Monday 12 January 2015

Finding Time

We all have that one thing that we really want to do, but in reality never find the time for. Reading, exercise, baking, going out for an evening - the list could go on. I know I've certainly been struggling to juggle my time in the past week, which has probably been the result of me being spoilt with two weeks off from everything over Christmas and the new year. Now that I'm getting back into the swing of things, I've decided that one thing I really want to be able to do this year is to manage my time more effectively. Not necessarily for the things I have to do (like work and studying), but to allow myself more time to do the things that I love doing, but struggle to find time for.

So, here are the things that I'll be doing to make more time...

Identify Time Wasters
These are the things we spend a lot of time doing, when in fact we could be doing things that are either more productive or more enjoyable. Personally, for me, I find that after a days work I am prone to spend a whole evening on Pinterest or watching pointless videos on Youtube. Which is fine, because after a long day at work I don't feel like studying, and instead like to relax. However, there are other things I can do to relax which I know I'd get a far higher level of enjoyment from; reading a book, or knitting in front of a box set, or even doing a bit of yoga. The truth is that the internet is a very easy way to relax, as it requires minimum effort, but doesn't make me as happy as other things I love to do. Instead, I'll be making more of an effort to relax in other, more productive ways.

Prioritise Tasks
There are some things that we have to do, whether we want to or not. Doing the housework, studying, work, running errands - we all have things that at the end of the day, just have to be done. I'm not one for scheduling my time religiously - I like the opportunity to be more spontaneous when possible. What I like to do instead is to prioritise the things that have to be done. This can be simply by how important they are, or if there is a deadline involved, how soon the task has to be done by. If there isn't a deadline on a task, I'll set one. This might sound a bit extreme, but it works for me, and means that I procrastinate less. Then I'll plan an activity to do after that task is finished e.g. after allowing myself 1 hour to write an essay, I'll give myself a bit of time to do something fun. This means that I get the important stuff done, as well as the stuff I love to do.

This sounds like such an obvious thing to say, but multi-tasking is a great way of getting more out of your time. I wouldn't like to mix work/study with leisure activities, as this means that I wouldn't get full enjoyment out of my free time, but instead multi-tasking two things that I like doing together means I get more done. For instance, knitting whilst watching a box set, exercising to an audio book, and combining catching up with a friend with a days shopping. A lot of the time, I see all of these things as separate activities, but there's no reason why I shouldn't combine them, right? It's not a case of having more spare time, but instead using it more wisely.

Take It Easy
There are some days where I just crash, and feel like doing as little as possible. I want to remind myself that this is fine too, and that I am going to have days where I'm not going to be firing on all cylinders and being as productive as I would like to be, without being too hard on myself. Sometimes when you have a day off, it should be exactly that, and you shouldn't put pressure on yourself to do too much.

So, here's hoping for a busy, productive 2015 - not having more time, but using it better. Any other tips on time management (I'd love to hear 'em!).


  1. This is a great post :) It can be really hard juggling time and making sure you're not only doing the things you have to do, rather than those things you enjoy, so this post is really helpful! I loved what you wrote about the internet being an easy way to relax, but it not making you as happy as other activities - I feel exactly the same way (except reading blogs etc - I really enjoy that!)


    1. Glad you liked it Gemma! I completely agree with you about reading blogs - I always make sure I find the time to catch up with my blog reading!