Our guide on maximising your time and minimising your stress...
Although there are 24 hours in a day, often we feel overwhelmed as we stretch ourselves too thinly in order to tackle the never ending to do list. Whilst having a written plan of the day can be essential to help you achieve your goals, it can be a source of stress and make us less productive with our time.
Work deadlines and family commitments are certainly priorities, but can eat into your precious ‘me-time’ if you don’t manage your time well, or you’re guilty of saying ‘yes’ to everything. In our guide, we show you how to make the most of your working hours, leaving you with more time for yourself.
One of the best ways to achieve more in your day is to wake up early. It’s no secret that successful people get ahead while the rest of world wakes up, fitting in exercise and tackling the to do list before sunrise. If you still need your eight hours, simply go to bed earlier and reap the rewards of starting your day half an hour or an hour earlier.
If you find yourself short for time and stressed out in the morning, it’s time to make some alterations to your routine. Instead of taking a leisurely shower, then missing breakfast as you realise you’re already late, prioritise your schedule and make time for things that matter (and less for the things that don’t). Help yourself by sorting things the night before, such as tomorrow’s outfit, will save you precious minutes the next day.
Ready to start making the most of your day? Read through our suggestions for maximising your time and minimising your stress here on woman&home…
Instead of putting off that nagging chore that's been highlighted, underlined and circled on the to do list, whether this is answering emails or fitting in exercise, get it out of the way first thing in the morning. By completing your least favourite task early on, you'll set the tone for the rest of the day and feel more positive about the rest of your to do list.
It's a myth that by juggling many tasks at once we get more done. In fact, you're just doing everything much slower than if you were focusing on one task at a time, and probably making mistakes along the way, as much of your energy is spent switching back and forth between tasks. Doing things in batches, like paying bills, is the best way to get things done quickly.
Also, don't be tempted to do other things whilst eating, like reading your smartphone, as this can lead to overconsumption. Take 30 minutes out of your schedule to sit down at a table - you'll find that you enjoy your food much more and eat less.
Some things that take up a large chunk of your day, like going to the bank or supermarket shopping, can be done online much faster.
Numerous studies have shown the power of rest as a way to improve productivity. It's recommended that you should take a break every 50 to 90 minutes, whether it's from a computer screen or any other monotonous task. Spend the time doing something different, like going for a quick walk or even getting a glass of water - it'll refresh your brain and may even inspire new ideas.
Listen to an educational audiobook or podcast while you're driving, exercising or doing household chores to make the task go quicker and make it more enjoyable!
If you're really snowed under, there's nothing wrong with finding extra help. Hiring a cleaner or someone to run your errands can be pricey but worth every penny if it minimises stress and tackles your to do list.
It's okay to be a little selfish, especially when it comes your how you spend your time. Whilst there are things that we have to do, such as meeting deadlines, there are things that we don't, but say 'yes' to anyway, like 'small' favours. It may be uncomfortable at first, but being able to say 'no' when you need to is a valuable skill and will help you regain some hours back from your life.