5 Ways to Add More Time to Your Day Starting Now

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Add Extra Time to Your Day

Woman writing in planner
Saptak Ganguly/Stocksy United

One of the biggest complaints I hear from others about starting and building a home business is the lack of time. I often lament about not having enough time as well. But the truth is, there’s a lot of time. The problem isn’t lack of time, it’s the misuse of time. Granted, some of that wasted time goes to television or social media, but just like people nickel and dime their money away, so too do they fritter away minutes that could be better spend moving toward a goal. Here are 5 ways to add more time in your day starting right now. 

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1. Get real about your time.

Throw away time
Don't throw your time away. Credit: Mehmet Hilmi Barcin | Getty Images

It is said that the first step to overcoming a problem is in acknowledging there is a problem. The same is true about time. I’ve had people tell me they don’t have time for important projects and in the next breath tell me how they binge-watched something on Netflix or got into a debate on Facebook.  Before you can find or create more time, you have to be honest with yourself about where you’re spending time. Many experts suggests keeping a time log. If you’re honest about your time, you’ll immediately find activities that you can eliminate or reduce to create more time. 

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2. Plan your day.

Planner
Plan your day!. Credit: Donald Erickson | Getty Images

My days and weeks are pretty much the same, and yet, last week, when I didn’t fill out my planner, I floundered. Planning your day prevents wasting time figuring out what you need to do next. Planning is more than simply listing tasks. As you plan your day:

  • Create a clear to-do list. Instead of saying “write,” indicate what you’re writing.
  • Start with the end in mind. I don’t mean the ultimate end goal, but the result you want from the task. For example, if you’re writing a book, while your ultimate goal is a completed book, your to-do list task might be “Complete draft of chapter one.”
  • Block out time. Blocking out time helps you focus on the task at hand.  It also creates a boundary, so you don’t take too much time on an activity. For example, checking email or social media can quickly waste an hour or more. 
  • Overestimate the time needed to complete your task. Often we get into trouble getting through the to-do list because we run out of time. Remember, things rarely go as planned, so tack on extra time for each to-do, and adjust your list and schedule so as not to overstuff your time.
  • Use a timer. To help keep you working within your blocks, use a timer to let you know when your time is up. If needed, you can continue on that task, but you’ll need to readjust your other blocks to accommodate it.
  • Don’t multitask. The idea of doing tasks simultaneously is a myth, unless it’s walking and chewing gum. You can’t focus on more than one task at a time, and you lose time adjusting and refocusing on a new task as you go back and forth. You spend less time when focused on one task, and then switching to a new task when the first is complete.
  • Add fun to your day. Breaks are important, but so is fun. If you schedule your day full of work and no leisure time, you’ll burn out. So schedule a block of fun and/or relaxation. Read for leisure. Stretch. Watch TV (just don’t binge watch).  Get a massage. Do whatever you enjoy and will refuel your energy tanks.

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3. Start your day earlier.

5 a.m. alarm clock
Wake up earlier. Credit: Creative Crop | Getty Images

I just read two books, The 5 AM Miracle by Jeff Sanders, and The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, both of which advocate getting up at 5 a.m. I’m not a morning person, and the idea of getting up at 5 a.m. makes me cringe. Nevertheless, I’ve been working on getting up earlier than usual, and as a result, I’m getting more done. The strange thing is that I’m finishing earlier while still doing more. There’s something about getting up earlier that helps you get more done in less time. If you can’t immediately start getting up at 5 a.m.,  set your alarm in earlier increments. Further, you don’t have get up at 5 a.m. The goal is to get up earlier than usual. So if you usually get up at 10 am, earlier might be 7 or 8 a.m.

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4. Use tools and systems.

online tools
Use automation to streamline your time. Credit: Petar Chernaev | Getty Images

The whole purpose of tools and systems is to make tasks easier and more effective. Especially for digital tasks, you can save a great deal of time using automation. You can schedule emails and social media in advance. There are online schedulers where your clients can book themselves and it automatically gets put on your calendar. 

Note that initially, you'll have to invest extra time to learn and set up the tools. But once you do, you can save yourself hours every week. 

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5. Delegate.

Help Support
Get help by delegating tasks to others. Credit: 7io | Getty Images

I have a virtual assistant whose job it is to get information and prepare two blog posts a week for me. That gives me time to work on other projects, or even take a nap. Today, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to get help on tasks that you don’t necessarily need to do, such as schedule social media, respond to email, do media/PR outreach and more. 

However, your business isn't the only place you can add more time to your day through delegation. You can ask family members to pitch and help around the house. Or hire someone to clean or cook.