Adopt These 10 Habits to Create More Time in Your Day

Want to create more time in your day? Making micro-level changes to your lifestyle can add up to surprisingly impactful results. We’ve compiled a list of ten actions you can take to create more time in your life while simplifying your daily routine.

1. Review your weekly schedule on Sunday.
Prepare for your week before it starts by reviewing your schedule on Sunday. By taking a look at what you have planned you’ll be better prepared for last-minute happy hours and more likely to show up to any events to which you’ve committed. Best of all, you’ll have a clear perspective on what to expect from your week.

2. Drop any non-priorities from your schedule.
Once you’ve reviewed your schedule for the week it’s time to consider cutting some activities. If you don’t really want to meet up with a former coworker, politely cancel. Sometimes, dropping a few stress-inducing commitments from your calendar can make the whole week feel more manageable.

3. Make a meal plan for the week.
Whether you tend to eat out most nights or stick to cooking at home, making a meal plan will reduce unnecessary trips to the grocery store and give you a good idea of what meals you can expect. By knowing what you need before you shop you can avoid cruising every grocery aisle and turn cooking into a less time-consuming process.

4. Audit how you spend your free time.
Carve out time to get things done by assessing how you spend your free time before and after work. If you discover that you watch eight hours of Game of Thrones throughout the week but still can’t find time to work out, then adopting a few time management techniques may be in order.

5. Make fewer decisions in the morning.
Mornings don’t have to be a rushed affair; better mornings start the night before. Prepare your lunch (if you’re bringing one), set out workout clothes and decide on an outfit ahead of time. By making these small decisions the night before, you’ll conserve mental energy and avoid experiencing decision fatigue later in the day.

6. Ignore your phone when you’re in bed.
We’re all guilty of mindlessly using our phones either before going to sleep or immediately upon waking. Instead of wasting your time checking updates on Facebook, remove your phone from your nightstand to squelch the desire to use it in bed. If keeping your phone far away from your bed isn’t enough to control the temptation, take it one step further by deleting time-wasting apps or using an app to track your total phone usage.

7. Commit to having less paper in your house.
From junk mail flyers to receipts, random pieces of paper always find their way into the home. To reduce the amount of paper clutter, start opting for the digital version of items. Change bills and statements to be sent through email, pick digital magazine subscriptions, cancel company brochures, and choose to have receipts emailed when possible.

8. Clear out your email inbox.
You (hopefully) sort your mail every day. Apply the same diligence to your email inbox and you’ll find that an organized, streamlined inbox actually helps increase your productivity. If you don’t know where to start, research email management tools to find the approach that works for you.

9. Remove household and car clutter.
Depending on the state of your house or car, this may be a pretty formidable task. But, organizing positively impacts your mental health and even saves you money. After all, when items are where they belong, you’re less likely to spend time purchasing duplicates. Whether you adopt Marie Kondo’s strategic attitude toward eliminating clutter or take a more restrained approach, your final outcome will reduce the underlying strain of dealing with disarray and create more time in your day.

10. Give yourself more time in the mornings.
Being a morning person may not come naturally, but waking up earlier will give you a better start to your day. Start small by setting your alarm clock to go off 15 minutes earlier than normal and planning how you will use that extra time in the morning.

We want your input: What’s your #1 tactic for building more time into your day?

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Emily Knippa

Emily Knippa is a St. Louis-based marketer and writer who focuses on content marketing, career development, and personal finance. She enjoys meeting people pursuing inspiring career paths. She’d love to meet you at the next United Way event. Say hello to Emily on Twitter at @emilyknippa.