We all want to create time in our days to do everything we want to do. I’m sure that there were situations in your life when you wanted to do something but said no, simply because you did not have time. Am I right?
It’s time to take control of our time! We are the ones responsible for managing it and by taking some specific actions, we can create more time for the things we love and want to do.
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Not Enough Time in the Day
As working moms, we all have a lot of things on our plates. We have our jobs, responsibilities at home, and commitments in our community. And often, we have this desire to do something for ourselves, maybe it’s a hobby, a side business, or simply spending more time with our family. But it seems like we don’t seem to have enough time in our days.
But what if I told you that there might be ways to find more time? I will share some tips with you on how I found more time in my days to allow me to start this blog and a complementary YouTube channel.
How Can You Make More Time for Everything You Want To Do?
I think we can be clear on one thing – we cannot add more more hours to our days. We all get 24 hours to work with each and every day (except that one day in the year during the time saving when we get to push our clocks back by the hour – but even then we get to give that hour back a few months later ;))
Making more time is all about time management. How we mange our time will have a direct impact on how we make time for everything in our busy schedule.
Let’s walk though 5 steps on how to find time in your everyday life.
Step 1: Figure out where your time is going now
The very first step is to figure out what you actually do during each day. If we want to create time for everything we want to do, we have to start by figuring out what we currently spend our time on. I believe that we tend to be biased with our opinion on this topic. Simply because we are so used to how our days are structured that we either overestimate or underestimate how much time we spend on specific tasks. We might overestimate the amount of time we spend on cooking dinner or writing a report at work. And we might underestimate the amount of time we spend on watching TV or being on social media.
This is why it’s so important to take a closer look at your day. I suggest spending about a week tracking your activities during the day. Take a piece of paper and write down what you are doing throughout the day. And use timers whenever necessary. You want to be very specific here: track what time you are doing your activities and how much time you spend on them.
The idea is to be honest with yourself and remove your own bias on what you are doing during the day. Because I promise you that you will be surprised about the results. I know I was!
Step 2: Decide on Your Priorities
Now it’s time to decide what are your priorities right now.
Because it’s not about DOING EVERYTHING but about DOING EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU.
The idea of creating more time in your day, to do the things you want to do, does not mean that you simply keep adding to your plate. You don’t want to go through your days like a robot – simple going from one task to another all day long.
You want to think about what activities and areas of your life you want to concentrate on. Remember if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.
So keep in mind that you will have to learn how to say no to some things in order to say to yes to others.
Step 3: Eliminate
Now that you know what your priorities are and you have tracked your time for a week it’s time to compare the two.
Take a look at your notes and identify any tasks/activities that you can eliminate. Here are some examples:
- Are you volunteering for something that you don’t enjoy? Eliminate that activity.
- Maybe you are spending a lot of time cooking dinner each night? Consider meal prepping or creating freezer meals on the weekend.
- Are you spending way too much time driving your kids to and from school? How about a school bus or carpooling with a neighbor?
The idea here is to ensure that what you do on daily basis matches your priorities. This is a step when you will eliminate a lot of things that don’t align with what is important to you.
Step 4: Make things more efficient
The next thing you will have to ask yourself, when working on creating more time for everything is: are there any tasks/activities that I can do more efficiently?
Basically look at the things you have wrote down on your time tracking sheets and see if what can you streamline and do more efficiently.
This is the time to take a look at your mornings and evenings and determine and if you have a routine that is working for you. Do you have systems in place to help you be more organized so you don’t spend a lot of time looking for things or trying to figure out how to do something that you have done previously but simply forgot how? Have you created a cleaning routine that allows you to be efficient and effective with keeping your house clean?
Step 5: Learn to Delegate
The final thing you need to take a look at, when trying to create more time in your day, is things that you can delegate.
Perhaps when you tracked your activities you realized that you spend 3 hours on the weekend on grocery shopping by going to 4 different stores. If that is the case, you can consider many different options.
You can delegate that task to your spouse 🙂 You can also consider having your groceries delivered directly to your house or doing a free grocery pick-up (something that I started doing a few months ago and never looked back).
Or maybe you realize that you also spend 2 to 3 hours each Saturday cleaning your house. In that situation, you can delegate specific cleaning tasks to your family members. You can develop a cleaning schedule where you and other members of your family do specific tasks each day of the week and free up most of those hours on Saturday. Or, if you can afford it, delegate the cleaning tasks to a housekeeper!
Bonus tip: Address the elephant in the room: TV and social media
When you are trying to find more time in your day, you absolutely will have to take a look at how much time you spend watching TV each evening and using social media. Take a look at your notes – how much time are you spending on those activities each day?
If those activities are something you truly enjoy and it helps you relax at the end of the day – that’s great. But keep in mind that if you are truly trying to find time to pursue your hobby, a dream, or a desire to do something for yourself, then something has to give.
So maybe scale it down and instead of watching two hours of TV each evening, you only watch one, and dedicate the other hour to working on your dream. You absolutely don’t have to give it up completely, but make some adjustments to the amount of time you spend on watching other people pursuing their goals and go afer your own!
How To Make The Most Of Your Time
Now that you have taken the five steps to creating more time in your days, don’t let it all go to waste. You want to make sure that you actually use that extra time to your advantage.
Be creative with your time
Sometimes is not about finding more time in your day but about being more creative with the time that you have.
Take another look at your time tracking sheets and see if there are any times that you can utilize better.
For me, when I first filled out my tracking sheets a couple of years ago, I found two pockets of time. First one was the 20 to 30 minutes that my daughter takes for her bath and I just sit there making sure she is safe (she was 3 at the time). Once I wash her, she likes to play with her toys. Since she is totally content with playing by herself, and wants nothing to do with me at that time, I use that time to read a personal development book. This is how I ‘found’ that half-hour in my day to do something for myself.
Another area of my day, where I was able to find that time gap, was when my daughter went to sleep. Our evening routine involved me sitting with her in her room until she falls asleep, which takes about an hour. I noticed, that I would typically use that time to watch a show on my phone. So I started thinking: could I use that time for something else? And I started taking my laptop with me and work on my blog or YouTube channel.
Use those small time chunks
Don’t get tapped into thinking that you have to find long periods of free time in your day in order to really make time for everything you want.
Any small chunks of time that you are able to create in your day can be utilized to do the things you want to do.
We tend to have this misconception that we need a stretch of a few hours in order to get something done. But let’s be honest. With all the responsibilities that we have we have we might find that time for weeks or months!
Instead, utilize those smaller periods of time to move you forward. Because progress is better than perfection. When you keep working on something on regular basis, you will get to your goal. It may take you more time than you would want, but it will be much quicker than not doing anything at all and waiting for that magical time in your life when you schedule will have those hours long gaps. Because that might never happen!
Plan your days
And lastly, plan your days and weeks. At this point you know what your priorities are and you know when you have some time to work on them.
In order to get everything done, that includes both your responsibilities and things that you want to do, you have to spend some time on scheduling them. If you found yourself wondering: how do I find time to exercise, how do I find time for my hobbies, or how do I find time for self care – the answer is by scheduling them into your days and weeks.
Treat those things as appointments. They are appointments with yourself so you will have to be very intentional with sticking to the plan. It will take some time to figure out the right balance for you, but you have to get started.