More often than not, we feel like we have way too much on our hands with barely enough time to fit it all in. Seeing as we don’t live in the Harry Potter universe and as such, are unable to have access to a time turner, we’ll have to make do with 24 hours a day. Once you discount the time we spend sleeping, that leaves us with about 16 waking hours. Trying to juggle our career, family and social life results in us being perpetually over-scheduled and under-rested.
While we can’t technically stretch time, we’ve got some simple tips to help you ‘create’ more time for yourself so you can be productive and happy.
Research has found that with longer working hours, labour output per hour falls. So how do you reduce your working hours?
We’ve mentioned this before, but contrary to popular belief, multitasking isn’t productive at all. Do one thing at a time, do it well, and do it quick! Then move on to the next task on your ‘to-do’ list. We all have deadlines, be it for school or work. To be as efficient as possible, carve out blocks of time in your day for different tasks and set mini deadlines for yourself throughout the day. Always tackle the most difficult or urgent matter first, as you have more energy at the start of the day. It also feels really good to get the stressful stuff out of the way ASAP!
Pin-point activities that suck up too much of your time and get rid of them or at least limit them to specific times of the day. Checking in on Instagram and Facebook every few hours can distract you from the task at hand and usually, after a few minutes of scrolling through social media, you’d have lost your momentum at work, which means you’ll take way longer to accomplish anything.
We’re not saying you should delete your Facebook account, but you should really limit your time on social media. Most importantly, you have to be disciplined enough so as to not be distracted by these “time-wasters” while you’re at work. You’ll be surprised, a few minutes here and there do add up! Besides, we’ve all been guilty of going on YouTube to watch a viral video, only to end up spiraling into wasting hours watching funny cat videos or old episodes of Dr Phil.
Ain’t no shame in repeating outfits. 99% of my wardrobe is black and white and varying silhouettes of basic items, so that already makes putting outfits together a breeze. Unless I’ve got a huge meeting, an event or a cool party to attend, I’m usually in my ‘uniform’ (I use the term ‘uniform’ loosely). On a regular work day, you’ll either find me wearing a fitted top with a sleek pair of high-waist trousers/skirt, a simple black dress, or an oversized sweater with boyfriend jeans. It’s practically effortless for me to get ready in the morning, I throw on a simple outfit and mix it up with quirky earrings and different footwear every day. By having pre-determined outfit combinations you can always rely on, you’ll save at least 15 minutes every morning and you won’t have to constantly face the “what do I wear today?” conundrum.
The trick is to avoid buying too many “trendy” items or bold prints and go for basic pieces in solid colours. Invest in a few pieces of quality outerwear that are versatile enough to be thrown over anything, like lightweight slouchy vests, well-fitted blazers and comfy oversized cardigans. Here’s how you can build a solid collection of quality essentials!
This one’s difficult to follow, we know! But waking up just half an hour earlier than you’re used to will positively affect the rest of your day. First off, you won’t be rushing to get ready and have to dash out the door like a madman and into the office looking grumpy and tired. Secondly, you’ll have a pocket of time to yourself where you can do a quick and easy workout or simply prepare a proper breakfast (aren’t you sick of eating crappy doughnuts from 7/11?).
If you’re a night owl, here’s how you can ease yourself into a morning routine and we’ll show you how to make mornings suck less!