Ways to Add Extra Hours to Your DayI lost an hour yesterday. Most of us did. We had to “spring forward” with our clocks.

It’s amazing how that one little hour can really throw your whole system off.

I don’t know about you, but I want my hour back and I really don’t want to wait eight months to get it.

Unfortunately, I don’t foresee a 25-hour day anywhere in our futures, so we’re going to have to make the most of the hours we already have.

Here are three easy ways to add extra hours to your day.

  1. Lose the Time Sucks

We all have things we do that just suck up hours out of our day. If you don’t know what yours are, it’s time for a quick self-evaluation. Here are the biggies to get you started:

Television—if you don’t want to eliminate it completely, choose the shows you love the most and ditch the rest. And use your TV time wisely. I justify my TV time by sorting & folding laundry, doing the ironing, catching up on mending or doing some “cooking ahead” while I watch.

Internet—And if you’re not in front of the TV, you’re probably online. Learn to limit your online time by choosing wisely and using a timer. Set specific times to check and respond to email and stick to it. By the way, “all day” isn’t a specific time.

Chores—Other than my mother-in-law I don’t know anyone who loves to do chores. They are necessary, though. Find ways to reduce the chore load. If you can afford to hire a house cleaner, that can save you all kinds of time. If not, spread the wealth. If you have a family, they should be helping. Start assigning out chores. And don’t be a perfectionist about it. Mealtimes can be made easier if you cook multiple meals at one time. For example, when I make lasagna, I always make three and freeze two for busy nights. I make pasta sauce in a large kettle and freeze it in meal-size containers.  If you’re making a casserole or other dish that freezes well, make it in multiples—or at least prep ingredients for future meals while you’re cooking tonight’s dinner.

 

  1. Take advantage of Down Time

Are you waiting for a family member at an appointment—or waiting for your own appointment? Sitting in line to pick up a child from school? Commuting back and forth to work?

Find ways to do more with your “waiting time” than just playing mindless games on your phone or staring at the wall. If you have a substantial commute, download some great audio books or podcasts onto your phone that you can listen to during the commute. You’ll arrive at your destination much less stressed and much more motivated than if you listen to talk radio or just let other drivers frustrate you.

Bring a book along for those waiting times. Always have something interesting to read. Bring along a notebook as well. Not only can you catch up on making next month’s menu or making the grocery list, you can also do some writing. I am a journaler, so a few extra minutes can get me caught up on this week’s journal entries. I also jot down ideas and occasionally complete articles while I’m waiting for someone’s PT appointment to end or band practice to finish.

 

  1. Re-evaluate your priorities

Look at what you are spending your time on? Are you doing things that are really meaningful to you or just letting yourself drift along with the current of life? Whether you’re at work or at home, take a good look at how you are spending your days. Figure out how to dump the unproductive junk, and how to do the things you love to do more effectively and efficiently. Once you’ve “dumped the junk” from your life, you will be amazed at how much more free time you have. Not sure how to figure out your priorities? Read this.

Whether you try just one or all three of these ideas, you will find yourself with more time in your day—and the opportunity to be more productive and less stressed. Let me know how it works for you.

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