Which would you rather have, time or money?†It seems like such an easy question, but time and money are the elusive struggle for so many. Both hold value, and both get spent. But, of course time can hold more value since you canít get more time, and you can make more money. There is no easy answer to this question. Finding personal balance may be a place to start.
I think about this a lot in my reinvented work life. Iím on the board of the small private school. Years ago, the school had a†leaf†raking day on a Saturday morning. Students, parents, teachers and administrators would sign up weeks in advance to help rake the fallen leaves into piles, drink cider and enjoy the friendship of the school community. In the last few years, the attendance has dwindled so low that that the event had to be canceled. The sentiment we heard over and over again was, ďWe donít have time. Iíll just give you some money to hire someone to rake the leaves.Ē I couldnít help but think about all of the fun and the camaraderie that gets lost by not allotting the time to connect. How about the message the kids are getting?
Zen Habits claims you can design your life to get the time you need. ďEven if you just want to free up a little time for a hobby or for doing something relaxing, you can do that.Ē
Read on for 20 ways to find time in your life…
20 Ways to Find More Free Time (adapted from Zen Habits Ė 20 Ways To Find More Free Time)
Not all of these will be applicable to your life ó choose the ones you can apply and give them a try:
1. Take a time out. Freeing up your time starts with taking a step back to take a good look at your life.
2. Find your essentials. What is it that you love to do? Make a short list of 4-5 things. These are the things you want to make room for.
3. Find your time-wasters. What do you spend a lot of your time on that isnít on your essential list? Figure out what you do simply to waste time.
4. Schedule the time. Look at blank weekly schedule and assign blocks for the things you love.
5. Consolidate. There are many things you do, scattered throughout your day or your week that you might be able to consolidate in order to save time.
6. Cut out meetings. This isnít possible for everyone. As much as you can, minimize the number of meetings you hold and attend. It will save time.
7. Declutter your schedule. If you have a heavily packed schedule, youíre going to want to weed it out so that itís not so jam-packed. Leave big blank spaces in your schedule.
8. Re-think your routine. Often we get stuck in a routine thatís anything but what we really want our days to be like. Is there a better way of doing things?
9. Cut back on email. Email is such a major part of most peopleís lives that it deserves special attention. You can free up a lot of time by reducing the time you spend in email. Choose 2-3 key times during the day to process your inbox to empty, and keep your responses to 5 sentences.
10. Learn to say no. Get super protective about your time, and say ďnoĒ to everything but the essential requests.
11. Keep your list to 3. When you make out your daily to-do list, just list the three Most Important Tasks you want to accomplish today. By keeping your task list small, you ensure that you are getting the important stuff done but not overloading yourself.
12. Do your biggest task first. Pick the biggest task, or the one youíre dreading most, and do that first. It starts your day with a sense of major accomplishment, and leaves you with free time the rest of the day.
13. Delegate. Donít feel like you need to do everything yourself. Delegating allows you to focus on the core tasks and projects you should be focusing on.
14. Cut out distractions. What is there around your workspace that distracts you from the task?
15. Disconnect. Not all the time, but when to effectively complete tasks. Set certain times of the day for connectivity.
16. Outsource. Focus on the things you are best at, the things you love doing. Find others to help with the other things.
17. Make use of your mornings. Mornings are great because your day hasnít been filled with a bunch of unscheduled, demanding, last-minute tasks.
18. The right-after-work time. Exercise, for example, is great in the 5-oíclock hour, as is spending time with family, or doing anything else relaxing.
19. Your evenings. The time before you go to bed is also golden, as it exists every single day, and itís usually completely yours to schedule. What do you want to do with this time?
20. Lunch breaks. If the three times mentioned above donít work for you, lunch breaks are another opportunity to work on an important personal goal or project.
Timeís a wasting. How will you find more time in your life for the things you love?
Read the full Zen Habits post here.