I can’t help but wonder how half my Instagram feed seems to have so much time—from brunch on a weekday, to long weekend beach trips.
Some of us are lucky to get out the door in time for coffee before work. Gone are the days of waiting for your french press to steep. Hashtag adulting, am I right?
Not necessarily. Growing up doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your side hustle, your hobbies, or your self-care.
We all have hidden gems of time unknowingly spread throughout our day. Instead of fighting your lifestyle, it’s time to learn how to leverage it.
Here are four ways to find more time in your day!
Own Your Realistic Hours
You haven’t slept past 6 a.m. since your first child was born. You’re struggling to find the balance between finishing up grad school while remaining present for your family. You just want a nap, but emails. So. Many. Emails.
Who has the time? You do.
Own your realistic hours and make them work for you.
Embrace your Type A personality inside and write out your schedule. I get real neurotic and use an hourly planner. Block off obligations, such as work, school, appointments, etc. Now, count up the number of blank slots.
Maybe you only have four hours throughout the day leftover. That’s time you didn’t know you had.
Whether it’s ten minutes in the parking lot before going into work, 30 minutes during your toddler’s naptime, or an hour after dinner–once you visualize where your hours land, you can take advantage of even the smallest pockets of time.
Related Content: 9 Productivity Tools to Help You Be More Productive
Plan For Fuel
Eating: my favorite passtime and greatest time-suck.
Our bodies need fuel to keep going, but on long days how often have you found yourself in a drive-thru line? Who has time for a home cooked meal? Right?
Fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn’t a solution. We can’t thrive on McDonald’s everyday.
So, can you eat healthy, save money and still knock out your to-do list? Yes ma’am. You can.
Plan ahead before you submitting to another Taco Bell party pack.
Take a more effortless approach to meal planning and prepping. What days will you feel too drained to cook?
On mornings you’re running out the door, plan for quick breakfasts–such as oats, yogurt, bagels or fruit. Buy frozen meals for the I-just-wanna-throw-my-feet-up kind of nights. Add pre-chopped and frozen vegetables to your grocery list. Bagged salads. Cans of soup. Microwavable rice bowls.
But please–stay away from Easy Mac and Hamburger Helper, deal?
Establish a Focus Cycle
List out your priorities that always feel out of reach. Those tasks you try to cram into each day, but inevitably push to the back-burner for “tomorrow” as you sit on hold with Comcast.
I suggest picking three. They will serve as your focus for a three day cycle. Adjust as needed.
Separate each into three different days. Day one, day two, day three. Repeat.
First Day: House chores
Second Day: Exercise
Third Day: Creative projects
When you accomplish your focus for the day (even if you can only dedicate less than an hour), you’ve met your goal.
The alternative is trying to squeeze every priority into one day and feeling overwhelmed. You’ll either somehow get it done and burn out. Or, you’ll throw in the towel and feel defeated.
The choice is yours.
Our culture is all about the hustle.
Work late into the night after putting the kids down. Power through your passion project. Wake up hours before leaving for your full-time job, down a pot of coffee and bust out the to-do list.
No, thank you.
We glorify the modern-day hustle of no sleep and constant go-go-go. Is it sustainable?
I’m gonna go with a no. You will burn out. And when this lifestyle goes unchecked, your relationships will suffer as well.
Curb the exhaustion. Hustle strategically. Let’s take that invisible caffiene-IV out of your arm.
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Failure in this case may look like a mental breakdown, desperate calls home to mom and dad, or giving up entirely.
Just as it takes money to make money, it takes time to find time.
Be patient with yourself. As you visualize your schedule, plan for basic needs, and find your daily focus, you’ll make the hustle work for you–rather than against you. This makes it so much easier to find more time in your day.
The time is now. You can do it, gorgeous.