Would you like to transform your life? Maybe not your entire life, but is there something you’d like to change, add or get rid of but just don’t have the time?
You may think that your schedule is already filled to the brim, but the truth is that it’s not that difficult to find an hour for yourself. Creating an extra hour each day for yourself will really pay off over time. You’ll find that the quality of your life improves when you make time to reflect on your goals, dreams, and desires.
You may wonder where that time is going to come from. It starts with defining your priorities and values. Focusing your mind on what’s most important to you empowers you to go after your dreams with a passion and bring them to life.
Where can I find an extra hour in my busy day?
- How much television time do you use? Television is a significant time waster. Most people average 4+ hours of TV per day. If that’s you, this is an easy place to find an hour.
- Do you surf the internet? The internet is a great source of information, but it’s also an easy place to spend a lot of unproductive time. For example, how much time do you spend on social media websites reading about what your friends are having for dinner? Really? Just cut back and use the time for yourself.
- Are you a night owl? Try going to bed at a set time each night. Condition yourself to get right to sleep, and get up earlier in the day. If you can get up an hour earlier, that’s an hour you have to yourself. There’s something quiet and peaceful about the morning that you don’t get at other times of the day.
There are several tips for getting more restful sleep – here are a few. Cut back on the caffeine or alcohol about six hours before sleeping. While caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep, alcohol can make it difficult to have restful sleep. Consider avoiding any electronics right before bed, and keep the television out of the bedroom. If you must have some background sound to sleep, try a fan or find some music specifically intended to help you sleep.
- Limit your email time. Plan a specific amount of time, once per day, to check and reply to emails. If you can check it all at once, you will be amazed at how much quicker it goes. If you have an exceptionally heavy email load, set two or three specific times to check it – maybe morning and late afternoon, and turn off any notifications so you won’t be distracted.
- Spend less time browsing the stores. Limit your shopping time. Try to only shop when you absolutely need something. Make a list, and get in and out. Consolidate your shopping trips so that you can get everything you need on the same run. The same goes for online shopping. It’s really easy to waste hours looking at all the new and exciting products.
- Consider a shorter lunch break. If you get a full hour for lunch, but don’t need the time, cut it back to half an hour. Bring a lunch so you don’t have to go out to a restaurant. It’s important to take time for meals, and to not rush while you eat, but if you can do that in a shorter time, you will have extra time for other things.
- Skip the news. Don’t pay attention to the news for at least a month. If something really big is happening, you will surely hear about it from somewhere else. Most news programs are very repetitive, and can suck up a lot of your time. If you must know what is going on, find a reliable single source and scan it quickly, then get back to the important tasks in your day.
- Set some boundaries. Instead of saying yes every time someone invites you to do something, or asks for a favor think about if it is necessary. You want to be sociable and be able to support friends and family when they have needs, but you also need to support yourself by making time for yourself.
- Ration your reading time. It’s easy to get caught up in reading all day (and once in awhile, that just may be okay) but take a good look at what you are reading. Is it helpful? Does it add any value to your life or help you accomplish your purpose. A little fun reading now and then is okay, but don’t let nonessential reading consume your time.
- Cut down on your gaming time. It’s certainly important for you to take time to relax and participate in activities that you enjoy. However, if you find that you play video games for hours at a time or spend frequent evenings out on the town, perhaps you can shave a little of this time off for more constructive things.
These are only ten ways you can find some extra time, and you can easily find many more. If you pick three or four items and cut back fifteen or twenty minutes on each, you will have an extra hour each and every day!
How can I use that hour to create a more fulfilling life?
You don’t have to use that hour all in one place. You can take pieces of it and use it to do several small things if you prefer. These are important things to fit in every day. If you’re not already doing them, you now have the time to add them in.
Review your goals. Remind yourself of your goals every day. How are things progressing? Is your plan to reach your goals moving you forward? Just reading them each day is helpful. You don’t have to spend much time here, just enough to check in and adjust if necessary.
Think about your day. Each day, ask yourself what you’ve learned. What did you do well? What mistakes did you make? Can you make choices that serve you better? How? What are you grateful for today? Imagine if each day were a little better than the last, on the average. What would your life be like a year from now? Give yourself the gift of time each day for reflection and thought. Even a half hour a day can be transformational – find your time and take advantage of it. You’ll be so glad you did!
Meditate. Escape the hustle and bustle of life and quiet your mind. You don’t have to use your whole hour to meditate, a few minutes will make a huge difference if you make time to do it every day. If you are not sure how to meditate, there are plenty of guided meditations on YouTube for you to start with.
Journal. You’ll be shocked at how much you can learn about yourself when you write down your thoughts and feelings. A journal also gives you a venue to write about your challenges, reduce your stress about them, and work through them to find solutions. I like to write three pages each morning, beginning my daily journal with the sentence, “today is going to be the best day ever!” It may seem corny, but it makes a huge difference.
Hopefully this article has been helpful for you to find extra time in your day and use it to transform your life for the better. It may take a little work and some getting used to, but it is so worth it.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.
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