It’s no surprise that most of us are living busy, hectic lives, and finding time to do all the things we want to, is one of our biggest challenges.
The demands placed on us, either personally or by others, often pulls us in multiple directions during the course of our day or week.
Any advantage we can achieve to gain more time each week can make a huge difference in what and how much we accomplish.
For most professionals, a working week is typically 40 hours, therefore, in order to gain five working weeks over the course of a year, our objective is to save at least 200 hours. If we use 50 working weeks a year, that means we only have to save fours hours per week, which is not difficult at all.
What can you do with the extra hours?
It’s common for busy professionals to give more attention to their career or business endeavours, however there are many other benefits to gaining additional time each week such as:
- Giving more attention to our mental, emotional and physical health.
- Learning new skills.
- Completing an education course.
- Spending more time with family.
- Having more time off to pursue passions or hobbies.
- Starting a new venture or project.
Gaining additional time each week does not necessarily involve making drastic changes. It requires us to become smarter and more intentional in how we use our time.
5 Changes You Can Make to Gain 5 Weeks Every Year
- Stop multitasking while doing productive or important work. Multitasking has been proven to be ineffective as it dramatically reduces our productivity. When we’re working on one task then switch to something else and return back to the original task, it takes around 20 minutes to get back to the level of focus and concentration we had before.
It wouldn’t be uncommon for people to lose between two to three hours of productivity everyday because of multitasking or task switching. Let’s say we can save an hour a day by eliminating or reducing multitasking, that will give us five hours per week.
- Get more sleep each night. Lack of quality sleep affects our ability to concentrate on our task at hand. When we’re not focused, it’s easier to become distracted with other unimportant tasks that may use up a lot of time but not result in us making a lot of progress.
Most adults require anywhere between six to nine hours of sleep each night. Let’s say by getting better quality sleep, we can concentrate better during our work day and save 30 minutes per day. That will give us an additional 2.5 hours per week. So we’re at 7.5 hours gained per week so far.
- Get up 30 minutes earlier. What if we used the time saved by becoming more effective as a result of better quality sleep to get up earlier? We can use the extra time to get ourselves mentally and physically strong by exercising, meditating or doing breathing exercises. That means we’ll use up 2.5 hours per week, which means we’re back at a total gain of five hours so far.
- Manage your schedule or calendar better. The best way to do this is to plan our days instead of reacting to anything that comes our way. This may mean batching activities together. For example, we can specify a certain time during the day where we’ll check and respond to emails and phone calls. We can also do similar tasks together rather than spreading them throughout our day.
- Eliminate or delegate activities that aren’t our strengths. We become quite ineffective when we do activities we’re not good at. While there are situations that require us to persevere with tasks beyond our capabilities, it’s far more intelligent to concentrate on tasks we’re good at and are our highest value activities.
Implementing such a strategy can easily save us an hour of non-productive time each week. This means we’ve gained up to 12.5 hours each week just by making these five changes.
Doing this can save anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour everyday. If we use a savings of 30 minutes daily, that will result in a gain of 2.5 hours per week, which takes our total gain back to 7.5 hours.
A saving of 12.5 hours per week over the course of 50 weeks in a year will result in a saving of 625 hours. That is equivalent to gaining 15 working weeks every year. Just imagine what a difference that can make to your life if you gained all that time! Even if we’re out by 50% with our estimates, that’s still a saving of over 300 hours, which is equivalent to gaining at least seven working weeks every year.
We’ve still exceeded our objective! All it will require is the commitment and discipline to implement these ideas.
Question: What is another change we can make either daily or weekly to gain more time to do the things that are important to us?
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