Seven days is a nice amount of time, but so often we’re juggling a million things wondering how to make more time every week. So what makes up a week of time anyway? For a lot of people it’s five days of commuting, studying/working, making phone calls, going to meetings, deleting hundreds of emails, followed by two precious days on the weekend to veg out and spend time with family and friends. We’ve all experienced how quickly time can escape us, and if we’re not careful, one week quickly becomes four and then another month has disappeared into oblivion. POOF!
Even in just seven days there really is a ton we can accomplish if we break time down into small increments. There are 10,080 minutes in one week. Assuming eight hours of sleep each day (which is probably more than most of us get on average), that leaves 6,720 minutes to do all sorts of incredible things! That’s equal to 112 hours if you’re wondering.
We Have More Time Than We Think
Think about how much you could accomplish with all of those 6,720 minutes if you put your mind to it? Of course it’s not easy to work multiple jobs, juggle family, squeeze in exercise, run errands, catch up with friends, and build a business at the same time. Believe me I know. But life wouldn’t have meaning if it was easy all the time without challenges for us to overcome.
If you want to know how to make more time every week, one tip is to be selfish with your schedule and take responsibility for all of your actions. We can blame others for wasting our time until we turn blue in the face, but the truth is we are only as productive as we choose to be. We must prioritize, know when to say no, and make time for ourselves.
As much as I wish I could speed write articles in 15 minutes or less, it takes me many hours to complete the posts I publish on Untemplater. I care about the quality of my writing, so I have to prioritize my to do list and put aside enough time each week to sit down without distractions and write. Fortunately it’s important to me and something I really enjoy doing. So, I’ve sacrificed how much time I spend with friends, skipped out on my Bollywood classes when my workload is high, and also managed to overcome my TV addiction. If you care about something enough, you will make time, so please stop making excuses!
Time Slows Down When You Get More Done
I’m sure you’ve had days that seem to just drag on forever, usually because you’re bored or are coping with the agony of waiting for something out of your control. While I think it’s true that time slows down in those cases, I also firmly believe we can learn how to make more time each week by doing what we love and getting more things done as a result.
One of my weaknesses is wasting time thinking about all the things I need to do without actually doing any of them. I’ve had this bad habit since I was a kid, and I have to constantly fight off over thinking things. The pressure of a giant to do list can be overwhelming enough that it zaps motivation. What I’m working on now so I can overcome the stress of having a hectic schedule is setting short time limits for small tasks. I pick a few things I want to do in five minute increments, start my timer, and go! Five minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can actually go a long way.
In just five minutes you can pick up everything off the floor in your messiest room, make a healthy smoothie, answer an important email, pay 10 bills, take the trash out, do 100 situps, practice two interview questions, or waste it and do nothing. Seems so foolish just to do nothing right?!
Keep A Log Of Your Weekly Highlights
Time always seem to escape us when we don’t keep track of our accomplishments and attack our to do lists. I used to be really good at writing down my mini accomplishments and the activities I participated in every few days, and I need to get back to that. I do take a lot of pictures of events I attend and places I visit though, like my trip to Istanbul, which also helps the memories stay at the front of my mind and make time move slower.
If you keep a written log, or at least a mental one, of all the things that you’re happy and proud of each week, time won’t escape you as often. I tweeted the other day how I like Monday’s now because of how happy I am about all the things I did over the weekend, which also includes catching up on rest. Getting things done is one of my favorite highs, and I’ve never regretted putting time towards my to do list.
More Untemplater posts you will enjoy:
How Not To Crumble Under Pressure And Stay Focused
How To Overcome Obstacles: Forget Wheaties, Gobble Up Problems For Breakfast!
Untemplaters, how are your time management skills? Do you have any tips on how to make more time every week? Do you keep a log of your weekly highlights?
Harry @ PF Pro says
The funny thing about time is that everyone has the same amount, whether you’re a janitor making minimum wage or a fortune 500 ceo. Everyone has the same amount of time.
I’ve been trying to maximize my time by batch processing and taking care of small items that will only take 5 minutes or less instantly. Not procrastinating or writing it down to do later. Just do it.
A. de Wit says
I catch myself doing so many useless things during the day. My biggest annoyance is turning on the TV when I am at home. I usually have it turned on in the background, but it is so inviting to just crash on the couch and get entertained, although there is nothing on.
The good news is that with this awareness, I notice quickly when I am just throwing away my time, so I can act upon it. Still I believe that spending some little time just being useless can be a good thing once in a while. I use it to decelerate myself and to get some moments for myself.
Tie the Money Knot says
I like to make weekly lists, and start each day with a list of its own. Holding myself accountable helps, personally. The thing I need to do a better job of is being more selfish with my time, but I’m starting that now 🙂
It can be hard being selfish with our time, but one thing that helped me was focusing on the things I cared about the most and dropping the rest. I learned to let go of friends who I wasn’t that close with, and now I just stick with spending time with a few very close friends.
Lists are great and I would be lost without mine. I have them on my smart phone so they’re with me wherever I go so I can easily check what I need to do and change priorities as things come up.
Edward Antrobus says
My post today was on a similar matter, my tendency to procrastinate. But I know it’s my fault. The worst I can blame my time management on others is having to work a 13 hour shift.
Oh man working double digit hours is so hard. I used to do it all the time in my early-mid 20s but my body can’t handle it anymore. I guess between my office job and blogging I do work 10-14 hour days a lot of times, but it’s not as intense as when I used to have to put in all those hours just for my day job alone.
Edward Antrobus says
Yeah, it does get old pretty fast. I have no problem with 10 hour shifts. That seems ideal to me. But rolling past that gets tiring. On the positive side, all that work means I don’t need to waste my time with the gym!
That’s a positive way to look at it!
“One of my weaknesses is wasting time thinking about all the things I need to do without actually doing any of them.”
Yes, yes and YES.
I just commented on Bridget’s blog about this, but I’ve come to realise that I’m not a person who wants, or can handle, a super packed schedule. I have few commitments and I like it that way (that may make me sound like a slacker but I just prefer a relaxed, slower pace of life outside of work).
I love blogging because it’s one way to look back and record what you’ve done, where you’ve gone, etc.
I try to alternate between weeks with a lot of work and socializing and slower weeks of staying in and catching up on things. Sometimes it means having to decline on invitations, but I’d rather plan not to go to something vs. tell someone I’m gonna go and then cancel last minute.
I agree that blogging is a nice way to look back on what we’ve done, things we were thinking about, etc. It takes a lot of time to write, but it’s fun and rewarding. 🙂
I try and do three main things a week. I won’t focus my attention on anything else until these three things are done.
In fact, if I can just do one big think a week, I will be happy. That’s 52 big things a year, or 52 big steps that will get to the most important things.
That’s a great way to look at it and nice that works for you. I still have to break down my tasks into little chunks to help me focus. If a task is too big and intimidating for me, I get distracted way too easily and end up wasting time over thinking how I can start.
I find to do lists and deadlines are what helps me most. My problem is that I never budget in any downtime to relax and then get frusterated and let things start slipping. I have taken some more downtime recently but need to get back at completing my goals!
It’s hard to keep a happy balance! I’ve been feeling quite sick these last few weeks and it’s taken a major hit on my productivity. It really makes me miss being healthy. Even if I’m a little low on sleep, I can push through the sleepiness when my body is otherwise feeling good. But when I’m sick like I am now, boy do I fade so fast. We must treasure our health while we have it!
My Money Design says
I know this pain all too well – I have a one hour commute each way every day to work, so I’m at a disadvantage every week! Photos would be my suggestion. I love to snap shots with my phone of things I do or places I visited every weekend. Similar to your list idea, I’m usually reminded of all the things I got done and the sense of accomplishment that followed.
Ouch, two hours commuting each day is a drag. If you have to drive, you can at least listen to some podcasts to pass the time and learn some new things at the same time. I take public transit on my commute, so I try to catch a few minutes of sleep or checking email. But that isn’t always easy when it’s super crowded and I’ve got bags in one hand and the other hanging on to the rail so I don’t fall over!