When there just aren’t enough hours in the day

Have you ever felt like you’re on cruise control just trying to make it to the next item on your “to do list," while others seem to speed past you with ridiculous ease? Perhaps you wake up each day and it feels like you blink and it’s time to start the customary nighttime routine? Reality check: you are not alone. That’s right, there’s more of us out there that feel like there simply are not enough hours in the day.

To become successful in making the most out of each day, let's talk some different tactics you can explore.

Tidy up that “to do list”. The key is to prioritize and be realistic. Is it realistic, for example, to squeeze painting the living room into your typical Wednesday? Probably not. You are the master of your schedule. You know what days are better for larger projects and what days you will need to keep a short item list. If you are prioritizing you will be able to stay on top of deadlines, expiration dates, due dates or any other nerve-testing ultimatum that’s out there. Return to this list each day and adjust it as needed.

Toss out the time-wasters. When you wake up in the morning, instead of logging into social media use that time to read your kid’s school newsletter, clean the toilets or to knock off another something small from your list. If you sat down and thought about all the time spent on recreational social media use, you may be able to squeeze another 30-45 minutes out of your day.

Share the load. Ever work for a manager that you felt was the master of delegation? Whether a good or bad experience, I’m sure it taught you what delegation was and how it could be used. Unless you're living alone, spread the responsibilities around. Just remember that with delegation comes different approaches to tasks, maybe it’s not how you would do it, but allow for the possibility of rolling with it anyway. If nothing else, it might just open the window to a teachable moment!

Visualize and prioritize. Maybe you’ve heard of dream boards or something similar? The idea is for an individual to visualize what’s important to them. Create something that leads them to their aspirations. If you have one, great. If not, no worries, but maybe take a few moments (I understand the irony of asking you for time when you’re obviously short on it) and list out goals. Goals at work. Goals at home. Personal goals. Spiritual goals. Anything that is important to you. Each time you have to decide between attending a work conference or a friend’s birthday party, make the decision based on which leads you closer to your goals. Evaluating your schedule based on which task aligns with your personal goals should alleviate the stress from cutting things out of a busy schedule.

Say yes to saying no. Using assertiveness will provide you with more time. There is no existing rule that insists you attend every event you are invited to or be a part of every committee you are nominated for. Being assertive is harder for some, but with practice it does get easier. If you make a commitment to yourself to evaluate each invitation with an open mind, you may find that your inner voice is actually quite assertive.

When you find yourself not having enough time in the day, I hope you'll be able to take a step back and look at what’s happening, using a number of these tactics to gain yourself some time. As it is often the case that the first place to save time is to cut the time we spend on ourselves. You are worth the mani/pedi. You deserve to read that bestseller book. You are worth keeping on your schedule.

Featured photo by ciocci via Flickr