Considering how rushed our modern lives often feel, it’s no wonder that we all crave to have at least 5-6 extra hours in a day. Whether you simply want to replenish your energy with a few hours of sleep or you need more time to spend bonding with your loved ones, too frequently work and responsibilities steal most of our time. However, until we invent a time-turner for the modern era, you will do just fine with a few handy methods to use your time more efficiently and achieve more in less.
After all, being productive is not about spending more time to accomplish a task but less time to wrap up your duties. Let’s take a look at a few tried and tested strategies that can simplify your life and help you organize for a more balanced existence!
Regular spring cleaning
Nope, there is no excuse to wait for actual spring to start improving your organization system, simply because this is a step you will need to repeat on a regular basis – and once every year will not cut it. This is especially vital for busy moms, working parents and mompreneurs because every moment is precious and you shouldn’t waste them on searching for yet another lost file or a missing sock (there’s always one of those, isn’t there?)
Decluttering should become a habit, both for your digital workspace and your physical space as well. Set aside half an hour (or more if you need it) per week to evaluate the situation, remove any unneeded items from your computer, your drawers and your home. Did you know that the average American spends 2.5 days every year looking for lost items around the house? Don’t be that person, declutter, and spend those two days in a spa.
Use tech to your advantage
Moving to the other hemisphere, we all know that Aussies are famous for their laid-back culture. They have mastered the art of work-life and study-life balance, despite the fact that they have a very competitive work environment and very prestigious educational institutions. So, in order to make the most of their time, they have implemented simple tech solutions to free up their time.
A great example is the usage of online platforms where they can, for example, swap notes with previous students and see UQ past exams to get a better idea of what they should focus on in their studies. Since their college programs are highly demanding, these methods help them balance their time and prepare for their exams with more ease. So, why not translate the same approach to every aspect of your life? There are many tech tools you can use to organize better and save hours every day. Evernote, for example, is a wonderful option for note-taking and organizing your ideas.
Limit and eliminate distractions
More often than not, we actually need tools to help us cut down on certain habits such as random social media scrolling or watching too much TV – which may add up into 11 years of your life, actually. While you can use those tools to simplify existing habits and make those hours more productive, you can also use tools to get a better idea of how you’re spending your time and discover your time-wasters.
Apps such as Heyfocus can help you block out the most distracting pages during your work hours, or you can use Rescuetime to see where your time goes every day. They are handy for finally leaving Instagram when you should really be wrapping up a task for a client or doing the laundry.
Build a flexible schedule
Forming a schedule is much like building a mindset – it takes time, self-awareness, and you should always leave some wiggle room for making last-minute changes. Certain aspects of your schedule will indeed help you build healthier work habits, such as limiting your email time to two hours a day, or your social media time to one hour in the afternoon.
The flexibility is there to allow you to take a coffee break with a visiting friend or if an emergency comes up, and you’ll still have a few hours later to go back to your chores.
Give yourself a break
Finally, no matter how much you focus on the things you can do to increase your productivity through more effective organization, you still need to take a break every once in a while. Why? Because your mind and your body need to rest properly in order to function optimally once you go back to productivity-mode.
Take regular work breaks, in fact, work them into your daily schedule. Don’t skip your workout routine, because it will give you more energy to deal with a pesky client. Above all, take a day off regularly to reboot and truly devote some time to self-care. Only then will you feel as if all the work you put in has paid off.
Organization is a learned skill, so give yourself the time and tools you’ll need to master it. Soon enough, better results will start coming in, and you’ll have even more incentive to boost these skills and come up with your own strategies for better organization!