I was giving a speech recently and was reminded of the importance of taking back little bits of time.
If you haven’t done a time inventory in a while, it’s a good practice.
Taking stock of how you spend your time over the span of a week is helpful. More often than not, I can find at least 30 minutes in a day that is being wasted. Sometimes I can find an hour or more.Some of the most significant opportunities to grab back bits of your time can be found at the beginning and the end of the day. Click To Tweet
Take a look at the first hour or so of your day. What do you spend time doing? Is there a lot of searching for things? Do you spend time trying to find clothes or keys or anything you need?
What about that last hour?
I can’t count on the last few hours of the day for anything requiring deep thinking. My brain is tired. I tend to zone out. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be useful. Having a few mindless activities can be really effective.
When I’m at my best, I can use this time to set things up for the next day. Maybe it’s as simple as preparing the coffee maker or setting out my clothes.
If I ask the question, what does “tomorrow Ruslan” need from me? Or, how can I help make his day easier? There are always a few simple things I can do. I could pack my gym bag. Or prepare the ingredients for breakfast.
It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is that I can use the typically unproductive time in the last hour of my day to make the start of the next day a bit better.
I only listed a few things and I’m already sure I’ve gained about 15 minutes on the front side of my day. I’d argue it’s more actually. Not to mention the aggravation of trying to find everything and beating myself up for not being better at this.If you got up 5 minutes earlier each day, you’d be taking back 25 minutes a week. That’s 21 hours a year. Twenty-one hours. Click To Tweet
That’s a half a week of full-time work. Which means all I need to do is find another five minutes and I can reclaim an entire work week each year. And I haven’t even looked at the rest of my day.
Here are a few tips.
Look for pockets of time where you’re not actually working.
For me, it’s been things like time spent looking through my inbox trying to find the notes for a meeting. I can spend five or ten minutes looking for the right email thread and even more looking for a phone number.
But if I had taken 30 seconds to copy and paste the details into my calendar entry, I could save so much time.
It’s often the case where spending a few minutes on the front end, saves much more time at the moment.
Look, this isn’t hard. It’s a good habit to get into, to take stock of how you are spending your time. It gives you a different perspective, helping you to see patterns of behavior that could be hindering your efforts.
And if all you can find is 10 minutes a day, just remember that’s an entire week or work each year.
Have a great week. ; )