5 Ways to Magically Create More Time in Your Day

woman relaxing on couchYou might THINK you want to win the lottery, but know what would make you even happier? To have more time.

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Researchers at the University of British Columbia recently asked 4,600 people if they'd rather have more time or more money. While the responses were nearly even, researchers found that people who placed more value on their time were happier.

Which is great because, you know, time is free and we all have a shot at finding more.

Here's how to do it:

1. Stop dissing your free time. The last time you had 5 or 10 unscheduled minutes, what went through your head? If it was, "Ugh, I only have a few minutes!" then it's time for an attitude adjustment.

"Reframe your view of these chunks of time ... and take advantage of your good fortune," says organizational expert Rashelle Isip, a time management expert and author of The Order Expert's Guide to Time Management. 

Set a small task you can complete within that time frame, whether it's planning your dinner menu, cleaning the cat litter box (hey, it's gotta be done), or -- gasp! -- sitting quietly and RELAXING.

2. Make a checklist. (Or two.) "Trying to remember all those little tasks you have to take care of gets old real fast," says Isip. (Not to mention slows you down because you have to keep stopping to think, "What was it I had to do?")

A little organization can save you time here. And don't just develop a checklist for daily or weekly tasks. Think bigger and write out monthly or even yearly tasks, suggests Isip.

Don't just randomly spit stuff out on paper either. Instead, list items in chronological order, says Isip, so you can simply go down the list, work on an item, and cross it off. Boom. Done.

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3. Switch off your phone. "Staring at your screen as you walk down the street or checking Instagram when you're checking out at the store are not only dangerous and inconsiderate acts," notes Isip, "but they make completing these basic tasks take longer than they should."

Get through your head: Multitasking is a myth! "Put your phone away when you're out and about in the world, and give your full attention to what you're doing," Isip suggests. "You'll be finished that much faster."

4. Group similar tasks together. Let's say you have a bunch of phone calls to make. True, you could call the dentist in the morning, your kid's school during lunchtime, and the ortho in the afternoon. But all you're doing is kinda dragging out a tedious task.

A better strategy: bundling like tasks together. "It's far easier to make five phone calls one after the other," says Isip. The same goes for doctor checkups (why not make your kids' appointments back-to-back?), running errands, or doing chores around the house. 

5. Cancel meetings you don't need. Let's say you're heading up the spring carnival at your kiddo's school. A noble cause because it's a big task, right? Well, here's one way to make it easier -- DON'T feel the need to call a meeting every two seconds to organize it.

"The majority of meetings don't need to be held," says Isip. "People often forget that to run a meeting efficiently, a whole lot of work has to be done." Seriously. You've got to invite people, pick a day/time that works for everyone, figure out where to meet, prepare your agenda, and probably also buy snacks and/or wine to pacify everyone who's reorganized their schedule to show up.

Notice that you've already lost time before the meeting's even happened? Next time, see if you can do the organizing you need by email, text, or phone, says Isip.

True, finding extra time is a little like digging for change in your couch cushions. But hey, it adds up over -- you know what's coming -- time.

 

 

Image via iStock.com/Wavebreakmedia

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