It doesn’t matter if you’re a busy bee or a regular lazy human being, because when it comes to finding time for anything new the typical answer is “But when?” The answer is simple though – within the same time you find to do anything else. You just need to make a habit of managing it better.
Here are 3 simple tips on how and where to find this much needed extra time.
(1) Scan your day for any “waste” activities. A waste activity is an activity that does not improve your life and/or is a bad habit.
Such activities could include, but are not limited to:
- Watching too much TV Shows. While some may be quite fun and informative and arguably beneficial for your overall morale and wellbeing, they can be quite addictive and may turn into a habit of spending 2-3 h a day in front of the screen.
- Spending too much time on social media. Depending on the purpose of your virtual life you may want to minimize your exposure as much as you can. Keep in mind that most social media stars don’t live on the Internet. They have real lives that deserve to be bragged about and you are not getting one yourself unless you go out and do something.
- Spending too much time solving other people’s problems at work or at home. You are particularly screwed if you have one of those kind reliable “go to” personalities. While you are helping others, they will be improving their lives at the expense of yours.
- Too much socializing. This one is a tough call, because we all have different needs for social connections. To understand if you socialize too much, just try to see if it ruins all your plans. For example, you wanted to finish dinner by 11pm, but ended up staying out till 4 o’clock in the morning; or you went for a quick coffee with a colleague and ended up chatting for an hour and a half? Basically you need to stop chatting away your health.
- Reading too much. Sure, books are great and they’ll save the world, but they are just like TV shows – addictive and don’t help you to burn a lot of calories.
- Spending time on low value added activities. This is really personal, but trust me we all have lots of those. Here are some examples I could come up with: ironing socks & underwear, washing dishes manually even though you have a dishwasher, cooking too much food so that part of it ends up in a trashcan etc.
- Being idle or killing time doing something pointless. It feels good to do nothing sometimes, but if it happens too often it can be the easiest source of your free time.
(2) Eliminate all waste
Once you figure out what are your waste activities you have to brutally and irreversibly get rid of them.
For example, my main waste was watching some silly TV shows out of habit, hanging out with people that were not worth my attention and excess socializing with friends and family. While first two were easy to get rid of, it turned out to be really hard to cut down on the last one.
Firstly, I had to explain to my friends and family that I will be less out and more in the gym now and that I won’t be going out for a drink with them on a regular basis any more.
Secondly, I had to stick with my own objectives. And trust me, it is hard to give up the nights out with your dear ones!
But once results of my new life habits started to show, (e.g. better body shape and happier mood) my friends were more willing to accept my choices. For some I even became a source of inspiration.
In addition, when I started spending less time with my loved ones, every interaction became highly valued carefully planned for in advance – we started to really pay attention to each other. This was a positive side effect of cutting down on socializing. Not only have I liberated almost 5 hours a week of my personal time, but I also gained more quality time with my friends and family.
(3) Do step 1 & 2 regularly
Simply make it a habit of yours – to scan your days for new waste every once in a while (let’s say every 3 month) and eliminating it without hesitation. You will be surprised how many no-value added activities can break into your life and stay hidden and unidentified for months.
The secret to success is to find power to continuously challenge value and reasons behind your daily activities.
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