Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
One of the keys to having a productive life is finding enough time to recharge. Here are 16 ways that I find more time for my projects and relaxation.
- Unplug the computer. I waste many hours on the computer, checking email, reading articles and surfing. While some of this activity is necessary, I have to keep on myself to limit my time. One way I do this is to literally unplug my laptop on weekends. When the battery is done, so am I.
- Turn Off the Phone. Telephones are there for my convenience. Just because one is ringing doesn’t mean I have to answer it. In order to not feel guilty about not answering, though, I turn off the phone. I talk when I want to.
- Cut Out Television. I’ve never been a big tv watcher, but the draw is there. I make it a policy that I don’t turn on the television unless there is something specific I want to watch.
- Exercise. Since I exercise alone, this one has an added bonus to the benefits of the exercise itself. I can relax and enjoy the outside while walking the dog, or listen to podcasts.
- Get Up Early. Getting up an hour before the rest of the family gives you a great time to get things done for you. I try to do this on Saturday mornings.
- Stay Up Late. I don’t recommend combining this one with the previous tip, but if you are a night owl, staying up beyond the rest of the family can give you time to yourself as well.
- Split the Sleep. Along with the last two items, a third option is to go to bed early, rise and do things in the middle of the night, and then go back to bed. This seems to work well for those who don’t need much sleep to begin with. I use this tactic when occasional insomnia makes sleep difficult.
- Utilize Lunch Breaks. If you can do activities during your lunch breaks instead of after work or on weekends, you will free up that much more time.
- Hire A Sitter. Sometimes hiring a babysitter is a good idea, even if you are going to stay at home. While my husband was recovering from an appendectomy, I wanted to get my daughter’s room painted. A teenager we knew was very happy to play outside with my daughter and get paid.
- Have A “Me” Evening. Since my husband travels with his work, and has several activities that take him outside the home during the week, we agreed that Tuesdays are my nights to do whatever I want. Sometimes I have rehearsal, or go to a cafe; but other times I get to stay home and not be bothered.
- Schedule Time. If you are schedule-driven, and honor your scheduled commitments, put time for yourself on the schedule. Just make sure you treat it with the same importance you would an appointment with someone else.
- Many Hands Make Light Work. If you trade work with a friend, you will end up spending less time at tasks, giving you more free time. Why? Working with a friend often keeps you motivated and working at a faster pace.
- Drive in Silence. If you need solitude and unwinding time, turn off the radio during your commute. Focusing on the drive itself without the worries of the world pressing in can give you some breathing room to unwind.
- Limited Multitasking. I am not a fan of multi-tasking, but sometimes it can be beneficial. I download many podcasts that I enjoy listening to (and my family does not). I listen while I am walking the dog, doing cleaning, or walking on the treadmill. It has two benefits: I get to do something I enjoy while performing a necessary task, and it also isolates me a bit from the hubbub of the home.
- Take Your Time In the Bathroom. For those of us with young children, bathroom time is rarely alone. Even if my daughter is not bugging me, I find that the animals will pester me. I lock the door and take my time, giving myself a bit of space.
- Make Weekends For You. If at all possible, get all your work – home and paid – done during the week, so that you have weekends completely free. I use this tactic, along with getting up at 6 a.m. on Saturdays, to knock out large chunks of writing.
It isn’t always easy to find time for ourselves, whether for a project, or just for a moment to unwind. Look for hidden opportunities during the day, and you might be surprised at the little amounts you can use!
Photo by gadl