By Mel Sim

It’s possible!

Do you often feel like you need more time in the world to get things done? You’re not alone. Ask anyone and a lot of people will say they wished they had more time to do A, B and C.

Here’s one thing we can’t deny though – there are only 24 hours a day and that’s not going to change. Almost half of it goes to sleep and the other half is spent working and what little left goes to family, friends and hopefully some me time.

So how do you “add more hours”? With some careful planning, clever organising, and a lot of understanding what it is that you really need to do and what you can forgo to avoid wasting whatever precious time you have.

Like these ideas:

We all have our weaknesses – whether it is spending hours on our social media or browsing aimlessly on the internet laughing at memes. Or maybe it is just being stuck in traffic on the way to and fro work.

Sounds like you? Here’s what you can do – if you’re spending too much time on social media, cut your usage in halve for two weeks. Make it a conscious effort to do so by being disciplined. Or you can log out each time you use your social media, making it a hassle to log in again instead of having instant access.

Spending way too much time on the road? Time your journey properly, whether it means leaving earlier than the usual crowd so you avoid the jam and maybe coming home a little bit later to beat rush hour (you can spend your time reading in the office or at a coffee place instead to wait it out). Alternatively, take the public transportation – no traffic jam there!

We get a “ping”, check our email, and then decide to keep on checking and clicking and replying, and before you know it, you’re an hour deep into your inbox when you should be doing some other more important work instead. The work-around solution for this? Maintain a once or twice per day inbox clearing routine to save time. Complete your important work first then only dedicate an hour to do some inbox housekeeping.

And not just one in your head. You need a physical list to keep you on target that you can cross off when you’ve finished a task. This physical to-do will free your brain from feeling overwhelmed and wasting time worrying about all the things you have to do instead of actually doing them!. Once you’ve got that list, you’ll see that it can be easily done and all the worries swirling in your head aren’t that big of a deal.

Need to go to the bank and buy a present? Plan it so you can do both at the same time! We often waste a lot of time going back and forth on errands when all you need to do is plan it out, schedule where you need to go, and get it all done in one go. That leaves the rest of your week errands-free!

Yes, you want to go for that movie but you always want to try out that new restaurant. Your friends want to catch up for coffee but you’ve got some reading you need done. What to do? Prioritise. There are only 24 hours a day and let’s get real, you can’t do everything. Figure out what is more important to you, and forget about the rest or leave it for another day, another time. The new restaurant will still be there!

Are you more productive in the morning or in the afternoon? Plan to do the most difficult tasks during then instead of using it to check your Facebook or email. Once you get that out of the way, you’ll feel a lot more free and relaxed for the rest of the day!

Sure, it’s nice to sleep in but it is also nice to wake up earlier and get more things done. We’re not asking that you wake up at 5am; an hour earlier can actually make you feel more accomplished about your day. You can have your first cup of coffee while going through your emails or reading up on news.

Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash

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