This is not meant to be another gimmicky ‘how to find more hours in the day’ post here. But I do have a few tips that might help claw back some of the 24 hours in a day you do have. Alright.. so maybe it is a bit gimmicky!
Two things I’ve found that eat up your time are decisions and devices!
Two decisions that take up a lot of time everyday are, what to wear, and what to eat. You might have heard about decision fatigue before. Have you ever got to the end of the day and after dealing with kids or work all day having to decide what to have for dinner is just too hard? The struggle is real!
In what I now refer to as “the good old days” when we were in Melbourne, we lived literally around the corner from a supermarket. We went there every night after work to get stuff for dinner, it seems crazy now I think about it! Of course we were time rich then!
Now we meal plan a week at a time. I work Monday to Wednesday so we try and cook a two night meal on a Sunday that will work for two of the three nights so when we come home from work we just have to heat dinner up. On the nights we don’t have something already prepared we already know what we are eating and just have to put it together. If its something like a stirfry or curry then the vegies are prepped in the morning before work or even the night before.
Point being, the less decisions you have to make, the more time you will have (and you’ll probably eat better too!)
So, what to wear then.
Lots of clever people have blogged about ‘capsule wardrobes’, in fact Smaggle is doing a smashing job of writing about hers at the moment.
I can’t say I’m on board with a capsule wardrobe (yet!) but I work in an office three days a week at my ‘day job’ so I have three outfits that I know I feel good in and are suited to a professional office environment. The night before I get everything I need ready as mornings are extremely hectic getting everyone out the door for work and daycare. Not having to decide what to wear saves me a huge amount of time!
There are tons of other decisions or actions you are making all the time that you can simplify. Keep losing things? Put them away in the same place every time! So simple it is ridiculous but it works.
The other thing that takes up a lot of time is devices. You’re probably reading this on one. I am hyper-aware of just how connected I am to my phone. It annoys me a lot, and I sometimes feel guilty about how much I am on my phone. But I also own it and if I am scrolling mindlessly through Instagram then I own that and recognise that I am actually wasting time. Time that I could be using to work on my business, write awesome blog posts, do some stretches, watch Designated Survivor (seriously how good is that show?) or even ..chat to my husband.
As I am so aware of how much I use my phone there are some strategies I have been testing over the past 12 months that I use to remind me that the life outside your phone is so much more important than any notification on social media. The first is deactivating Facebook. That little blue icon that you tap all the time without even realising it! Its easy to deactivate it and just ‘take a break’. You can choose to still be able to access Messenger, so you are hardly uncontactable to your Facebook “friends” but you just get a break from being so exposed to ‘everything’. When you are ready your account is auto-magically reactivated simply by signing back in.
Have you ever opened Facebook and read something that has actually changed your mood? As in, "wow if I hadn't opened Facebook I wouldn't be feeling like this?". When that happens to me I know it’s time to take a break. You can take a break for as long as you like. Sometimes I switch off for a month, sometimes just a week or so.
If you’re like me and you use Facebook for work (to admin pages or the like) and its harder to switch off completely, another good trick is to make Facebook as boring as possible! I unlike pages that keep posting click bait and have unfollowed a lot of friends so Facebook just isn’t that interesting to me anymore on a personal level.
Another strategy is to leave your phone behind when you go out. Seriously. Try it, it is liberating. I promise it will still be there when you get back (unless you leave it on a bus) Ah-mazing.
There you have it, just a couple of tips to free up a little bit of extra time in your day. You can do a lot with an extra 5 or 10 minutes! (like prep your dinner for tomorrow night!).
Thoughts, comments, questions?? Do you ever go out and not take your phone?