How to maximise your time

 

“This is my year!” you declare. It’s New Year’s Day, you’ve had a well-deserved break from the daily grind and you’ve set some pretty ambitious goals for the year ahead. Sounds familiar, right?

 

With the New Year comes a newfound confidence; an urge to smash each and every target you set yourself and be, well, a ‘better you’. But, as we ease ourselves back into the routine of working life and wave goodbye to lie ins and lazy afternoons on the sofa, it can be a challenge finding the time to tick off everything you’ve packed onto your to-do list.

 

Don’t let time be the reason behind a failed resolution. Use these handy time management tips to make sure you maximise every second and smash your 2020.

 

Be realistic

 

Now, this one’s important. There’s only 24 hours in the day, so promising yourself that you’ll head to the gym, cram in some overtime at work, visit that family member you’re always promising to see more of and prep all of your meals for the next few days is stupid. Be realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting unattainable goals. It’s great to be ambitious but you can only do so much and acknowledging this will enable you to prioritise what’s really important.

 

Identify wasted time

 

Not a morning person? Chances are you waste a good half an hour moping in your bed before throwing back the covers and facing the day. Or maybe you spend a good chunk of your spare time slouched on the sofa scrolling through social media or mindlessly watching a TV show you’ve little to no interest in. If so, it’s time to sort out your 'time finances'.

 

Thinking of your time as money is a great way to make sure you’re spending it well. Keep a log, for around a week, detailing how you spend your time and you’re sure to see a few instances where your precious seconds could be better spent. Instead of sulking beneath the sheets, try and get up when your alarm goes off and use the extra time to head to the gym, read a book or take the time to make yourself a healthy, hearty breakfast rather than going hungry until lunch or settling for a sugary cereal bar. And swap your scrolling for a new hobby or learning a new skill - a language, perhaps or a training that'll support your career. You’ll feel much more accomplished knowing your time has been well spent helping you to achieve the goals you've set yourself.

 

Take your time

 

Sounds counter-productive, right? But slowing things down can be beneficial when it comes to achieving your goals. Rushing your way through life can often result in a job not being done properly. However, if you take your time, you’re more likely to smash it first time.

 

Maybe you’re set on learning a new skill that’ll help you take your career to the next level? Don’t rush. Take your time, revise, read all the resources you can and ignore those who claim it took them ‘x’ amount of time to complete it. Work at your own pace and you’re much more likely to be successful first time around, rather than rushing and having to repeat what you’ve already done, which is a waste of your valuable time.

 

Make the most of down-time

 

By down-time, we mean that pesky commute, the endless wait at the doctors surgery or even waiting for the kettle to boil! Use this time, no matter how little, to squeeze in other useful activities or complete smaller tasks. Rather than catching up on other people’s lives on Instagram, use your commute to listen to a new podcast, write your to-do list for the day or catch up on the news.

 

Waiting for the kettle to boil or for your lunch to heat up in the microwave? Write that email you’ve been meaning to draft all day and get it sent! Utilising this often pretty boring time will make you feel more accomplished and is a great way to speed things up too – that 30-minute commute will be done in a flash!

 

Learn to say ‘no’

 

We’ve all been there. Whether it’s being pressured into attending that ‘must-have’ social event or feeling forced to take on an extra shift at work when you’ve already worked flat-out all week, it’s important to say ‘no’ if it’s something you don’t want to do or if it compromises your ability to do the things you actually want to do.

 

Yes, someone will probably think you’re boring if you bail on after work drinks for your spin class and, yep, you might face some scrutiny for refusing to stay late to finish that super interesting (not) report. But, it’s so important to say ‘no’ to things that don’t benefit you or make you happy. We already spend so much of our time doing things we’d rather not, so make sure your free time is spent doing something for yourself.

 

How to spend your time wisely

 

Do you spend your time wisely? Share your time management tips with us over on social media. If you’re looking for more tips and advice on making the most of the new year, find out how you can get fit for free this January!