You’ve always wondered why some people manage to do a lot of things in their day and not you. There’s no secret, it’s because they’re mastering time management and I will tell you how to master it too.
Before telling you how to do it, I’d like you to watch a video about time management from Lauren Vanderkam. It will completely blow your mind! The time management expert Lauren Vanderkam explains how to find free time even if you work 60 hours a week. She cuts her day by activities. For example, your day has 24 hours, you sleep for 8 hours, so you subtract 8 to 24 hours. Subtract 1 hour for daily commute and 10 hours for the time spent at work. Do the math and you have your free time. It’s quite huge right?
This video completely changed my life and changed my relationship with time. Everyone gets 24 hours a day, no more, no less. Following Lauren Vanderkam and doing your own calculation, you realize that you have A LOT of free time. It’s enough to ask oneself “How is it even possible to do nothing and to procrastinate all these hours??”
Why do you need these extra hours?
When you want to change something in your life, the first question that you need to ask yourself is why you want to change it? In this case, why do you even need more time? Why do you need to improve your time management? Do you have a concrete idea of what you want? Do you want to learn something new? Do you want to start working out?
When I saw this video, I already wanted to change my life. I always told myself that I didn’t have enough time to do it. I wanted to do more sports, to cook my meals, learn new things, and the most important: I wanted to have a clear idea of what would be my future.
I didn’t know how people could find some “extra hours” to do all these things. I admired moms with 9 to 5 jobs, that find the time to have a side hustle. And it’s always the case!
Your Time Management Audit
Did you ever have a proper look at how you spend your time? Did you ever ask yourself: how do I waste so much time?
Just after my studies, I asked myself this question. I have to be honest: I wasn’t attending all the classes,, only when they were mandatory. So I had A LOT of time!! But I wasn’t doing anything to improve myself. Now I ask myself where all these hours were spent. And I don’t have a really clear answer.
If you don’t want to regret all these missing hours, it’s time to do a Time Management Audit.
Time Management Audit will help you identify on your daily basis where all this time is going. Maybe you spend too much time on social media or on your phone in general. Maybe you spend too much time watching Netflix and so on…
Before anything else, ask yourself the same question than Lauren Vanderkam :
You have 168 hours per week. How much time do you spend at work? How much time do you spend each week on public transport or in your car to go to work? Do the same for your sleep, your meals, and your “preparation” (taking showers, making dinners…)
Subtract all these hours to your starting 168 hours: it’s your free time. It’s quite huge right?
Now, in the past few weeks, what did you do during all these hours?
If you’re like me and you don’t remember where all these hours went, you can try to track your time. For that, you have some apps like Tracker. Or you can use an app like Google Agenda. Look at your yesterday and fill in your agenda. You can choose different colors for different activities. For example, you can choose blue when you sleep, green when you’re at work and yellow for your free time. During your free time, be specific about what you’re doing. Even if you spent 5 minutes on Instagram, write it down.
Now that you know what you really do during your free time, it’s time for the declutter.
Delete or adjust your “unnecessary” activities
Now that you know what you did during all these hours, it’s time to delete your “unnecessary” activities. You don’t need to remove all of them but you can identify which ones that are really unnecessary.
Prioritize your activities: Identify the activities that take too much time or don’t really improve your life.
Now it’s time to be creative! What about doing 2 things at the same time to save hours? For example, what about listening to a podcast while you’re driving to go to work? Or when you’re cooking?
What about taking notes on your phone about something you want to write to gain time when you will be at home?
A few months ago, when I went to work, I didn’t have the time to read a book or to listen to a podcast because there was too much noise on the train. But since I live quite near where I work, I decided to walk It only takes me 20 more minutes but I can listen to podcasts and be a little more active at the same time!
Plan, Plan, Plan!
Time blocking is a really good method to manage your time.
For example, you want to learn a new language. You want to go fast so you want to devote 8 hours in your week to studying and practicing. The next step will be to schedule these hours on your agenda and to have enough self-discipline to stick to it.
But you could be more specific with a task. You want to learn something new but there are several parts. Each part is 2 hours so you can block 2 hours for part 1 and then 2 hours for part 2.
If you want to be very productive during this time, you need to be very specific. It’s not just: “Vocabulary” for 2 hours. You need to know in advance what you will do during these 2 hours. Maybe it’s a 10 minutes video + a workbook about vocabulary. By doing so, you will be more intentful in how you spend your time.
Batch your day
I realized the last few days that I can’t work on everything I want to improve every day. I need to batch what I’m doing.
For example, I can’t just cook a super meal every day. I need to batch it. Sunday is the meal prep day. I cook for 2-3 hours and all the meals are prepared for the rest of the week. It makes everything much easier.
It’s the same for the website or my social networks. I like to plan all of my posts in advance. I like to do it once a week.
If I don’t do it, I feel like I can’t stay focused on what truly matters.
I don’t think that it could be a good idea if you want to learn a new language. But this method could give you extra hours to be fully dedicated to what you want to do.
What about your own method to gain 1 or 2 hours per week? Do you have any other methods that give you more free time during the week?