Personal and professional obligations can often take over your life. Therefore, it’s important to make a concerted effort to set aside time to engage in activities that you find meaningful and enriching. These are suggestions for freeing up an extra hour in your day and transforming it into meaningful time.
Carving Out an Extra Hour Each Day
- Wake up earlier. Beat the morning rush hour. Early risers know how peaceful the house and office can feel before the regular day gets started. You’ll encounter fewer interruptions and get more accomplished in less time.
- Work less overtime. Occasional overtime may be a fact of life, but ensure your regular schedule remains sustainable. Know your limits and manage your workload.
- Streamline your housework. Your kitchen and bathroom may require daily maintenance, but many chores are more discretionary. If a room gets little use, vacuum once a week instead of daily.
- Reduce your belongings. Cutting down on clutter is one of the most effective ways to wind up with more time. You’ll spend less time cleaning and maintaining your possessions.
- Become more organized. Get organized by using a systematic approach to yield better results in less time. Coordinate your errands! Drop off your dry cleaning on the way to the grocery store instead of making a separate trip.
- Simplify your look. Focus on your inner beauty. Get a haircut that you can maintain with minimal styling. Cut down on the number of beauty products you use. Limit your wardrobe to separates that easily coordinate with one another.
- Get disconnected. Break the habit of constantly texting or checking your email. Turn off your phone for a while. Limit your Internet usage to specific purposes rather than surfing for hours. Turn off the TV, except for when you want to watch something special.
- Delegate responsibilities. Identify tasks that you may be able to hand off to others. Help your children become more responsible by requiring them to take on some household chores. Consider hiring a landscape service for the summer or a caterer for your next dinner party.
Making That Extra Time Count
- Extend your spiritual practice. Think about your life’s purpose and how to fulfill it. You may want to spend more time in prayer or meditation. Try studying philosophy.
- Read for pleasure. Enjoy a great book! Reading classic literature or high quality non-fiction is likely to enhance your thinking and your conversational skills.
- Make music. Pull out the musical instrument you used to play and start practicing again. Or try playing the piano or guitar for the first time. You can build or improve your musical skills at any age!
- Learn a new language. Brush up on your foreign language skills. It will keep your mind sharp and could even come in handy on your next vacation.
- Develop a hobby. Indulge in a hobby that may have lapsed or look into something new. The possibilities are endless!
- Help others. Giving back to your community is a guaranteed prescription for feeling happier. Volunteer at a local animal shelter or help coordinate the next fundraising event at your children’s school.
- Find a more meaningful career. Maybe there’s another line of work that looks more appealing than your current day job. Start researching the possibilities and make connections with people in that new field.
Stop time from slipping away! A few quick adjustments can give you extra hours to devote to the activities you love.