5 Ways to Gain 30 Minutes a Day
Time is money... right?
So if there were a few simple ways to "magically" gain 30 extra minutes each day, would you give it a try?
I'm alway looking for ways to be more productive, get more done in less time, and add hours to my day. And over the past few years, I've discovered on five practical ways to add at least 30 minutes to my day.
1. Get up earlier or go to bed later.
A little less sleep shouldn't affect you too much -- especially if it's just one or two nights a week. However you might be surprised how much you can accomplish in 30 focused minutes (especially if no one else is in the office!)
Recently, I started waking up around 4:30 or 5:00am one day each week so I could have 2 to 3 hours of uninterrupted time before anyone else got out of bed. It's not fun to wake up that early, but I'm always amazed how much I can accomplish in that time -- and how smoothly the rest of the day goes.
2. Eliminate dead time.
Dead time is that really annoying time between appointments, meetings, phone calls, picking one child up and dropping another one off, waiting at the doctor's office, etc. We all lose way too much time each day with dead time.
Be prepared and always keep things with you to fill this dead time. Some ideas might be to check and respond to emails, voicemails, etc., plan your upcoming day/week/month, catch up on social media or current events, go for a walk, or read a book. Anything is better than just sitting there... and by using your dead time, you'll have more time later to do what you want.
3. Plan ahead.
Take a few minutes NOW to plan your upcoming day, week, dinner menu, wardrobe, family calendar, sports schedule, meetings, etc. and you'll save so much time later by not wondering "what's for dinner?", "where do I need to be?", "what should I wear?"
I use a Top 5 List to save even more time by diving right into my most important tasks for the day/week. A plan gives me a place to start, so even if I'm not feeling extremely motivated, I'm much more likely to accomplish something if I've planned ahead and have my list.
4. Get organized.
You'd be surprised how much time you waste every day looking for things -- that document you needed to mail, the email attachement you wanted to make copies of, your planner, your phone, your keys, the address for your meeting after work, and the list could go on.
Clean off your desktop, clean up your email Inbox, clean out your car, declutter your bag/purse, organize your filing cabinet, etc. Clutter wastes time, it depletes energy, and it just looks bad -- so by keeping your office space organized you'll not only save a bunch of time... but probably a lot of stress too!
5. Schedule your distractions.
Distractions are inevitable, but you can save tons of time by "scheduling" your distractions for a specific time during the day. For example, if you like to spend a significant amount of time on social media every day, schedule 2 or 3 blocks of time for social media, and then close it down during the rest of your working hours. That way, you won't waste time clicking back to see what's happening all day long.
If you regularly get distracted with phone calls, voice messages, emails, or text messages, schedule a few blocks of time when you respond to everything all at once -- you might even want to set up your voicemail and email to send auto responses notating what time you'll respond to calls and emails. Again, this will save you so much time because you can do it all at one time and won't be bothered every 10 minutes with another distraction.
Adding 30 minutes or more to your day could be as simple as implementing one or more of the ideas above.