Today in the UK like in many other countries, the clocks went back one hour. So when I woke up early this morning naturally at 8am it was actually only 7am.
This practice has been going on for a few years so as to “save” the daylight for farmers etc.
So when I woke up early this morning at 8am it was actually only 7am. It does seem like a naughty gift when you are suddenly given an “extra” hour to snooze in bed, or you can even party longer the night before. I was at a friend’s 40th birthday party and it felt great to get home late and to imagine that it was not really that late.
Conversely I know some people who feel cheated when the clocks are put forward an hour in early spring. But usually this very same people do not realise how many hours they are frittering away through their bad habits – that will be an article for another day. For now, I would like to focus on this gift of an extra hour today.
This morning I used my “extra” hour at the gym. I spent more time stretching and on the various exercise machines than I do usually and it felt great.
How did you spend the extra hour today?
The real question however is how else can we create an extra hour in our life everyday without having to rely on the clocks going back an hour once a year. Here are some tips to do just that:-
1. Check emails no more than 3 times a day (unless your role at work requires to check them more often). I used to hit the send / receive button so often and before I knew it I would have spent 15 minutes reading some non-urgent, unimportant emails.
Just remember that if it is that urgent, people will call you.
2. Reduce the number of emails you receive – un-subscribe from newsletters etc and even the ones you want to read, bunch them and read them in one blast. At the same time, limit your web surfing to just those website related to the immediate task at hand. Go even further and only be on the internet for say only 15 minutes a day.
3. Do not multitask. Focus on just one job at a time until you have significantly progressed it or finished it to the best of your ability.
4. Tackle similar jobs together. So for example, I have begun to write 3 or 4 blog articles at one time. The focus and concentration on one task at a time pays dividends in faster and better quality writing.
5. Cut out all distractions from around you whilst working. So if like me you are working at a computer a lot then make sure there are is no unnecessary paperwork, magazines etc around you which could distract you. A clean desk will make a huge difference in how quickly you can get through the task at hand.
6. Clear your life and workspace of all clutter. So make sure that only your immediate work area such as your desk is clear and clutter free but also make sure that your office, room, workshop are all tidy too.
7. Do not jump to answer any unscheduled phone call or respond to any other interruption. Batch all your phone calls together in one go.
8. Sleep less! Ever since I have started my new exercise regime, I have been requiring less sleep and have been waking up much earlier every morning. I am now training myself to only sleep 6 hours maximum each night.
9. Watch less TV. I hardly watch much TV apart from the occasional sports. I have a tiny television set which I have been told by friends looks like a relic from the 70’s!
Until recently I only had the standard 5 terrestrial channels. My internet provider has just installed a “free”free-view box as an inducement for me to continue using their service, so I now have access to over 50 channels.
However since I hardly use this service, I have now disconnected the free-view box as it seemed to get quite hot when connected to the electric supply. I am now saving energy as well as time.
So to summarise, look for opportunities all the time of making life easier and becoming more efficient at what you do.
For example, right now I am focused on getting the most out of my visits to the gym. I have a plan of action before I get there and I stick to it such as how long I would spend on specific machines and what stretching exercises I would focus on. I am also learning to combine stretching exercises so I can get double the benefit at the same time.
To me it seems that for real success and progress in life, it is all about developing a mindset of excellence, efficiency and effectiveness in everything you do.
Remember that every minute saved will build up to that extra hour each day. And you can do a lot in that extra hour to get the life you love and live it.
Make the most of your time and your opportunities and you will soon have an extra hour or more each day.
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