By: Holly Case, Freelance Writer and Mom of Three Boys
If you’re like most women, you probably wish every day had a little more time. While you can’t make a 25-hour day exist, you can reclaim more free time just by changing your habits. If you want to gain some extra time every day, consider trying some or all of these helpful hacks.
The Television Trap
We’re not saying to completely stop watching television. But how many times have you found yourself sitting through a rerun of a show that isn’t all that interesting, or kept watching a kids’ TV show after the kids went to bed? Every time you turn off the TV when you’re watching something uninteresting, that’s bonus time you just regained.
The Social Media Time Suck
Social media is fun, but it can be like a black hole. How many times have you picked up your phone or your laptop, planning to just check in for a few minutes, but found yourself still browsing Facebook or Instagram hours later? You can use a program like StayFocusd on your computer to block yourself from checking specific sites. Otherwise, just limit social media with a timer.
Fill in the Gaps
Although social media and television are common sources of lost time, the truth is that your free time is eaten up while doing other things. Commutes home from work or cooking dinner are often wasted time, for example. Multitasking during that time can help you feel like you’re getting more done. Consider listening to a podcast while cooking dinner or even do exercises like squats while doing dishes.
Manage Email Smarter
Do you just glance at an email as it comes in, and leave the less-immediate ones to be dealt with later? Most people handle their email this way, but it’s an inefficient use of time. Instead, set designated times to go through your email—such as every 30 minutes during the day. Decide what to do with it as you read it. Respond right away if it requires an answer. Many emails can be completely deleted after you read them.
Pass the Buck
It’s hard to let go of control, especially when a task is important and you know you can do it well. But learning to delegate is an essential part of saving time. Figure out who you can trust and give them some items on your to-do list. You can find more free time when you let other people help!