How to be more efficient with your time

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A time crunch is no stranger to many adults. Busy profes­sionals balancing work and their personal lives often wish there was more time in the day. Though it might be impossible to create more minutes in the day, adults can take steps to be more efficient with their time. The more efficient people can be with their time, the more that time should begin to feel like their own.

  • Audit yourself. It’s hard to be more efficient with your time if you’re not certain about where you’re being inefficient. Audit how you’re spending time each day, jotting down everything you do during the day and how much time you spend on each individual task. Audits can be made easier by utilizing time tracking apps on a smartphone, some of which are free. The app need not provide a bunch of bells and whistles (such apps are generally designed to help businesses track employees’ pro­duction). A simple app that lets you track each activity and the time it takes to perform it is all you need to conduct a successful audit.
  • Categorize tasks. Tasks can be categorized so those that are absolutely necessary are never given a lower priority than nonessential tasks. In addition, tasks can be categorized ac­cording to how much time each one figures to take. Once tasks have been categorized, choose distraction-free times of day to perform high-priority, time-con­suming tasks. The ability to fo­cus on such tasks free from dis­traction should cut down on the time it takes to complete them, potentially freeing up more time in your day.
  • Don’t hesitate to delegate. When categorizing tasks, cre­ate a category for tasks that can be delegated. Parents may want to delegate meal prep to children who are old enough to hold their own in the kitchen, while adult partners can divide up household chores so no one person is doing the bulk of the work around the house.
  • Turn devices off. Devices are distracting, and various surveys and studies have proven that. Research from RescueTime, an iOS- and Android-supported app created to monitor phone use, found that people spend and average of three hours and 15 minutes per day on their phones. Adults who are pressed for time may benefit by turn­ing their devices off during the work day and/or when trying to tackle tasks at home. In fact, turning a smartphone or other device off when you don’t need it to perform a given task may be the simplest and most effective way to make more efficient use of your time.

Finding a 25th hour in the day may not be possible, but people can try various strategies to make more efficient use of the 24 hours they do have each day.

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