Three Ideas on How to Get More Time
We often complain that we don’t have the time for all we would like to accomplish or for the things we love doing. But it’s actually down to setting one’s priorities. The time we spend at the office doing overtime is time that we don’t spend with our loved ones, and the time we spend online on social networks is time we don’t spend doing our favorite sport and so on and so forth.
My resolution for this year is to “steal” time from the activities that don’t really bring me added value and use it towards accomplishing what I really want. Here are a couple of ”How to get more time” tips that I suggest we start using as of today if you haven’t already started:
1. Make a list of bad habits
If you have clearly defined your goals, a To-Do list is relatively simply to put together. But what if you were to analyze your behavior from the last months in order to identify those activities that don’t really bring any benefits to your life?
Maybe it’s an online game that keeps you glued for hours to your computer screen or maybe it’s prolonged conversations with people you don’t even really like or maybe it’s simply obsessively browsing online stores without the need to actually buy anything. Analyze the activities you do throughout the day, find the time-wasting slots then make up a “not-to-do list”.
2. Avoid the crowds
If you are working from an office or if you are working in the hybrid work system, talk to your boss and agree on a timetable that allows you to avoid the rush hour. When I used to work for Grapefruit, because we had a Pluria subscription we were able to meet once a week at Commons Unirii (a co-working space) and work together. We would have our status meeting online at 9:00 and then we would start off to the meeting place to begin work at 11:00.
Of course, you can apply this principle not only to the transport rush hour but to all the moments in your life where you identify rush hours. Consequently, buy your Christmas presents one month before, avoid travelling at the same time with half of your country’s population on legal holidays, do your weekly shopping during the week and not the weekend. I have to admit that there were days when I went to do my weekly shopping to the nonstop supermarkets at 23:00 hs. I’m not saying that you should do the same but I can tell you there were very few people around the aisles at that time.
3. Less time watching movies or series
I do enjoy snuggling up on the couch to watch a good movie. But I realize that lately Netflix/HBO have come to replace the traditional TV channels and this is not necessarily a good thing. I came to this conclusion one weekend after I have analyzed my activities of the previous week and when I realized that I have spent each and every day after work lying on my couch, munching something and watching some series. A perfect escape from reality and at the same time an activity that did not bring me a lot of added value. I asked myself what I have achieved during the previous week, where my time had gone and I did not like the answer I gave to myself.
Somebody recently asked me the following question: what if people went to the cinema as frequently as they watched movies on TV or on streaming services? Our days would look completely different, wouldn’t they?
I for myself don’t intend to completely give up “Netflix & chill” but from now on I will definitely reduce the amount of time I allocate to this activity. What will I do instead? Walk in the park, exercise, cook, read, spend time with my parents… and any other activity for which I often tell myself that I don’t have time for.
Sometimes, because we want to do as many things as possible in a day we load our timetable with more activities that is humanly possible to complete. I used to find myself running during the day from one activity to the next or even multitasking to only end up completely exhausted at night. Other times, I would fill my calendar with too many activities that I couldn’t in the end accomplish and that used to make me feel extremely frustrated.
I think we all agree that no matter how much money you have the only thing you cannot buy is time. The day only has 24 hours and no matter how hard we tried, we cannot do everything in a day. And this forces us to make decisions that are not always easy, like the ones mentioned above. In the end, it’s up to each one of us.