We live in a busy world. We rush between appointments, have a busy social life over the weekend, need to stay on top of our household and feel pressured to keep fit. You would think that with all the modern-day inventions life would have become more efficient. And we would have plenty of time to relax. But instead of giving us more leisure time, the efficiency has allowed time for more tasks to be added in a day. (As well as adding time to get distracted in a hyper-connected world). So we continue to be as busy as ever. To slow down we need to create some space in our life which we won’t fill with anything. So today I am sharing 10 ways to save time. Not time that is used for more productivity. But time to do absolutely nothing.
1. Meal prep
I have only started meal-prepping since I changed jobs a few months ago. Spending 2 hours every Sunday means that I have hardly any cooking to do during the week (on the weeks I actually have prepped the food). This means my evenings are less stressed and I get to unwind from a working day properly.
2. Let go of perfection
Your life is not optimisable, so don’t try to make it perfect. Take a good look at where you can slack off. You probably don’t need to iron your bedding or polish your silver for life to be fine. Catch my drift?
3. Have a social media routine
Social media is such a distraction. Although this post is all about spending more time relaxing, scrolling through feeds mindlessly doesn’t destress you properly. So implement a social media routine and stick to it!
4. Don’t wake up earlier
I am all for morning routines and setting up the day well. If waking up early works for you, then go for it. But I tried waking up at five for a while, so that I could meditate, do yoga, journal, read and cook a breakfast before I leave for work each day. All it did was make me exhausted. Sleep is important!
5. Set a time budget
There is a thin line between enjoying an activity and it turning into the dreaded timewaster. If you enjoy netflixing, then do it. Just make sure you watch one episode instead of ten. In the same vein as dieting, banning an activity you enjoy (a little too much) will only make you want it more. So enjoy Youtube, Netflix or football games, but make sure you also spend some for time off-screen activities.
6. Be a feminazi
This one is for all the ladies. Women do more in the household. Not just physical chores, but also the mental tasks that come with running a life. My boyfriend and I roughly share the physical tasks equally. But I am the one that makes grocery lists, plans the holidays and stays on top of the admin. In return, I have asked my boyfriend to give me more massages. If you feel you do the majority of housework (regardless of gender), ask your partner to chip in otherwise.
7. The 5-minute rule
This one is simple. If something takes less than 5 minutes to complete, do it. Just do it.
8. Plan your week
Life becomes a lot less efficient when you don’t have a plan. It can also become a lot more stressful. You have things to do, but you don’t know what and when and how. I am not advocating micro-management here, but planning your key tasks each week can save you both time and headaches.
9. Multitask the essentials
Want to work out and not forget about your friends? Go to the gym with your friends! Want to eat breakfast, but not wake up earlier? Eat your breakfast at work! Without overdoing it, there are plenty of tasks we can easily merge to free up some time in our diary.
10. Don’t stuff the day
This is the most important tip. All the other tips are there to free up your calendar. But if you fill those empty pockets of time with more tasks, you will still feel stressed. And saving time should be about less stress, not more.
With these tips, you should have a little more time each week to unwind and relax. To just be. Less do (or more efficient do). More be.