Productivity starts with a balance of work and leisure; it is scientifically proven that workers who cram their day with work tend to work less efficiently in the long run, workers who have a good mix of both.
Taking time off allows your brain to rest and allow for much needed biological processes that takes place only when doing leisure activities. But the question here is how do we find more time in between our work hours to do the things we love?
Finding your essentials
Make a short list of what you would like to do, it doesn’t have to be long and complicated, just 4-5 things that you truly would like to invest more time in.
Finding what is wasting your time
Now make another short list of things that are wasting your time and are not in the essentials list. Most of these activities you can’t remove from your routine, but perhaps there is a way to streamline and reduce the amount of time consumed. Activities like surfing certain sites, watching TV, talking at the water cooler are all things that could use some trimming, instead use it to do something on your essentials list.
Wake up an hour earlier
It’s actually not that hard, all it takes is a little bit of effort and diligence. The key to success here is to start small, try waking up an hour earlier every day before work and do something you enjoy. Grab a book and sit on your balcony and enjoy a quick session of fiction before your day begins, with a nice cup of tea this can be a very therapeutic experience.
Schedule your day (and stick to it!)
You would be surprised how much time you will find if you schedule the day out accordingly. I’ve known people who schedule their whole year out to perfection and still manage to go on countless holidays. Sit down for a good hour or so and have a long think about your life, what you want to do versus what you actually do. Start with a blank weekly template and work your way through it slowly assigning one hour at a time to assignments. Do you want to do exercise? Perhaps a quick 30 minute session in between lunch break & afternoon hours, or shortly after work hour finishes. However, you can plan all day but if you don’t stick to it there’s very little purpose to having one, so be strict with yourself!
Hire a Virtual Assistant?
A little bit of shameless advertisement, but the reality is hiring a virtual assistant is a big step towards finding more free time. As a VA myself, I find that many clients hire me just for the sole purpose of finding more time in their day, I even had a client handling me full business responsibility so she could go on holiday. So if you are serious about finding more free time, why don’t you give my virtual assistant service a trial run?
Finding time to do the things you love can be a difficult task sometimes, but the secret behind is to be strict and know when to say “No”. Be careful with time-wasting activities and try to limit long, drawn out conversations at the water cooler, this is a great start to finding more time but there is still plenty of ways to increase it. Try cutting out meetings, consolidate activities, reduce travel time, and declutter your schedule and so on.
Most of all… be happy!