Many of us became used to fitting our life admin in around working from home over the past couple of years, spending lunchtimes paying bills or walking the dog and juggling childcare in between. But, as more of us embark on a return to the office, it can suddenly seem a huge challenge to cram in those daily chores, never mind carve out some much-needed personal time.
If you’re back to the workplace and feeling overwhelmed with how to squeeze in all the demands that a busy schedule throws at you, take a look at our top tips on saving and managing your time:
Audit your time
Most of us are guilty of frittering away hours on unproductive activities at least a few times a week. Auditing your time means looking in detail at what you’re spending the most time on. Are they all productive tasks? Are they helpful and/or necessary? If not, be brutal and strip back the amount of time you allocate to them.
Perhaps you spend hours a week mindlessly scrolling through social media. Or maybe you’re glued to the latest news items. If this sounds like you, try giving yourself a strict time limit – say half an hour per day. You might be surprised at how much time you save when you free yourself of digital restraints.
Make a priority list
This doesn’t mean you have to tick all your tasks off in order- in fact, it’s probably more helpful if you give yourself a break between the more tedious jobs. But try to allocate the needed time to each task at the start of the week, or the day, and plan something nice for the remaining time, no matter how short that may be. Having a small reward to look forward to can mean you’re more productive.
Invest in functional items
Make life easier by investing in items that will help you save time. If you find creating healthy meals a chore, use a pressure cooker which will reduce cooking time and make family meal-times easy. For simple cleaning, invest in a robot vacuum cleaner, relieving you from the pressure of trying to maintain an immaculate home.
Discover your most productive time of day
Not everyone has the same chronotype – our natural urge to be alert at certain times of the day. Some people are early birds and find they’re most productive in the mornings, whilst others might need a bucket of caffeine and it’s mid-morning before they’re ready to face the day. Discover the perfect zone that works for you and try to schedule the more tedious work in this time frame.
Use a calendar
It’s easy to forget important dates or appointments when you’re constantly busy. Using a digital calendar, or an old school diary, will help you organise your schedule and make sure you don’t miss those client meetings or parents’ evenings.