While it is impossible to add more physical time to the 24-hour day or the 168-hour week, experts in time management and productivity will tell you that it is possible to add “more” to your day.
With a few simple techniques, you can spend more time on what matters and less time on what doesn’t matter, thus making the most of every day given what limited time you have. You can manufacture time, and escape the ceaseless ticking of the clock or the pressure of working under such little time.
Here are just a few simple ways that you can improve your daily productivity and time management by “adding” more hours to your day.
Figuring out what needs to be accomplished and what the most important tasks are, will keep you from wasting time blindly responding to whatever task, no matter how unimportant or menial, comes into view.
Planning also encourages investing time in higher-yield activities and you can match the right kind of activity to the right time. For example, activities that require higher energy will best be done after you’ve had your cup of coffee or before the midday slump hits. Schedule the type of work you need to do during the times you have the most energy to do it or when you are best able to focus on it.
Don’t let your distractions control you, instead learn to control your distractions.
Limit and manage yourself when it comes to distractions from work. Between social media alerts, emails, and chats with co-workers, people face distractions dozens of times a day. That can really damage daily productivity, time management and also your mood/stress levels.
Instead, try pushing distractions to predictable times or to times when you know work will be slow.
Scheduling time into your calendar for email, social media, and casual co-worker interactions will give you more control and management over your time, work and distractions.
Turning off your phone or disconnecting your internet altogether are more radical, yet still effective, options.
Often that the reason you want more hours in your day is because you’re too busy with work and familial obligations to tackle your own personal needs or priorities.
However, even the busiest professionals do find time for leisure and relaxation. Usually, though, this chance for kicking your feet up and winding down occurs late at night when most people are too tired to enjoy it or do anything but watch TV.
An effective solution to changing your schedule so that it’s more balanced and relaxed, is to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, giving you more time in the morning (the time when most people feel productive) to exercise, read a book, relax or just reflect.
Finding more time for yourself has its benefits when it comes to your work, as it means you will feel more energized and balanced, versus overstrung or overwhelmed. Therefore, you are more productive at work.
When possible, it’s good to stay home and work, as it can buy back a good amount of time for productivity and also reduce stress.
People can save an average of 50 minutes of daily commuting on the days they work for home, as well as saving the time spent on personal care.
Saving all this extra time in the morning by staying home to work every now and then means you are close to adding two hours more to your day already, and with the added bonus of reduced interruptions.