affect your sleep and you will not have success in solving any problems if you are tired and unable to sleep.
  3. Write it down in a “solution journal“.  If you worry outside of that time period on something that may have a solution, write it down in your journal and return to it during your designated worrying time.  This will enable you to free your mind for other things and lessen the anxiety.
  4. Cross it off your list.  When you have a solution, write the solution next to the issue in the journal.  Do not cross off the solution but cross off the problem, leaving it visible.
  5. Review previous issues that you have solved.  The next time you have an problem, review what you have previously conquered.  Have faith that if you conquered those issues, you can conquer the current one as well.  You may even find that you had forgotten what you used to solve a similar issue last time and in review, find your solution written right there in your journal.

How to Reduce Anxiety Over Things You Cannot Control

I think it took a few major events to happen in our lives to realize just how much I worried about things and just how little control I actually had.  My oldest son and I were in a car accident where a truck coming in the opposite direction turned in front of us, cutting us off and we hit him, sending us by ambulance to the ER.  Five short months later, my youngest son was in the back seat of a car with friends when they collided with a tree, rendering him unable to walk for more than 6 weeks because of a compound fracture to his lower leg.  Literally, 5 days after that accident my husband was on his way to work and was struck from behind in traffic by a tow truck.  He was out of work for 4 weeks with severe leg injuries as well as several other injuries.

It was during that time when I realized that, yes, I nearly lost ½ my family in one week, all of us in a matter of 5 months.  I had absolutely no control over any of those situations.  I realized, during that time frame I spent at home caring for them that I would have to make some changes to my thought processes in order to not have a nervous breakdown when anyone left the house and got in a car.  I realized that I would need to change my perceptions.

I still have anxiety at times when I get in the car and I still have passing moments of worry when my children leave the house or when there is severe weather pending when my kids are out driving but I take some steps that I hope will help you as they have helped me ease the fear and worry and anxiety over issues I could not control:

  1. Ask yourself, “Can I control what happens?”  The truth is, most of the time, you cannot.
  2. Ask, “Am I trying to prevent a situation from happening that I do not even know will happen?”  For instance, am I preventing my child from leaving with a friend simply because I am worried about what could happen?  Be careful of this.  It can cause major resentment and end in lies and deception.  They often find ways to get what they want without our knowledge.
  3. Trust in a good outcome and trust in others.  Realize the joy people could create for themselves if they did not let the “what if” thoughts stop them.  Trust in others that they are there for you and those you worry about.
  4. Let it go.  Change your perception, “In this situation, since I cannot control it, what can I do to enjoy it to it’s fullest?”
  5. Review situations after they occur.  If you are worried about a situation and it’s possible negative outcomes, revisit the situation afterwards or ask someone who was involved in it.  See that nothing you were worried about happened.  This could prevent you from worrying the next time the same situation occurs.
  6. Think in a positive light.  Be mindful of what you are thinking.  If you catch yourself thinking in a negative light, change it immediately before it affects yourself and others.  Write it down as stated above and give it to your journal.  Do not return to this kind of worry though.  Let whatever higher power you believe in deal with it and have faith that it will be handled.
  7. Do not voice the scenario you are worrying about.  I try to remember one of Mark Victor Hansen’s famous quotes on the law of attraction, “what you think about, comes about.”  Do not give the universe to opportunity to create your scenario.
  8. Do not pass your fear or worry on to someone else.  If you have a fear about a situation that you cannot control that involves someone else, passing it on to them will not make them be any more careful than what they normally would have been, it will only pass on the irrational feeling to them or make them worry about something they too have no control over or make them worry about you worrying.  That truly does not benefit anyone.

These are some examples that I hope will help you when it comes to worry and anxiety.  It will be a work in progress.  Bookmark the page, print them out, do whatever it takes to refer to them often so they become a habit.

Please hit the “share” button to post this to your Facebook or Twitter page so others may benefit.  So many people are battling with this on a daily basis and you could change their lives.

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