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Own The Day: How To Find Back Time

“There’s never enough time in a day.” We’ve all felt like this at some point. Between workday meetings, calls and daily tasks, it can feel like your to-do list is never ending. But, what if we told you that you could get back some of the time in your day that hasn’t existed for you with just a few simple hacks? You can thank us later. 😉 

1. Identify how you’re currently spending your time.

How can you expect to find time if you don’t know how you’re using your time? Simple answer: you can’t. Before getting down to the nitty gritty, take a moment to ask yourself how much can you accomplish and what is your capacity. Are you able to break up your day into chunks or do you have a set 8 hours straight you need to dedicate to the tasks at hand? Once you’ve determined your capacity, you’re going to want to jot down a list of your daily activities and determine any time sucks (aka any unproductive activities) to optimize your productivity level. From there, you can hone in on your greatest returns for daily success — these items are the musts to keep on your daily to-do list. 

2. Get organized.

Now that you have a better understanding of how to break down your day, it’s time to get organized. First order of business? Decluttering your inbox, clearing your notifications and arranging your files. Start by going through any unopened emails in your inbox. For any important emails you’d like to keep but no longer need to respond to, we recommend creating folders/subfolders in your inbox to organize them by topic (i.e. general, invoices, events, etc.) By the end of going through all your emails, you should be at inbox 0 (aim to reach inbox 0 everyday)— for any emails you’d like to keep top of mind, simply add calendar reminders to go back to them instead of having them sit in your main inbox. The same concept will go for clearing your notifications. However, any notifications with dates/times you need, you’ll just add those to your calendar instead of to a folder. As for arranging your files, simply stick to the folder method and delete any you no longer need.

3. Scheduling is your best friend.

Speaking of adding to your calendar, you’ll soon realize your calendar is your best friend. Since you already know the main tasks you need to account for, it’s time to pencil them in (though, you won’t need a physical pencil as you’re going to want to keep a digital schedule). When it comes to blocking out your schedule, be sure to keep similar types of activities together — don’t forget to add in buffers — and stick to keeping those times. For example, say you have a client that wants to meet during your blocked time for main activities. Let them know that you have another appointment during that time and suggest an alternative time. For any to-dos outside of your daily list that don’t have a specific time, set them as an all-day event. As you complete tasks, delete them off your calendar. 

4. Avoid the urge to multitask.

Between having a multiple screen set-up and keeping numerous tabs open on your browser at all times, it may seem like an impossible task to conquer. But, we promise it’s a lot easier than you think. Step one: focusing on the task at hand. This means closing out of any unnecessary programs, putting your notifications on mute and finding a space that’s both free of noise and clutter. In other words, you’re aiming to block out as many distractions as possible. From there, you’ll want to start with the most urgent and highest priority item on your list first and work your way down from there. If you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and a 5-10 minute break away from your computer to recharge your mind (if you can, we find that getting a few minutes outdoors works best as a reset).

5. Learn to say no.

While it may seem simple to say this two-letter word out loud, it can feel impossible at times — this may especially be the case if you’re a people-pleaser. The more you learn to speak up for yourself and say no to lower priority requests from someone, the easier it will become to save time while still being able to lend a helping hand here or there. A general rule of thumb is to stick to the 80/20 rule: 80% of your output comes from 20% of your inputs. Only you know what you have time for, so it’s important to focus on your efforts accordingly. When in doubt, ask yourself these questions: 1) Can I take this on?; 2) Is this the highest and best use of my time? If you can answer yes to both questions, then it may be worth it to say yes. If not, it may be the time to say no or to see if you can delegate the task.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be amazed at how much time you can start saving. Not only that, but you may find that it was never truly time that was the issue — it’s often about organization, time management and prioritization.

Now, the only question is: how will you use that extra time? While the options are endless, we’d recommend knocking out some of the home renovations you’ve been pushing off (like adding in your dream pool or a new kitchen) — after all, your home is where you spend the most time. Up for something more fun like traveling? Why not get the best of both worlds by investing in a vacation home so you can make passive income while you travel?!

Whatever route you decide to take, our team will be here to help you reach your goals! Call us today at (407) 330-7566 or fill out our no-obligation form on the right.

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