Many would agree that there just aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish what is necessary, let alone enough time to get started on accomplishing new goals. While we wish we could hit the gym, read that book or buy that puppy, we know that our priorities will deter us from actually being able to make space for those types of daily commitments. Here are some quick tips to help you gain the time to do the things you please.
Say NO to Television
Although we brag about binge-watching Netflix, gossip about the latest episode of American Horror Story, and boast about re-watching the Lizzie McGuire Aaron Carter episode for the 50th time, we can all pretty much agree that watching TV is more of a negative than a positive influence on our lives.
Want to know how much time you’re truly wasting on your favorite television shows? Check out tiii.me and it will tell you the amount of days, hours and minutes you have wasted away while intently watching shows. According to Radio Times, if you’ve watched every season of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How I Met Your Mother, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Sex and the City, Friday Night Lights, Lost, Homeland, Girls, Revenge and one season of Sherlock, you’ve wasted 20 days, 16 hours and 49 minutes sitting in front of your TV. Reality check. Let’s face it — TV sucks you in for hours a day and leaves you with nothing to show for it, so leave that time for something else.
Change Your Cleaning Regimen
Ever let your place get so dirty that you have to set aside several hours to clean it up? Spreading this time out or even eliminating this “cleaning period” entirely, is possible if you are smart. Spread the “cleaning period” out by doing a small load of laundry while you’re getting ready in the morning, doing your dishes and putting them in the dishwasher after every meal and surface cleaning a different room each day. Want to eliminate some time during this “cleaning period?” Throw your clothes in the laundry hamper instead of on the floor, put everything back in its place after you use it, get rid of unnecessary items cluttering your kitchen counter … you get my drift. Committing to doing these simple tasks day-in and day-out will leave you more time to do as you please.
Want to start a new cleaning habit each month? Try Apartment Therapy’s 30-day Schedule. A quick Google search can change your life forever.
Schedule Your Time
Instead of making simple to-do lists, add time to your tasks. Have to write a five page paper? Schedule 2.5 hours. At the beginning of the semester, time yourself on how long it takes to write and edit a page then multiply it by the number of pages you have to write. Want to go to the gym? Schedule two hours. Fifteen minutes to the gym, one hour at the gym, 15 minutes back home and 30 minutes to shower. Going to get drinks with your friend? Only allow yourself two drinks then bounce. Don’t let getting drinks at 5 p.m. lead to you coming home at 2 a.m. on a week night.
Use a planner with time slots (i.e. Gallery Leather Maine Planner) or use your iCalendar to set aside time (with notifications) for each of your day’s tasks.
Wake Up Early
For those of you that absolutely hate the thought of getting up early, hear me out. First, let’s start with some stats thanks to Forbes.
1. In a recent study, college students who identified themselves as “early risers” got a full point higher on their GPAs than those identified as “night owls.”
2. Early risers are better planners, tend to anticipate problems and are generally more optimistic than those who stay up late.
3. People who exercise in the mornings tend to stick to the habit of going to the gym better than those who try to exercise in the evenings.
4. Waking up with the sun and going to sleep when it sets is biologically more natural for your body.
5. Traffic and parking lots are a lot less crowded in the mornings.
In addition, waking up before the rest of the world can reduce distractions in the form of emails, social media, texts and in-person conversations. Have trouble studying without checking Twitter? Try frequently looking at your timeline at 5 a.m. I promise it isn’t very exciting.
Download the Sleep Cycle app to find out the best sleep cycle so that waking up early is easier for you.
Put Your Cell Phone Down
Like TV, your cell phone can be a time-waster. Between texting, social media and games there is no telling how much time we truly spend on our phones. Therefore, the best way to power down is to know how much time you are spending on your phone in the first place then limit and channel the extra time for productive activities.
I highly recommend using the Moment app to not only find out how many minutes you’re spending on your phone per day, but also the amount of time you spend on each phone activity and the time of day you tend to use your phone the most. These insights can help you focus on directing that time toward other, more beneficial tasks. Additionally, you can set a limit on how much time you allow yourself to spend on your phone. Now get out there and achieve your goals!