“You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn
Every year, the third week of June brings those living in the northern hemisphere the longest day of the year: the Summer Solstice. By now, you’ve long been enjoying the perks of longer days: better weather, a happier mood and a little more time to get things done!
You may have heard the phrase “time is more valuable than money,” but no matter how long the sun lingers in the sky, most of us still find ourselves wishing for one more hour in the day. We’re a busy society, and the demands on our time often pull us in many directions at once.
Are you feeling like the clock runs out too soon on your daily plans? Check out these tips for maximizing your time and extracting more value out of those extra daylight hours.
Planning Your Time = A Smart Use of Time
Reserve 15 minutes each morning to plan how you would like to spend the time in your day. Start with free-form lists for family, work, and yourself and then prioritize. If you prefer using your phone to organize tasks, there are plenty of amazing apps to help master your daily to-do list.
Don’t measure your success based on finishing an entire list: get to your most important items, then use 15 minutes at night to review your progress and begin thinking about the next day. By instituting these “bookends” on your day, you’ll relieve the stress of feeling like you’re not in control of your time and go to bed feeling a real sense of accomplishment.
Supercharge Your Time Effectiveness
You already consider the cost-effectiveness of your purchases. How about considering the time-effectiveness of your actions? Before taking on a task, consider if you’re using your time well: Are you adding too many steps? Could you delegate or ask for assistance? Is this task contributing to your priorities?
Once you’ve determined your time-effectiveness, consider using the “one-touch rule.” Popular among productivity experts, the one-touch rule means you must finish a task completely once you start it. No switching to a new task or giving in to distractions. If your task is on your computer, try Freedom, software that disconnects your computer from the Internet to keep you from browsing the web. The one-touch rule allows you to complete, say, three big tasks by the end of the day instead of having ten incomplete projects on your hands. Try it out – and don’t be hard on yourself if life sometimes gets in the way!
Take Advantage of Wait Times
A not-so-fun irony: the busier we get, the more downtime we face waiting! Whether it’s at the doctor’s office, in the grocery store line or waiting for the train, small wait times can add up to considerable hours wasted. Always keep a notebook or tablet on hand to brainstorm for a project that needs your attention, catch up on emails or check in on your household budget. Your phone is great, too. Sometimes you’re the most productive when you have no other options competing for your attention!
Respect Your Energy
You can certainly fill every available second of your day with tasks, but if you don’t have the energy to complete them, what’s the point? Respect your finite amount of energy and try to find times throughout the day for fun, rest and re-charging – whether it’s a walk around the block, some extra quality time with your children or even five minutes of quiet time on the couch. And always give yourself downtime between tasks! You’ll be more focused, present and diligent when you take the time for self-care.
What are your tips for maximizing your valuable time? We’d love to see them in the Comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #MyMintTips.