The Secret to Creating More Free Time
What would you do with a few extra hours each day? You could spend more time relaxing, and socializing with family and friends. You could go back to school, or start your own business.
It is possible to take care of your responsibilities, and have enough time left over to work on your personal goals. Changing your habits can help you reclaim your time.
However, few of us are enjoying enough leisure. Research shows that about 7 hours of free time a day is optimal for happiness, but 80% of adults say they’re getting less than 3, according to a survey reported in The Guardian.
Make room in your life for the activities you find fulfilling. Try these suggestions for creating more free time at home and work.
Suggestions for Creating More Free Time at Home:
Identify priorities. You may be trying to do too much. Think about what you want out of life, and what you need to do to make that happen. Devote most of your time and resources to your essentials.
Create a schedule. You probably have an agenda for your work day, but you may be less intentional at home. Tracking your time, at least temporarily, can help you discover the hours you may be wasting. You can also block out time for your priorities.
Turn off the TV. Government figures show the average adult spends almost 3 hours a day watching TV. Try leaving the set off unless there’s something specific you want to watch.
Limit browsing. The internet can be another time drain. If you have trouble sticking to your resolutions, install a browser extension that will stop you when you go into overtime.
Exercise regularly. Physical activity makes your body and mind perform more effectively. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.
Sleep well. Many adults try to squeeze more leisure time into their schedule by cheating themselves out of sleep. That backfires because you’ll undermine your health and productivity. Stick to a bedtime that lets you wake up naturally feeling refreshed.
Set boundaries. Has remote work blurred the lines between home and office? Establish a specific quitting time,and keep your business items in a separate designated space.
Suggestions for Creating More Free Time at Work:
Skip meetings. Most experts believe that the average company has too many meetings. Be selective about accepting invitations. Consider alternatives before scheduling your own sessions, and circulate an agenda in advance to help focus the discussion.
Arrive early. Talk with your boss about adjusting your workday, if it will boost your performance. In addition to hybrid work, you might want to start earlier when you’re less likely to be interrupted.
Take breaks. Enjoying time out helps you to accomplish more. Pause at least once an hour to stretch your muscles, or chat in the break room. Leave your desk at lunch, and use your vacation days.
Lighten up. Perfectionism may be slowing you down. See if you can lower your standards for routine paperwork, so you can free up energy for assignments where quality matters more. A little good-natured humor can brighten your workplace too.
Automate your work. Use technology to complete projects faster. If you’re unsure about how to build custom workflows for repetitive data entry, ask your IT department for help. Browse online for apps that will proofread your memos.
Avoid multitasking. Resist the urge to do more than one thing at a time. It will usually create more stress, as well as errors that you’ll need to fix later.
You have only 24 hours each day, but you can make it feel like you have more. Plan your schedule, and focus on your personal priorities.
Thank you for reading our blog!
- Mike Acker
Check out my new book on Public Speaking: Speak with Confidence, published by WILEY.
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