How do you add an extra 2 to 4 hours into your already busy days to be productive and invest in your side hustle?
It’s simple: quit Netflix and Instagram.
Wait, that easy?
No, actually. It was quite challenging. You see, as I’m sure you’re familiar with, our society is structured in such a way to feed us information as quickly as possible for as many hours throughout our entire day. Isn’t that why the first thing many of us reach for every morning is our phone?
I was desperate to find more hours in my day to invest in our family business and stop making excuses for not exercising or reading. I began taking inventory of how I spent each hour in my day, especially early mornings and late evenings. I discovered I was losing time equivalent of a part-time job to my SCREEN. It almost made me want to toss out my phone entirely. But also, not really.
Whether you’re looking for more hours to invest time in a growing business or simply want to stop making the excuse of, “I don’t have time for (fill in the blank)” these tips are for you! I believe they can help anyone at any season in life whether you’re a student, full-time employee, rocking the juggling life of babies at home, or all of the above!
Here’s how I began to restructure my days for less time wasted and more productive hours:
STOP SCROLLING : START READING
First, I stopped opening my phone before 8am and gave myself 30 minutes of dedicated IG time in the late morning. Here I caught up on my favorite bloggers Instagram Stories, replied to unanswered DM’s, unfollowed that new account that was making me feel like spending money, and send a few hearts to my friends’ new posts. Even if I didn’t get to every new story or post, I shut down the app after my allotted time.
Initially this was hard, but over time I started to experience less FOMO and felt more in control. I downloaded a couple books to my phone I had been wanting to read. Whenever I found myself with an extra 15 minutes, I read a few pages instead of scrolling endlessly. With consistency, this became a new habit and the hours lost to scrolling were replaced with learning valuable information that could actually help me.
STOP BINGING : START SCHEDULING
I am the first one to boast of an entire series completed in less than a week. I used to stay up well past 1am just to see what happened next. Not only did my sleep suffer, but I had many Sunday night guilt trips over tasks uncompleted all because of too much TV. Most hours dedicated to Netflix were in the evening. So I started using that time differently and was quickly hooked to the productivity I was experiencing.
I logged in my working hours from 8pm to 10pm with pre-scheduled tasks: send invoices, exercise, complete course curriculum, clean the kitchen, etc.. Keyword: SCHEDULE. I picked a night each week to catch up on my favorite series (are there any Grey’s fans still out there?!) and limited myself to only 1 or 2 episodes. Again, this wasn’t simple at first. I had to kick a very old habit. However, I began to feel control of my time again and less overwhelmed.
These tips worked so well for me over the past few years, so I hope you are able to take them, tweak them a bit and apply as you see best for your season of life. Whenever you feel like you don’t have enough time, take an inventory of your daily hours and adjust as necessary! Don’t allow social apps or captivating television to keep you from achieving your goals.
Ana M. Pierre