Do you find yourself winding down for bed in the evening, reflecting on the day that was and contemplating all the things you wished to achieve but never found time for?
You are certainly not alone, in the high stress, high paced society we live in it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and time can slip away from us.
Luckily enough each day brings with it a fresh 24 hours and it is up to us to truly harness the potential of each new day. Successful professionals are capable of achieving an outstanding out of work in the same 24 hours that we are all afforded, so how do they manage to find the time?
Follow these 9 simple tips that will help you get the best out of each day:
Tip 1 Wake up before the sun rises.
I know pressing the snooze button and snuggling up in your blanket seems far more enticing than getting up but trust me, you will thank yourself later!
Early mornings are the perfect time to sneak in a workout, go for a walk or maybe just a little alone time reflecting on the day ahead. Treat those precious hours as “ME TIME” and enjoy yourself, you will be far more motivated throughout the day if you have started your day off on a positive note.
Starting your day before the sun rises and before the rest of the household is up and running can greatly benefit your daily tasks. If you work from home it is the best time to sit down and tackle those annoying emails and or complicated work tasks. Studies show that our brain is far more switched on and alert first thing in the morning, so pour yourself a cup of coffee and get down to business. Early morning can also be the best time to get those niggly cleaning jobs out the way, like scrubbing the bathroom times or the windows as there are no little ones around trying to help.
Tip 2 Plan to succeed
Time to pull out your coloured pens, stickers and washy tap and practice your funky lettering. Just kidding, whilst it can be helpful to put all that extra excitement into a planner it can become distracting and time wasting, instead, invest a planner you find functional and plan the daily tasks you wish to achieve.
By organising and time blocking your day you can schedule those hard to finish tasks into times you know you are more alert and prepared, it also allows you to keep stock of what you had planned to complete by certain times ensuring that you keep yourself on track. Assign rankings for the tasks you wish to achieve for the day and allocate time accordingly.
Each evening 10 minutes planning out the schedule for the next day, take the time to think about what you would like to achieve the following day and how you would like your day to run, time block certain events with extra timing if needed for example a 30 minute trip to the dentist for an appointment at 2pm would be time blocked from 1:30pm till 3pm to allow for travel time.
Spend another 10 minutes each morning updating your daily schedule and checking what you have planned for that day that way you can are truly organised and prepared for where ever the day takes you.
Tip 3 Organise your morning routine before bed
Ever have one of those mornings where you idle around looking for a certain work shirt only to discover it’s in the wash. Eliminate that time wastage by planning out your morning routine before you go to bed at night.
Choose your outfit for the next day and lay it out ready the night before with shoes, socks and underwear all included. If possible have a shower before you go to bed so you don’t waste time standing around as the clock is ticking. If you are one of those people that have to have a shower each morning then put an alarm on your phone for 5 minutes, get in, wash and get out before the timer goes off.
Invest in a great hair dryer that dries your hair quickly or towel dry and style, wet hair looks are all the rage at the moment and will save time. Spend time on the weekend practising your current makeup look and try to bring the time it takes down, a quick five-minute look with some foundation, a bronzer as eyeshadow and contour plus a bright lip looks fantastic and gets you out the door faster.
If possible try and eat your breakfast on your commute, a smoothie, overnight oats or some fresh fruit and yoghurt are all great breakfast ideas that can be eaten on the move and can be made the night before.
Tip 4 Keep your phone out of reach
So often we grab our phone just to quickly check social media and then whoah! where did that half an hour disappear to? Keep your phone in your handbag and avoid checking it during the day, schedule in a 10-minute facebook session during your lunch break but avoid the temptation to just quickly check your phone every time to have a quick break or feel overwhelmed.
Breaking a screen addiction can be hard so don’t expect just to be able to stop wasting time on social media cold turkey, give yourself a goal that you are only going to check your phone a certain amount of times each day and slowly reduce that amount down until you are satisfied with your usage levels.
If you have an iPhone you can actually check your daily screen time which is eye-opening! Track your usage for a week and you will honestly be shocked at the amount of time wasted looking at your phone, it will create an analysis for you so you can view how much time you spend on social media and how much time you spend playing games.
Tip 5 Meal Plan for the week and bring lunch
Whether you meal plan, prep and cook your weekly meals on the weekend or just plan and shop for your weekly meals during the weekend and then cook them every night having an idea of what you are eating for dinner each night can drastically reduce time wasted arguing about who wants what and who decided last time.
Planning your weekly meals and shopping prior to cooking can also help save money and have you eating healthier too. Spend time each Sunday with your family members creating a plan for the week, if you struggle with inspiration create a theme for each night, Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays and so on or check out Pinterest and the abundance of recipes for every diet type, cooking time frame and flavour combination imaginable.
It is also a great idea to plan for extra portions and take those for lunch each day, that way you don’t have to fluff around wondering what you could possibly have for lunch or sitting down to a sad sandwich whilst you watch your coworker eat the beautiful pasta they had for dinner the night before drooling with envy.
Tip 6 Avoid the television trap
Do you get home from work, sit down on the couch for a few minutes and then end up wasting the rest of your evening watching a Netflix marathon or catching up on the latest Kardashian drama?
Avoid this time-wasting trap by simply finding something better to do with your time. Put on a podcast, audiobook or some music and spend those after work hours getting some housework done. Blast some upbeat 90’s tunes and dance around the house whilst you dust, clean and sweep. It’s amazing the difference music can make to your mood and the work you can get done when you are singing along to your jam!
Tip 7 Get one cleaning task done before bed
Before you finish up for the evening select one cleaning task that needs to be done and complete it before you head off to be. It could be something as simple as putting on a quick load of laundry, unpacking the dishwasher, wiping over all the kitchen surfaces or anything that you know should be dealt with.
Completing one task per evening means that there is always something being completed and you reduce the overall amount of cleaning that you have to do at a later date. A clean house leads to a clean, and restful mind and a happier deeper sleep.
Tip 8 Give yourself some “Me Time”
Schedule a block of time each evening just for you, use this time to relax and recount the day that was. Spend time reading, writing, knitting, practising yoga, meditating or something that you find completely relaxing.
Giving yourself that little bit of time allows you to refresh, to get the best out of each day you need to ensure that you are getting the best out of yourself! You need to look after what is inside and outside in order to be the person you wish to be no matter what that looks like.
Tip 9 Go to bed early.
If possible try and be in bed by latest 10:30pm, pjs on, teeth brushed, face cleaned, lights off sleep time no laying in bed watching tv or sitting on your phone. Getting into a routine of going to bed at a reasonable time makes it far easier to get up earlier in the morning. Our brains are far less active in the evening and most often time is just wasted watching television so going to bed earlier and using those early hours when you are more alert is often more productive.
Creating a bedtime routine also greatly helps you wind down for bed, taking a few minutes to wash your face and apply your moisturiser in the same way each evening can eventually place you in an almost meditative state completely relaxing you and removing any stress from your mind which may prevent sleep.
Finding time throughout the day does not need to be a challenge, re-evaluate where you seem to be spending the majority of your time and ask yourself why this is and are you happy with what you are gaining from this experience.
Time management is a constant struggle and is something that needs to be maintained but can be managed a little better with the tips above, however it is good to remember that at the end of the day life is more important than the emails sitting in your inbox or the load of washing that needs to be folded and it’s worth saying “to hell with it all” and spending a day down at the beach enjoying yourself!