Practical Tips on How to Manage Your ‘Free Time’ More Effectively

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Feel you don’t have enough free time? Learn how to manage your free time more effectively and implement some new ideas. Soon you will feel that you have created an extra hour or two in your day to do exactly what you want to do !

Time Management

Firstly, you need to review how you use your time – one easy way to do this is to draft up a quick note identifying how you currently spend your time over the course of a typical week, then review it. Everyone has the same amount of time, it’s how you specifically use your 24 hours each day that makes the difference. If you feel the desire to be more organised in life or to achieve more, you are probably not managing your time as well as you could.

I recently helped a client of mine identify that she had around 20 hours free each week to be able to use more productively – start that new course she had been putting off and get fit. 20 hours a week / 80 hours + a month could be identified and used to enable her to feel that she was living life to the max and provided interest and variety to her life.

Below are some hints and tips that could help you manage your ‘free time’ in a better way.

Get to Know Where You are Wasting Time

Once you have identified how your time is currently being spent, it can throw up all sorts of interesting findings – too much time surfing the internet, making personal calls or playing video games can easily steal your time. Just becoming aware of this and deciding if it’s something that you want to change can help spur you into action and make realistic time management goals. Notice what you are doing physically and mentally during that time – perhaps too little movement or too much stress if you take work home with you.

Come up with Actual Time Management Goals

Learning how to use your time effectively involves changing your habits and behaviours. Now that you know your time wasters, you should work towards eliminating or shortening them from your daily schedule. One really effective way to do this is to set up what you actually want to achieve within a certain period, such as in a day or a week. Having a clear understanding of the tasks you want or need to accomplish within a certain period will help you set time management goals that are more realistic.

Prioritise and Categorise Your Tasks

The evening before or while breakfasting, prioritise how you want to use your ‘free time’ that day, if you have any. For example, my client had 4 hours each evening between dinner and bed – approximately 20 hours per week when she wasn’t doing pre-planned regular activities. She was able to set up what she wanted to do with her 20 hours each week, then break it down to small manageable chunks of time each day – incorporating learning new things, exercise and fresh air. She even came up with combining some elements of these, so listening to podcasts she had previously downloaded while also running.

Avoid Procrastination

Normally, there are those activities that you do not fancy doing, but have to be done like setting aside time to provide utility meter readings, household chores etc. Procrastinating to carry out these tasks can frustrate your time management efforts. You need to prioritise these in your daily schedule and allot them enough time, otherwise they nudge away at your conscious and you spend more time worrying that you haven’t done them, leaving you even less time to do what you actually want with your ‘free time’.
While people often view time management as a burden, just investing a small amount of this precious commodity upfront can make life run much more efficiently and effectively – leaving you with more time to do exactly as you wish. With these tips, time management will become a whole lot easier for you and if you want help to work through this, contact me today for 1:2:1 life coaching.

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