As any executive, entrepreneur or parent can attest to, time is money. With only 24 hours in a day and a career and home life to juggle, tips to create extra time – by simply capitalising on the time you already have – are incredibly valuable.
Ask for help
Outsourcing non-essential tasks is the first place to start if you’re looking to create more time. With a virtual assistant (VA) or PA for your work life and a concierge taking care of your life at home, you’ll be blessed with a wealth of extra time which you can spend doing whatever you want to do.
Not only will you have your time freed up, you’ll have your mind freed up too. No more worrying about collecting your dry cleaning or buying new school clothes for the kids! A concierge will be an absolutely invaluable tool for balancing your life. Diary appointments getting on top of you? No worries – your VA is the new gateway to your work life. No one gets through her to see you without your permission.
Even help in the form of a cleaner or personal chef will create heaps more time at home for you. Whilst the chef is chopping onions in the kitchen, you can be reading to your kids or enjoying a glass of wine on the sofa with friends.
The power of your schedule
As all successful people will tell you, scheduling is key to creating more time and making the most of your time.
Whilst you may think that taking the time to schedule itself is a drain on your time, it’s an incredibly useful tool to analyse what you already do with the time in your day and will help you tackle difficult tasks promptly, instead of continuing to put them off in your mind.
By scheduling tomorrow’s tasks the day before, you save time by not starting your day having to think firstly; about what tasks you have, and secondly; in which order you’d like to tackle them in. By having your day sorted before it starts, you can begin your day at a cantering pace on the first task.
It’s up to you how tightly you decide to schedule your day and this may take some trial and error before you find what works best for you. Some people like to have their time tightly timetabled in 30 minute segments whilst others work better simply setting their three priorities for the day and then working backwards from there.
Of course, scheduling your days and weeks is a task that can easily be delegated to your VA.
Simple hacks to creating more time
Have a look at these quick and simple hacks that can help you create little segments of extra time in your day:
Browser extensions – many internet browsers offer downloadable plug-ins that you can use to block those time draining social media feeds for a specified length of time. For instance, the Facebook newsfeed eradicator extension available on Google Chrome will stop you getting distracted by your friends’ activities on your Facebook feed.
Invest in a good night’s sleep – this ensures that you start your day fresh, focused and positive; all attributes that will contribute towards you saving time and being productive throughout your day. A good pillow and an orthopaedic mattress are the best place to start.
Working techniques – research different working techniques to see what works best for your productivity levels. For instance, the Pomodoro Technique is widely lauded by high-level executives: in a nutshell, you work solid for 25 minutes, then break for 5 minutes (1 pomodori). This is repeated throughout the day with longer breaks every 4 pomodori.