What if you had more time to accomplish everything you needed in 24 hours? I often hear someone say to me “there’s not enough time in the day”. It definitely feels like that at times, right? But what if we could double our free time for the day? Considering, if we sleep 8 hours a night, we really have 16 hours in every day to really be productive, we only have a few options. We could sleep less, but that isn’t our healthiest alternative and being sluggish for our conscious hours doesn’t coincide with our goal of being more productive, so that’s out. Here are some tips I’ve developed from working 10-12 hour days without feeling overwhelmed and underachieving.
1) Multi-Task the Little Things
Humans aren’t supposed to be great multi-taskers right? Maybe that applies to more complicated endeavors but does it really apply to the little things? I know of a lot of people who listen to audio books on their commute to work or while they workout. That’s a perfect example of getting two tasks done at once. Another great way to save time is to clean WHILE YOU COOK. “Clean as you go”, as I was taught in my food service classes. By the time your food is done cooking you’ve already put all of the ingredients away and cleaned your surfaces. If you live through your basic routines with a “clean as you go” mentality, by performing two tasks wherever competently possible, you’ll save yourself from wasting time on the mundane tasks.
2) Plan. Plan. PLAN.
If I could use one word for this entire blog I would use “plan”. I would have it tattooed across my forehead, my chest, my forearms and plastered on my car. Plan your week out, make a schedule for your day, plan your meals, structure your routine, and write out your workout in advance. We plan for events but we treat each day like a mystery that needs to unfold minute by minute. When your meals are planned you save time grocery shopping, you don’t need to leave work to get lunch, you don’t need to stare at a menu and decide what you want. When your meals are prepped in advance you don’t need to wait at a restaurant for someone to make your food, and then pay 5x what you could’ve made at home in less time. When your day is planned you know exactly what to focus your attention on and for how long. You can prioritize your tasks. There are people that I see every day that complain that they’re tired or bored. These same people are always flustered that they have so much to do and there isn’t enough time. You don’t get to be bored in this century. There’s a seemingly infinite amount of information on the internet that you could be learning. Plan your working days out so you can exceed your potential. The days that you don’t work, be more spontaneous but still have a goal. Plan.
3) Double down on your commute
This can tend to be hard but it seems to be up to the Traffic Gods most of the time. Nevertheless, Google Maps generally will tell you exactly what your commute will look like before you even get in your car. Choose the route that takes the least amount of time. If you’re expecting delays on your train ride, get your laptop ready or bring a book that can actually teach you something that you should know (finances, fitness help, diet help, spiritual guidance, etc). I know that may sound ridiculous but between sitting on a train twiddling your thumbs, looking at memes on Instagram, or choosing to learn about yourself or how money works or what’s going on in the world, I think the best use of your time would be choosing to educate yourself in some way.
4) Superset your workouts
Some people get to work out for 2 hours a day. Most people don’t. Research exercises that allow you to get a killer workout in 30-45 minutes if you really need to save some time. I always tell my clients, you’re better off doing 20-30 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training than walking slightly fast on a slightly high incline for 90 minutes, yet I see people doing that every day. You could cut your workout time by 66% and see better results if you do this.
5) Get your breakfast and clothes prepped the night before
This is pretty simple but effective. Choose your outfit for the following day, the night before and leave it close to your bed. When you wake up everything you need will be right there waiting for you. Now that you’re dressed, grab a healthy breakfast that you can bring on the go with you. My favorite breakfast on the go is a whole wheat pumpkin muffin (I’ll post that recipe soon), and my coffee that takes all of 15 seconds to make using a Keurig. I leave for work at 5 am and I arrive there happy, caffeinated, and fed…and clothed.
6) Be productive while you relax
When you finally have the opportunity to lay down and watch TV or listen to music, don’t spend that time stressing about what you have to do tomorrow. Spend a few minutes coming up with a game plan and you’ll sleep a lot better because you’ll know exactly how to tackle tomorrow’s challenges. You have a calendar app on your phone. Use it. Don’t want to? You have a notes app on your phone. Use it.
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