Unlock more hours in your dayJul 06, 2023
Proven ways to gain "time affluence", get more done, and feel more rested!
Why do some people seem to achieve so much more in a day than others? We all have 365 days a year, and about 16 waking hours a day of going about living our lives.
So how come some people are crushing it, yet others are having a hard time doing what they ‘need’ to do, or they feel completely depleted and feeling drained by the end of the day.
Some explain that they simply don’t have enough time. Perhaps they complain about being overworked or having too many responsibilities.
But the truth is, that most people are simply not being as productive as they can because they are not controlling the distractions in their life, or are not pursuing habits that give them enough of the energy they need throughout the day.
Some follow “time management practices” and might even have a strict to-do list on the refrigerator to hold them accountable. However, is this what it takes to get things accomplished? What’s keeping them from moving ahead and reaching even bigger goals?
Luckily there are many practices that can help us be truly productive, and help us achieving what matters while maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day.
I will share my top four tips to help you achieve more. I started to pick up these habits gradually over the past decade, and this has dramatically changed how I move about my days.
Get More (or better!) Sleep
Yes! When you sleep more or better, you gain more time. By being well-rested, you are happier, more productive and make much better choices than being tired and sleep-deprived. Many people say that they sleep only five or six hours or that they catch up on lost sleep during the weekend (or even worse, during their vacation!). However, the National Sleep Foundation conducted much research and found a strong relationship between sleep and productivity.
When you sleep more or better, you tend to feel more energetic, joyful, and you have better clarity. The following are the golden rules I live by to help me get better sleep:
- No screen activity, whether TV, laptop, tablet, or phone, one hour before bed. For me, I put everything on airplane mode at 10 PM (and putting a “do not disturb” is not enough!). If I do have to finish something that is time-sensitve, I’ll make sure I wear blue light blocking glasses.
- No liquids 30 minutes before bed to avoid waking up in the middle of the night.
- I don’t have my phone in the bedroom. And no, you really do not have to use your phone as an alarm clock. Instead, get an actual alarm clock. The best advice that Arianna Huffington shared since 2013, and I couldn’t agree more.
- Change your bed linens regularly and invest in a good mattress and pillow (your body will thank you too).
- I love my Oura ring! It doesn’t only track the quality of your sleep, but also your activity and readiness. After a while, the rings really helps me understanding my body better and when I need to rest or push myself more.
I created a morning routine that allows me to begin my day with a positive attitude and to create peace. Firstly, I set my alarm clock two hours before the day starts, allowing myself plenty of time to do what is most important. Knowing that morning activities shape your entire day is everything. When I wake up (and after greeting an overjoyed pup), I do at least 30 minutes of meditation, stretching, yoga, writing, or reading an inspirational book. Then for the full hour after that, I am as mindful as possible, whether during my shower, preparing and having breakfast, or walking my dog. I also use the time to go over what really needs to be done – it can be personal or work related. It’s not until the last few minutes of the 2-hour routine, that I turn on my phone to check my personal messages, the news or social media.
When you start your day this way, in peace and feeling connected, you can focus on what is most important: your life and your goals of the day. You can be more grounded and live out your intentions for the day.
Controversially, when we start the morning checking our emails and messages, our minds become distracted by others’ agendas, and we spend our entire day trying to catch up.
Working out helps us reduce/maintain weight, stay fit, increase our mental alertness, and helps us stay in a positive, healthy frame of mind. It’s essential to have a daily schedule that includes exercising. Exercising can look very different from one person to another. For me, I make sure that every day consists of walking, cycling, and yoga. Then three to four times a week, I schedule cardio and weightlifting activities.
The benefits of exercising are endless, but some of the most important ones that improve your productivity are, decreasing your stress levels, improving your sleep, and feeling more energetic and rested. Of course, always listen to your body to know what exercise fits you and what you actually like doing.
Schedule Your Week Ahead
Scheduling is so important, and the more detailed, the better. A good schedule is not a simple to-do list. It must consist of activities with deadlines. By reviewing your schedule at the end of each day and each week, you can constantly update and improve it. Also, it gives you a significant boost, and it’s exciting to see your achievements!
It is also essential for you to schedule some extra time to tackle emergencies and contingencies. This is because frequent interruptions and the unpredictability of our jobs and our lives, can eat into our time. Learning to manage them by scheduling extra time will give you the required tractability to rearrange your tasks and respond to unforeseen interruptions.
So, these are my top four Time and Energy Boosters! Once applied and integrated, these changes will leave you feeling on top of everything and may leave you with some extra time throughout your day!
I know it is not easy to change or add routines but try at least one of the tips above for one month, and you will see the results yourself. And, of course, cheat days are totally ok as long as you feel happy and proud. Always set the intention to be better the next day!
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