16 ways to make time

There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Every day. Like it or lump it, you can’t make more minutes (we were a bit sneaky with suggesting you could in the title of this blog post, sorry bout that…)

What you can do with those 1,440 minutes is use every last one wisely, give or take a few for life’s simple pleasures (we’ll leave you to decide what that means to you, each to their own and all that)

Mindfulness is a word that’s been kicking around for a while now and whether you subscribe to the idea of being more mindful in other areas, being more mindful about how you spend the minutes in your day is a game-changer.

Here are 16 ways to make more time by being more mindful; which could you do today?

1. Hit unsubscribe

How many hours of your life have been lost to those Groupon emails or the newsletter of that cool boutique you bought from back in 2014? You don’t need a giant trampoline, unsubscribe now.

2. Wake up an hour earlier

Turn off the TV an hour earlier and go to bed, then get up an hour earlier in the morning for what we promise will be your most productive hour of the day. We keep blabbering on about this one but it’s just because it’s true.

3. Prep the night before

Work clothes, breakfast, school uniforms; whatever you can get done the night before to make your mornings easier, do it.

4. Go large on your coffee

A Sports Direct mug that could drown a town if it was knocked over is your friend when you’ve barely got time to blink. Fill once, drink for longer, save time on refills and handle the caffeine shakes like a boss.

5. Streamline your wardrobe

Marie Kondo wasn’t messing about when she suggested getting rid of anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’. If you like everything in your wardrobe, you won’t need to waste time finding something decent to wear in a morning because you like it all. Easy.

6. Always carry a book

Making more time in the day is about filling those empty minutes that you’d spend on Instagram or daydreaming. Have a book in your bag for the train or download that big industry read on Audible for your commute. You’ll be amazed how much you can cram into time you usually spend doing absolutely nothing.

7. Bookmark now, read later

Next time you’re scrolling Twitter and spot an article or video that catches your attention, save it using an app like Pocket and go back to it when you’re not supposed to be cracking on with work. It’s a failsafe way to avoid falling down the rabbit hole of information.

8. Make the most of nap time

No, not your nap time. We are not telling you to make more time in your day by taking more naps. We mean the kids’ nap times. When they sleep, use the time to crack on with something that doesn’t take too much brainpower but will tick a job off the to-do list.

9. Write to-do lists the night before

Speaking of to-do lists, writing them the night before instantly saves time in your morning for actually ticking things off the list. Before you start to wind down for the day, set aside five or ten minutes to write your to-list for the following day, starting from most-important task and working your way down.

10. Schedule hour by hour

Accounting for every hour is a great way to really streamline your day when work is nuts and things are down to the wire. Plan your entire day, from your morning run to your commute, your working hours and right through to bedtime, then stick to it like your life depends on it. Prepare to smash productivity on a whole new level.

11. Learn to say no

When you’re trying to make the most of every minute, it makes absolutely zero sense to spend a single one doing something you don’t want to – or have to – do. Start saying no to things that aren’t a) an absolute necessity and b) a joy to do. If you aren’t bothered about beers out on Saturday because you’ve got a full day of side hustle work to do on Sunday, say no. It gets easier the more you do it, promise. Either that or people will stop asking if you say no enough…

12. Bin the box sets

God almighty, we love a box set. But, and we hate to be a kill joy, if you’re smashing a season a week and still complaining you’ve not got time to get anything done, they’re gonna have to go. Like any great love of your life, Netflix will wait until you’re absolutely ready to give it the attention it deserves. Work now, Netflix later, when you can do it without the sense of impending doom that a to-do list leaves hanging over your head during your box set binges.

13. Time limit your tasks

The only thing that saps productivity harder than a hangover is procrastination. Being easily distracted is a curse but using the Pomodoro Method or a productivity app like Flora can keep you focused by allotting tasks a set amount of time to create a faux deadline of sorts.

14. Meal prep

Joe Wicks bangs on about meal prepping but there are benefits to it that go beyond getting buff. Prepping your lunches for the week ahead will free up time that would otherwise be spent making something in a morning or going to the shops at lunch. It’ll save you a pretty penny on shop bought sarnies too.

15. Get off Instagram

Do you know what should be the first thing to go if you want to make the most of every minute in your day and get more done? Looking at strangers’ lives on the internet.

Get off Instagram. And if you can’t go cold turkey, set a reminder to tell you when you’ve hit a pre-decided time limit each day. The average person spends 24 minutes a day on Instagram (yes, we’re reassessing our life choices in light of that statistic compared to our use too). That’s more than 145 hours in a year. Just imagine how much work you can do on building your business in 145 hours, man…

16. Get off this website

Right, that’s enough. Why are you still here? Go and get some work done. Better still, get yourself down to Helm for our next GSD Monday and smash the week before it’s even really started. We’ll see you there, kettle will be on…

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