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Reclaim your time

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Once upon a time a busy life in the fast lane was a lifestyle choice; now it seems it’s just life.

Work, family, friends, hobbies and trying to keep up with the Joneses; it might feel that we don’t have time for them all and that some areas will have to suffer to be a success in others, but this isn’t necessarily so. As American chat show queen Oprah puts it, “You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.”

So, stop trying to do everything at the same time, and take a breather to reassess, organise and delegate and follow our top time saving tips - we promise you’ll feel much better for it...

1. Organisation is key - make lists and use your diary

If you feel unorganised buy a diary or start using an online one. By simply noting down where you need to be and when, you’ll feel and be more organised and you’ll be able to physically see whether you’re overstretching yourself and if you’re scheduling time for yourself. Me time is essential.

2. Try and distance yourself from things that are obviously stressing you out

This isn’t so easy if it’s your work or family, but if you can recognise what’s stressing you out the most, you can work on ways on how to improve the situation.

3. Stop comparing

It’s important to have aspirations, but make sure they’re what you really want rather than overstretching yourself to appear that you’re keeping up friends or family. Set realistic goals but happiness is being content with your lot.

4. Share the load

Whether this is at work or home, a good leader will delegate if they’ve got too much on. One of America’s most successful and famous entrepreneurs, Andrew Carnegie once said; “no person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.” To be a success on any level means that you need to accept help.

5. Have a notepad to hand

Get in the habit of carrying a small notepad and pen in your bag to make lists or for those ‘lightbulb’ moments when you suddenly remember something you’ve forgotten or you come up with a great idea. Note them down. Sometimes a busy lifestyle can lead to an overloaded brain, where forgetfulness is rife.

6. Food plan

On the weekend take an hour to plan out your week’s meal plan. Stick to it when you go on your weekly food shop, or, if you can’t face the supermarket on a Saturday then try online shopping, which will also save you time. If you’re feeling super organised then you could also plan your lunches. Make extra whilst making dinner so that you can take it to work the next day, or pre-prepare sandwiches and keep them in the freezer. By lunchtime your sandwich would have thawed. This will be a massive time saver but it’s also great for saving money and if you want to watch what you eat.

7. Don’t stress the small stuff

When everything is getting on top of you, it’s the small things like the washing up or vacuuming that will drive you to breaking point. Prioritise the important things that have to be done immediately. The washing can be saved for another day.

8. Get things ready the night before

Try and prepare yourself for the next day as much as you can the night before. Decide what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to eat and make a to do list. Hopefully this will save you time and lead to a better night’s sleep as thoughts of the next day’s activities won’t be circulating around your head.

Picture credit: Rex Features

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