THE BLOG

Could You Use an Extra Day a Month?

16/01/2015 13:31 GMT | Updated 17/03/2015 09:59 GMT

Would gaining an extra day a month be of interest to you? Just think what you could do with all that additional time; enjoy a day at a spa, play a leisurely game of golf, arrange time with family or friends or simply have a little quality 'me' time relaxing over a good book, quietly chilling in the garden, enjoying some personal time at home.

We all know that tasks grow to fill the time available. Many people say that if you want something doing you need to ask a busy person because they have a sense of urgency, will commit to doing a job straight away; they can't afford to put it off. All their days are busy, so they have to focus and do what needs to be done straight away.

Let's look at ways for you to gain an extra day a month:

- Delegate tasks. Maximise your time and allow others to help. There is no merit in being a martyr and insisting on doing everything yourself. At home, children can help with some household chores; allowing them to help is an important part of teaching them responsibility, improves their confidence and encourages them to become more independent. At work, delegating helps staff learn new skills, widen their experience and move on in their careers. In the process you may find better ways of doing things!

- Ask for help. Rather than being stuck with a problem and spending ages fruitlessly trying to resolve it, save time and ask for help. Make notes and learn, then next time you'll know what to do and be able to work more proficiently.

- Text rather than telephone. Texting can be used to convey important information in a succinct and acceptable way, at a time that's convenient for you. Few people are offended at receiving a text message. Save the telephone calls for when you have time for a longer, real conversation, especially with a friend.

- Be disciplined about checking emails and social media. Rather than logging on and being distracted several times a day commit to specific time slots and be strict with yourself.

- Use lists when shopping. How often do we realise that we have forgotten something vital on our last shopping trip? Keep a list accessible so that members of the household can add items needed on the next supermarket trip. That way all the shopping can be done in one trip rather than having to make several journeys to purchase individual items.

- Work lists can help with prioritising what needs to be done each day. They provide reassurance that tasks won't be forgotten and also allow you to see how much you've achieved each day. Remember to give yourself credit for every task you accomplish and savour the moment.

- Organise your diary so that all appointments in the same vicinity can be scheduled together. This avoids wasting time on repeat trips to the same locale. Double up tasks and add other chores, fill up with petrol, pick up the dry cleaning whilst you're in the vicinity. Make the most of every opportunity to maximise your use of time.

- De-clutter. Keep your space clear, put things away and utilise systems so that you're tidy and can readily see what needs to be done. Clutter causes stress, which in turn impedes clear thinking. Archive out of date files, recycle old clothes, books, unnecessary 'things' and clear your home and work spaces so that the energy flows freely.

- Turn off the television. Surveys have found that many home workers waste a lot of time watching that extra few minutes of the news or lingering over something that they've just started to watch. Be selective about your viewing and maybe record programmes so that you can do your viewing at a more convenient time.

- Multi-task. Think of jobs that can be done at the same time. At home the meal could be in the oven cooking, a load of washing could be on, whilst at the same time other more hands-on jobs are being undertaken. At work prioritise the tasks that you can only part complete, the tasks that need someone else's input before they can be finished. Do them first. Then you can start other jobs whilst you're waiting for them to be returned.

Just making a few changes to the way you organise your time can enable you to be more efficient, reduce your stress levels and result in you having more free time. Now all that's left is for you to do is decide how you're going to use that extra day, whether it be all in one go or by giving yourself an extra hour here or there!