If you struggle to find a balance between your busy lifestyle and spending time on the things that matter, our tips could find you the extra hour you need.
Do you spend enough time on yourself? The results are in and the answer is, err, no.
We asked 2000 people whether they agreed with this statement: “Because of my busy lifestyle, I don’t take care of myself as well as I should.” And would you believe, 40% said that sounded about right.
That got us thinking how we hold the keys to our own mental health. So, after pooling together some of Amigo Loans’ most creative minds (the ones that weren’t too busy), we came up with 10 time-saving tips to get you through the day a little bit faster.
We wanted 11 so we could use an ‘eleventh hour’ pun, but 10 will do.
1. Sort out the clutter
Start your day with a tidy-up. Get everything together and make sure you put things back when you’re done with them. 10 minutes now will save all sorts of time later in the week.
Plus, avoiding clutter has been shown to boost our mental health. Tidy home, tidy mind etc etc. If it’s become a cliche, it’s probably true.
2. Make a to-do list the night before
Know what you want to achieve, put it in an order, and stick to it. Having it ready the night before means you can go from task to task like the South Africa rugby team undoing England’s defence in the World Cup.
If you need help with your organisation, check out these great to-do list apps.
3. Avoid distractions
After a quick 30 second scroll through Facebook, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our minds to refocus. So while that cat meme may seem harmless enough, it’s having all sorts of further implications.
These are our top-tips for avoiding distractions:
- Hide your phone under your keyboard.
- Listen to music you can’t sing along to.
- Close your emails while you’re working.
- Focus on one task at a time.
If you’re the sort of person that struggles to go more than a few minutes without checking your Instagram feed, then use distractions as a reward. You can check up on all the latest memes only after you’ve finished your work.
4. Cut down on social media
If you, like many of us, have considered abandoning social media altogether then now could be the moment. Saying that, it’s rarely as easy as just deleting the app.
You could try limiting your usage to certain times of day. Alternatively, most social media platforms have introduced reminders to let you know when you’ve hit your allocated screen-time. Been on there 30 minutes already? Time to switch off.
5. And while you’re at it, cut down on TV
Television isn’t all bad. In fact a lot of the time it can be good. But if you’re putting the TV on to kill a bit of time between things and next thing you know eight hours have passed and you’ve forgotten to eat dinner again, then something is up.
If you’ve managed to watch everything there is on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Now TV, it may be best to wind down.
6. Start your day with the hardest task
Is there one chore you’ve been putting off for ages? End the dread and get it done.
It could be easier than you think and you’ll lift a weight from your mind. Knowing the hardest part of the day is done will also make everything else seem easy in comparison.
7. Know when you’re most productive
Are you a morning person? Prioritise getting as much done as you can early on, and have more time later in the day for chilling.
Or if you’re an evening person, everything you get done tonight is one less thing to worry about tomorrow.
8. Get better at saying ‘no’
Do you say yes to every request? Mix it up! Throw in the occasional no and prepare to feel liberated.
Here’s a helpful guide on where to start.
9. Don’t bother with things that don’t excite you
Do you keep putting off certain social commitments? Be honest with yourself and decide if it’s something you actually want to do.
If it’s not, cross it off the list and do something else instead.
10. Swap your commute for public transport
Public transport may take longer than driving but it’s also a great opportunity to open a book or load up a podcast, and that’s what this has all been about - finding time for you. And otherwise, you’d probably just be lost to the traffic.
Tips that didn’t make it
While compiling our wonderful list, there were some ideas that didn’t make the cut:
- Running instead of walking - good for fitness, bad for needing to shower a lot.
- Giving up and living in the woods - more trouble than it’s worth and there’d be no one to write this blog.
- Cutting out sleep - kind of unhealthy.