Generally speaking, we are all very busy people. It is the American way, especially if you live in a large, urban environment like Houston. We are constantly chanting, “go, go, go,” to ourselves as we move from one thing to another. However, this does not mean that there isn’t time in the day for you or for you to do what you want to do. The free time may not be flaunting itself in your face, but with these 4 tips you will find that you have more time than you originally thought.
1. Really analyze how you are using your time.
Most people need only 8 hours of sleep each night and a typical workday is (or, more precisely, should be) 9 hours. Right there you have spent 17 of your 24 hours in a day. How are you spending the remaining 7 hours? Ask yourself these questions: How much time do you spend on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (not considering while you are at work)? How much time do you spend watching TV each day? How many social functions are you attending each week? All of this adds up and if looked at differently, can suck all your free time. Consider only checking your social media sites for a total of 30 minutes a day. Ta-da, free time! Consider reducing the number of TV shows you watch to 2 or 3 a week. Voila, more time! Consider only attending those social functions that are important, like a baby shower and a birthday party, not happy hour every day. Abracadabra, you have more time!
2. Two birds with one stone.
My all time favorite thing to do is get two birds with one stone, but I don’t mean this literally. Think of it as a two-for. Do this one thing, but get two things out of it. For example, exercising with my best friend is a two-for. I get in the daily exercise I need and I get to catch up with my best friend. Or, take an cooking class with your partner. You’ve always wanted to take a cooking class and doing so with your partner also counts as quality time together. Think of the many ways you can do one thing, but really do two things.
3. Use your time wisely.
Inevitably, you are going to find yourself waiting, stuck in traffic, or standing in line. Think of the many ways you can maximize these few minutes. Instead of reading a magazine while waiting to see your doctor, you can check your social media sites (this is part of your 30 minute daily allotment). Or if you are stuck in traffic, turn on that Bluetooth and call that friend you’ve been meaning to call for months. When you’re standing in line at the grocery store, use those minutes delete emails from your inbox. Don’t waste a minute of your day.
4. Say no!
You are not superhuman and you cannot do it all. Say it with me. “I cannot do everything.” Humans are not meant to do everything and be everywhere all the time. It is OK to say no to an invitation. It is OK to say no to someone asking for a favor. It is OK to say no to something that gets in the way of your life. When asked to commit your personal time to something, weigh the value of that commitment over the value of something else you’d rather do. Then make the wise decision to say no!