With 168 hours per week, even if I ignore 56 hours I use to sleep, and 50 hours I work, I still get 62 hours for myself. But then how do I end up feeling I hardly get any time for myself at the end of week? Where does my time go and how do I cut short my time-eaters and get some me-time?
On an office day, I am done with all my housework by 9 am, have my breakfast and leave home by 9.30 am. However, I have observed, when I am at home, the housework seems to go on and on. I did not know why on a holiday, I could not finish the housework by 9 am and keep the rest of my day free for myself. One fine day, I stumbled upon this concept of ‘time eaters’.
Many times, I feel that I need more than 24 hours in a day. I am sure you all will share my need. There’s so much to achieve in a day. But no one is getting over 24 hours, so we have no other choice but to make the best possible use of time available with us. The step no 1 is identify the time eaters at home.
Cut short your time eaters: Get more me-time
Planning and procrastination:
Planning the day is essential, but do not spend so much time planning that at the end of it you will realise that the entire day has gone by. Use a diary to make planning efficient or you can use FF club checklist to improve your daily and weekly planning. You can download them here for free. Download Think Me-time mobile app from Google Playstore to plan your free time or me-time.
Social media and email:
I realized my biggest time consumers were Facebook and WhatsApp. By using these products your available me-time reduces to 50%!! What you can do is set a time for social media – you can start with 4 times a day and cut it to 2 times a day slowly. You will see immediate increase in efficiency in work done. You will also notice an increase in mindful me-time you get.
Internet browsing and irrelevant TV:
The same thing is applicable for internet browsing and irrelevant TV. You never realize how you end up reading the latest pick on Hrithik – Kangana fight, when all you wanted to do is order few things from your big basket app. You can set up a time for online shopping too, or in case there’s an emergency, ensure that you do your work and shut down your mobile. Do not window shop on online apps else you will miss out on mindful me-time!
Irrelevant phone calls:
I am not much of a phone talker, but there are many who love to spend hours and hours on phone. I agree one should stay in touch with all friends and relatives through phones. But this needs to be given suitable priority. If you are in a middle of something important, just ask the caller to excuse you and call back in few hours. You can let your family know your availability on phone.
Excessive compulsive disorders:
Believe me, we all have them. We are passionate about various things like cleaning, cooking, organizing, etc. If this passion turns into obsessions, then those become actual time eaters. We spend more time than necessary on those activities and ignore our priorities. So the crux is to plan your day and set aside time for such activities – more importantly stick to the timeline.
Hobbies are good to have but certain hobbies have a capability of turning into a time eater, if they become addictions. Movies, books, shopping, etc can become big time eaters if they are not restricted by time limits. Hobbies are essential, but if you don’t want them interfering with your day-to-day work, then you need to set a time limit.
Find out which of these time eaters snatches away that precious time you have. Then go ahead and rectify the situation.
I am a fan of Laura Vanderkam after I listened to her TED talk on how to gain control of your free time. She says:
“There are 168 hours in a week. Twenty-four times seven is 168 hours. That is a lot of time. If you are working a full-time job, so 40 hours a week, sleeping eight hours a night, so 56 hours a week — that leaves 72 hours for other things. That is a lot of time. You say you’re working 50 hours a week, maybe a main job and a side hustle. Well, that leaves 62 hours for other things. You say you’re working 60 hours. Well, that leaves 52 hours for other things. You say you’re working more than 60 hours. Well, are you sure?”
It is just a matter of prioritising the work. Proper organisation and co-ordination at home will also help you save your time during the day. You can plan this time saved for your hobbies and other me-time activities. We will learn about them in upcoming blogs. But the first step would be to control these time eaters. Identify and cut short the time eaters!!
Also read: How to be successful working from home!