woman sat in cafe in front of large clock displaying the time

3 Time Hacks to Make the Minutes in Your Day Go Further

Time has always been one of the most essential and precious resources of mankind, but in the 21st century, it might be an even scarcer commodity than ever before.

Much has been said about the long working hours and constant time-pressures which many people are increasingly exposed to in the modern world. For entrepreneurs and small business owners, the issue is likely to be even more severe.

So what’s the solution? Well, outside of finding ways to reduce your working hours, your best bet — whether you run a security company or work in real estate — is to find ways to optimise your use of the time you do have.

Here are a few ways to do that.

Begin auditing how you spend your time each day

An old maxim says that “that which is measured improves”, and there’s more than a little truth to this idea. Most likely, if you find yourself constantly short on time, you’re not using yours quite as wisely as you imagine you are.

To begin identifying areas where you might be wasting time, start a habit of recording how you spend your minutes throughout the day, for at least a week or two. This should be enough time for you to begin clearly identifying trends and addressing them.

Laura Vanderkam, author of the time-management book “168-hours”, among others, has resources on her website to help time-tracking, including printable PDF timesheets for the day.

Digital apps and tools also exist which can accomplish the same purpose, including Toggl and Time Doctor.

Find ways of capitalising on the micro-moments of free time

You might be surprised just what you could squeeze into the brief moments of free time you have between appointments, while waiting in the car for your kids to come out of school, or while sitting on the train during your morning commute.

Typically, we tend to let these few extra minutes here and there drift away into the ether, staring blankly out the window and daydreaming, or else scanning social media on our phones.

Try instead to find ways to occupy those extra minutes. Carry a book or eReader with you, and squeeze in a page or two when you can. Carry a notepad and pen in your pocket, and draft out the plot to that novel you plan to write.

While you can’t really make headway on a major work project in 5-minute increments, you can do a lot of other things.

Begin phasing out your “time-killing” habits

When we sit around idly skimming Google or YouTube to “kill time”, we really are “killing our time”. It’s not at all unusual for people to spend hours on these relatively mindless habits each day — hours which could often be put to much better use elsewhere.

One of the best ways to optimise your use of time, is to begin phasing out your more hollow time-wasting habits.

Set a timer and limit your daily social media use. Read a few pages of a book when you feel like taking a break from work — or go for a short walk. Fill the gap that would normally be spent “killing time” with something more meaningful or positive.

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