If I could have any super power, it would be the ability to control time.
I’m not talking about going back in time and making changes, but rather the ability to create it, to pause it. Time is a commodity that seems to be so scarce amongst us millenials, with longer work hours than ever, and the pressure to create a healthy work life balance. I’ve written a few articles before about a healthy morning routine; most recently 5 Morning Secrets I Swear By – the things that give me a productive and positive start to the day.
Today’s post though is more focused on time, and making the most of it; creating it even – inspired by the discoveries of Scottish Widows who are exploring the concept of time and how we use it, and sometimes waste it.
2016 for me has been my busiest year yet, and there have been countless times when I’ve wished that I could have a twin to share my workload with. ‘Me Time’ was something I struggled with, but upon creating a more mindful morning routine, self love has become something that I’m committing to on a daily basis.
In my quest to create more time, I recently set myself a challenge of finding the 25th hour. Creating an hour in my day that’s just for me. You won’t find it in my calendar or in anyone else’s notifications; instead it’s time for me to spend how I like – drives by anything that I desire, and spontaneity.
I create my extra hour first thing in the morning. I set my alarm an hour early and indulge in whatever I like in those first minutes when I wake up. I spend a few moments in bed evaluating what would make me happy. A scrumptious breakfast? I long walk with Dexter? A pamper session? Whatever it is, this first hour in my day is devoted to paying attending to whatever I want. There’s no pressure or wrong choice – if I want to spend 40 minutes kissing Dexter in bed, then why not.
Starting the day with this indulgence takes away a heavy pressure, slows the pace of a racing mind, and creates clarity that helps me to focus throughout the rest of my day. I sleep better knowing I’m not obligated to do anything I don’t want to do the second I wake up.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well recently, while not trying to make myself busier, I have been trying to optimise every hour of my day. Time is precious, so here are a few more things I like to do in order to make the most of every hour:
Beware of Flexibility!
I may work for myself, but I still like to set aside work hours, and relaxation hours. If there’s no boundary then there’s the risk of wasting time, because there are no set hours for your working time. I like to stick to a rough routine, with the aim of cutting out decisions from an already busy day.
Outsource Where Possible!
For years I refused to ask for help, or delegate a task of my own to someone else. Finally though, I’ve realised that when you are at your capacity, the only way to grow is to outsource your tasks. I’m in the process of looking for an assistant, someone to help me full time, and while it will be a struggle at first for me to fully ‘trust’ someone with the tasks that I’ve previously completed myself, I know that it’s something that I need to do.
Understand Where you Waste Time
In their research into time, Scottish Widows discovered that on average, us Brits spend 80 minutes of our day completing tasks that we admit are a waste of our time. Flicking through the social media profiles of cousins of the boyfriends of our best friend, watching dancing dachshund videos on YouTube (guilty!), or browsing for handbags that we can’t even afford online (also guilty!). If we can understand where we are wasting our time, and how long we spend wasting it – we can realise exactly how much valuable time we could gain if we used this time more wisely.
Once you realise what your distractions are, you can start making changes to create more time in your day. Scottish Widows have created a way for us to change our lives in just an hour; what better use of time than financially planning for your future, understanding the changes you can make today, that will have a big impact on your life in years to come.
Can you think of any ways that you can make the most of your time? How will you create that 25th hour? Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you to Scottish Widows for collaborating on this post!