If you could just tell the Earth to slow down and give you more time to do the things you need to do, would you? Most of us wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. Between your responsibilities at work and at school, not to mention your obligations at home and, if there’s still room for it, your social life, it’s not surprising that you would want to stretch the day out and squeeze more time out of it.
Technically, you can’t really add a 25th hour to the day. However, there are several things you can actually do to make it seem like you have more time to work, study, and perhaps even have a little bit more time left for play. Here are five effective techniques to help you manage your precious time and get more done during the day.
1. ‘Outsource’ Your Work
Sometimes there are just way too many things to be handled. At times like this, you can consider outsourcing some of the tasks that do not need your personal attention to. This can be hiring a nanny to fetch your children from school or even engaging an assignment writing service to help you with your school’s assignments.
Do put in effort in getting the correct person/company to do your tasks though. You may end up putting in much more effort in ‘correcting’ whatever wrong that has been done.
2. Wake Up Early, Go To Bed Early
Start your day right getting up at least half an hour than you usually do. Although 30 minutes may not sound a lot, you can take advantage of that quiet early morning time to work on something important before the rest of the house gets up.
Do not, however, sacrifice your sleep time just to wake up early. Research has proven time and time again that being sleep-deprived makes you far less efficient at work and in school than when you give yourself enough time to catch your Zs.
3. Identify The Big Three
There’s a difference between working and getting nowhere and working and moving forward so you can achieve your goals. The former is all about the mundane, unimportant tasks that make it seem like you’re busy.
The latter, on the other hand, are your most important tasks for the day. Each night, before you go to sleep, identify the three things you want to accomplish for the next day. Whether it is to finish that argumentative essay, study for a test, or prepare for a presentation, knowing what you want to accomplish right from the start will set the tone for the rest of the day.
4. Reduce Your Time Wasters
You know what these are. These are the things you do that don’t really add meaning to your life. Facebook, for instance, is a major time waster, and so are other social media platforms. When used in moderation, social media can be good for you, but on the whole, scrolling down your News Feed is simply a huge waste of time.
Your smartphone is another offender. Did you know that most Singaporeans between the ages of 18 and 30 spend more than three hours on their phone? And around two hours of the time spent online are spent just watching YouTube videos. So if you simply put away your phone, that’s a big chunk of time you save for studying.
5. Learn To Say No
You might think your life is better off with you juggling a gazillion responsibilities at the same time, but you become a far less effective person if you attempt to do too much. If you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed most of the time, it may be time to step back and reassess which of your activities are not moving you closer to your long-term goals.
This may be hard for you at first, especially if you have been raised to work hard and go after what you want. But the truth is you cannot truly serve others if you are spreading yourself too thin.
Most importantly, calm down. Every now and then, when you start to worry about how you’re not getting things done, take a break and several deep breaths. This will allow you to recalibrate and turn your focus back to what is important to you. This may sound cliché to you by now, but you will be surprised how much more you can do and how much better you can do these things if you just calm down.