Time is the most valuable thing we have, and unfortunately, there’s just never enough of it.
There are ways to create more though, to do more of the things you like.
Here are a few things I do day to day, to create more time for travel. Also, a few things I plan to do in the future so I can spend more time doing what I like, and less what I don’t. Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest you get up at 5am to align your chakras.
How to Create More Time for Travel
1. Learn to say no
We do so many things in our lives that we don’t actually want to. It really doesn’t make sense.
Of course you have a few obligatory family dinners and friends’ gatherings here and there, but if you’re asked to do something, and you don’t want to, then just say no!
Do less and say no to more.
Be realistic about what you can actually fit in to your busy life, and enjoy those things with your whole heart, rather than trying to fit too much into your days, weeks and years.
If you have less to do, then you’ll be more present in what you actually say yes to – making you more efficient and productive.
2. Schedule your time
Work out what you’re losing your time to. I wrote down where my time was going for a week and realised I was wasting half an hour before I even got up just lying in bed looking at my phone. Nothing needed looking at that urgently.
This is the best way to assess if you spend too long watching Netflix or getting ready for the morning, and then you can work out how to live more efficiently from there.
I realised I needed to wake up about 30 minutes earlier, with an alarm clock and not my phone. And I also need to go to bed a bit earlier to make that easier. I need about 8 hours sleep a night.
3. Take control of your meals
Some people swear by bulk cooking, although, I can’t really imagine eating the same thing for days in a row. This does sound like it will save a lot of time, and money, though.
Alternatively, you could take the time to plan your meals for the week.
My friend told me that every Sunday she sits down and works out what she’s cooking for the week and writes it on the blackboard for her and her husband. Then she knows exactly what to buy online. Whereas I end up going to the shop every few days and picking up whatever is cheap. This leads to hanging around in the supermarket wondering what to buy.
I need to take more of her advice.
One of the best ways to make more time for yourself is to do your weekly shop online and save your shopping lists for next time.
You could also try a food delivery service like Gusto or Mindful Chef. This way you even save time on wondering what to cook too, as they decide for you and just send the food in all its quantities through to you every week.
I’ve tried these before and enjoyed the ease, but worried about the calories and the excessive packaging. Give it a go and see what you think. It definitely saves time.
Pin for later?
4. Use your commute
I used to have over an hour’s commute each way when I lived in London. I used to use this time to write blog post drafts for what was at the time, my side hustle blog (this one). You could also use this time to read, to do your life admin, or to meditate.
Whatever you do, don’t use it to pointlessly scroll on your phone!
My commute now is usually hours long and on a flight. I use the time to write, distraction free, and to listen to podcasts. I also use it to relax and have promised myself to read more this year.
5. Limit social media
It depends on your job, but do you really need the social media apps on your phone? Or the emails? Does anything need to be answered that urgently?
Are you just wasting time scrolling?
Try a device detox and you’ll soon find out how much time you spend on your phone. There are apps you can use to limit your phone time, or at least analyse it. Freeing yourself from social media could buy you hours a day in wasted time.
If you don’t want to delete the apps all together, then utilise airplane mode to get away from them for a while.
6. Outsource where the budget allows
Outsourcing can help your productivity NO END.
Once you’ve done your daily diary for a week, to see where your time goes, then work out what you don’t have to do, and get someone to do it for you. Whether that’s hiring a cleaner, getting some assignment help, walking your dog or doing your ironing. It’s easy to find people to help with all kinds of tasks these days. Make the most of it!
7. Set time limits
If you give yourself a time limit to work on things then you’ll find you can do them a lot more efficiently.
If I know I have a day to write a blog post, it’ll take me a day. If I only have two hours, then I can get it done. Set a clock and a time limit and you’ll find that the hyper focus helps you no end.
Also, do things in micro bursts, like while you wait for the kettle to boil etc. This is a good way to stay on top of the household chores.
“If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean” – as my boss used to tell me when I was a waitress.
8. Have a routine
If you have a routine and get up and go to bed at the same time each day, then you’ll sleep better at night and not waste time on tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep.
Also, the planning takes the time it takes to make a decision away. If you know what you’re going to eat and wear, what time you go to the gym, and how to get to work every day then you can start to do them on autopilot. Saving your brain power for more important things.
As we get older, you’ll appreciate having a routine to work out what you need to do in a day, without thinking too much.
9. Be present
I am terrible for working on a few things at a time, when really, the most effective way to work, is with focus. Be present in whatever you’re doing and you’ll do it faster, if that’s the goal.
10. Simplify your life
The best productivity tip of them all is to simplify your life. Keep things basic, do only what you want to (within reason), have some routine in there, and stop wasting time on social media and indecision. Outsource where you can!
Hope these productivity tips have given you something to think about.