How to Create More Time In Your Day

Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.  Photo by  Jorge Alcala  on  Unsplash

Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. Photo by Jorge Alcala on Unsplash

Happy Thursday everyone! Today, I want to talk about efficiency. Do you ever feel like you don't have enough time in your day to get everything you want to accomplished? Do you ever wish there were more hours in a day?

I'm sure we've all felt like that at some point (I certainly have) and I wanted to share with you a case study to show how I've literally saved myself 1.5 hours of time in my typical work day to help you spur some ideas for how you can maximize your time too!

How I got back 1.5 hours of my work day:

I REALLY like working from home. Why? Because I get so much done! But I can't work from home every day, nor do I want to. So I asked myself, what is giving me the ability to get so much done at home? Yes, there is less distraction from people physically coming to talk to me, but I am still dealing with distraction--making calls, answering emails as they come through etc. That's not the source of all this extra time that I feel like I have. So when I thought about it, it dawned on me. I have extra time because when I work from home I cut out my commute to the office, which takes about 1 hour each way (which is a whopping 2 hours per day!)

So, this week I have been trying out a new schedule at work. I now aim to get to the office around 8 (rather than 9) and leave around 4 (rather than 5). I am naturally a night owl, so getting up an hour early is particularly tough for me, because I swear I get my best sleep in the morning! So, you may ask, why go through all this trouble just to leave one hour earlier?

That is a great question! 

There are several reasons. The first is this. When I sit and I reflect upon what bothers me most about having to appear physically at work, I realized the source of that friction is the actual time that it takes for me to commute. All of that time is wasted--and that really bothers me because I am very busy--not only with work, but other things I have going on in my life, like running this blog! So that's about 2 hours per day that are just WASTED! That is not efficient. That is wayyyy too much time to waste because with 2 extra hours, I could do so many more productive things with that time, rather than sitting still in traffic.  So, I found that when I leave before the morning rush and afternoon rush, my commute time takes about 15-20 mins each way--driving. That is an amazing reduction of commute time and that means I get back 1.5 hours in my day. WIN!

The second reason is that it is very expensive for me to park at work (well over $20 per day). But my garage runs an 'early bird' special, so I get way cheaper parking if I'm in the garage before 8:30. This is key, because driving is an essential component to my shorter commute and I don't want to pay over $20 a day for parking every day. (Metro will always take the same amount of time no matter what because it doesn't deal with traffic and that's about 45 mins for me).

The third reason is, even though I am a night owl and it's SUPER hard for me to wake up in the morning, I have found that I'm surprisingly productive in the mornings. Even though I may not feel alert, once I wake up, I actually am! I can power through so many tasks in the morning. And I have found that if I tackle my hardest tasks that require the most brain power first thing when I get into the office, I get so much more done and maximize the quality of my work product. Also, the early mornings in the office are less likely to have interruptions--because there are significantly less people in the office before 9:00 AM--another key element to tackling tasks that require concentrated, uninterrupted, brain power. 

So you may say, OK Elyse, my commute is short no matter what (btw if that's the case then I am so jealous of you!) so this doesn't apply to me. But I would say that it does! Because the key lesson here is this--if you're one of those people that feels like you never have enough time in the day, it is VERY possible that there are strategies you can put in place to help mitigate wasted time and maximize efficiency. My commute is just one example of this and I hope it helps to get you thinking of ways you can be more efficient and save time in your day! 

What are ways that you maximize efficiency throughout you day? Has this post inspired you to make any changes or reflect? Let me know! I would love to hear! 

Also, I plan on writing about this topic more, because it's something I've become very interested in. Is there something that you want to get done in your day but can't find the time? Write to me and let me know! I'd love to hear about it!