So let me guess? You never have time for anything. You have a full time job, 4 kids and a high maintenance husband … or dog… I will tell you that you very much have the time. This is proven by a speaker and author Laura Vanderkam. She has interviewed many busy people. Resulting in a very simple theory that you can achieve way more than you think if you just believe in yourself, make time for priorities and plan things out. I happen to agree. Her ted talk is absolutely amazing and highly recommend it. Here is the link: Ted
What Laura points out to us that there is 168 hours a week. If you work a full time job of 40 hours a week and sleep a solid 8 hours per night (making it 56 hours a week of sleep) you still end up with 72 hours for your own things. As one of the people she interviewed said; instead of saying you don’t have time you should say that you chose not to do xyz because they aren’t your priority. Which is true. I shall soon demonstrate how.
10 ways to make time when you are 100% sure you don’t have it!
Unsubscribe from all unnecessary emails!
You don’t need to be signed up to 50 news letters you don’t need. You will save time organizing your email and you won’t feel the pull to check that one thing out just in case you are missing out. Rather save it into your bookmarks. If you actually think about that great page like you think. You will visit on your own, without an email telling you to. Saves you time because you choose when you check the page, instead of being sidetracked when answering an email.
Make priority lists:
Laura mentioned in her Ted talk that we have 3 categories we should allocate time to. Career, Relationships and Self. Make lists of 3 things into each of the categories you want to do daily or at least weekly. This could look something like this: Career; meeting with an important person, networking and doing that one course that will 10x your income. Realtionships: date night with your significant other, seeing/being in contact with your closes friends, calling your family. Self; skin care, gym, reading/online course. This doens’t mean that you don’t get to do anything else. You most certainly will have to answer emails, make calls, and so much more. BUT if the things that are on the lists make you fulfilled you should schedule them into your calendar first.
Make people priority lists.
This sounds weird and harsh but it is effective. No matter what some people are more important to you than others. Your family is probably number 1, then your significant other and then your friends. But if you have say 20 friends that you are quite often in touch with, you have to see which ones of them you need to prioritize.
How you do this is up to you. You might want to prioritize those you haven’t seen in a while or maybe those who are closer to you are the ones who get the most attention. There is no wrong answer. Just make sure that you take care of your social side in a smart way. You can book 20 meetings with friends in a week. I am sure it is easy even if you see couple of them at once. But do you want to put yourself through that?
What are your time wasters?
How do you spend the time you commute? How about the time you wait for the doctor to call you into his office? What do you do during your lunch break? Most of you will answer that you check emails or social media or something else not important. Doing some of those is fine. But instead of scrolling insta on the bus, why not read/listen to a book?
During lunch break why not talk with co-workers, you will get some socializing in and build stronger networks. If you work from home you could go for a walk for 15 minutes and then eat. So many choices, check from the self category what is on the priority list; reading? Gym? Could you make it happen instead of being is social media?
See what can you outsource or automatize.
Certain emails you can mark as junk or make them go into the right folder. Bills you can pay automatically in online banks, so you don’t have to worry about anything else except that there is money on your bank account. You can outsource some of your emails. For example if something is to do with marketing and you have a marketing team, you can make sure those emails forward automatically to your team.
Or you can ask your office assistant to bring you a latte (if it is part of her job, no need to make her run just cos you are a coffee addict.) You can ask someone else to do almost anything. Make sure that only those tasks you absolutely need to do will get done by you.
Look its is sooooo hard. I know. We live in a world where A) we get bombarded with new things all the time and B) everything is marketed in “you don’t want to miss out on this”. The fear of missing out is real! But the actual truth is that you can’t attend all the concerts, movie premiers, trips to all over the world, still have a family, job plus a social life. So you have to say no to opportunities, to people asking for your help and to your own wants as well.
If you don’t know whether to say no or yes, check your priority list. Does it take care one of them, for example seeing friends. Cool say yes. If it doesn’t do anything for you but actually takes time off the priorities say no. It is normal to miss out on things. But missing out on a concert is way better than feeling stressed about how to fit in the important things.
Don’t overbook yourself.
This might seem counter intuitive. Why should I mark that I commute to work place in 45 minutes when I know it takes only 30. Because, sometimes the car breaks down, the traffic is weird, the bus driver doesn’t see you and doesn’t stop etc. The 15 minutes is a buffer time, that makes it possible for you to be late and still be on time. If you however are the 15 minutes earlier, you can walk to your favorite cafe and get that latte, so your assistant doesn’t have to be running around. Genius!
Look this is one of those wtf are you talking about, but seriously just listen. If you have only 10 outfits to chose from you will be way faster than if you have 100 of them. The same thing goes if you have one pen, your favorite, you don’t have to try the 30 ones out. If you have 50 books that you have on the to read shelf, you will take your whole reading time trying to choose what you feel like. (And you will change the book choice next time.) So owning less will save you time. A while back I have talked about minimalism and how to pick and choose from trends in this post. : Picking and Choosing
Don’t bother over thinking.
Laura has a quote: “Most stuff doesn’t matter. Think about today’s date two years ago. Can you remember what you were worried about then?” Probably not and the truth is it probably wasn’t a big deal then either. But you stressed about it. You lost sleep over it. Didn’t work as well due to the lack of sleep etc. Stop stressing all the time.
Take time to do things that are “time wasters”
Now don’t you dare only read this and tell all of your friends how Alisa told you to waste your time. Nu-uh! However this is an actual tip from me. Sometimes we deserve to just watch a silly comedy on the TV with a bucket of ice cream. Or scroll on Instagrams cat video page. It is perfectly fine to take this time to switch out brains off. As long as we don’t forget to put them back on.
Key take away from the Ted Talk:
In Laura’s Ted talk there was something that really resonated with me: She tells about a busy woman who had no extra time. But then her water cooler broke, which resulted in a huge mess. As you can imagine. It took 7 hours from her week to get rid of the water and to clean everything up. Now if you had asked that woman if she had 7 extra hours in her week. She would have probably said hell no. But because there was a crisis, she found the 7 hours.
What Laura says is that “We can’t make time but it will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.” So in short, our priories should be treated like that water cooler crisis. We just have to find time for them. After all it is what will make us actually fulfilled.
Thanks for reading , don’t forget to comment your favorite tip. Also please follow me on my socials, seen on the left, or from the 3 lines if you are on a mobile device 🙂
Here is some more links that I used for inspiration or that I feel you should 😉