We all want to find time in our days to do everything that 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?
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.
An Important Fact Before We Get Started
I want to address something before we get started. The idea of finding more time in your day, to do the things you want to do, does not mean that you want to 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.
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.
Figure out What You Do During the Day
The very first step is to figure out what you actually do during the day. 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.
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!
Once you have tracked your time for a week, take a look at your notes and identify any tasks/activities that you can eliminate.
Maybe you are volunteering for something that you don’t enjoy and can easily stop doing. Or maybe when you take a look at your notes you will realize that you spent about an hour and a half driving kids to a from school every single day. In this situation, you can consider having your kids take the school bus or carpooling with your neighbor.
Make Things More Efficient
The second thing you will have to ask yourself is: are there any tasks/activities that I can 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?
Learn to Delegate
The third thing you need to take a look at, when trying to find 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!
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.
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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!
Be Creative With Your Time
The last thing that you need to do when trying to find more time in your day is being creative with it.
Take a look at your days and see if there are any times that you can utilize better.
For me, 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’s 3). 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 goes to sleep. She still prefers for me to sit with her in her room until she falls asleep, which takes about an hour. A few months ago I used that time to watch a show on my phone. Now, I take my laptop with me and work on my blog or YouTube channel.
Why We Need To Be Creative?
The reason why it is so important to be creative with your time is that 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!
Tell me in the comments what gaps of time you were able to find in your day? And what will you use them for?