We’re busy aren’t we?
One study found that one in three workers say they’re working more hours than ever.
It turns out that we might be lying about how busy we are in some instances. When people ask, we like to lie about how busy we are because it makes us feel better.
When it comes to work we’re really not working more hours. The type of work we’re doing is different. But the time for leisure and work has remained about the same.
So why do we feel busy all the time?
Are you looking to save time? Maybe for more leisure. Maybe for more work and income.
Here are some quick ways to save time.
1. No TV
We watch a lot.
We used to watch about 6-7 hours of TV for every 10 hours worked. Now it’s about 8 hours of TV per 10 hours worked.
Obviously things like streaming have given us more TV content. This doesn’t even include streaming on other devices like our smartphones where video consumption is also increasing.
Just think of it…we’re working a normal 40 hour week and we’re watching 32 hours of TV. That doesn’t leave a lot of extra time.
TV is entertaining, but is it productive?
Does no TV sound too crazy? That might be a sign of addiction. But you could start by cutting back one hour a week and go from there.
2. No Social Media
Also sound crazy?
Some of us are spending up to 9 hours per day on social media.
Updating a social feed on the phone is very much like pulling the handle on a slot machine. It’s instant gratification. More content. More engagement. More likes. More everything.
Yes, social media makes us feel busy, but what is the activity really accomplishing?
Social media can be great for connecting with others. In fact, it’s wonderful for connecting with others. But when you’re feeling too busy to connect with others in real life it’s time to find a balance.
3. No Commute
We spend almost one hour per day commuting to and from work. That’s not as much as TV or social media, but it still adds up.
A commute can be nice for many of us. A time to be alone with our thoughts. A time to think about life. Get away from the busyness of life.
But if we’re complaining about not having time then it might be time to look at the commute.
Work from home. A new job closer to home. Or a new home closer to work.
4. No Shopping
We currently spend about 45 minutes per day shopping.
Maybe not all in one day, but that’s about five hours each week shopping in a store. The good news is that this trend is ticking back. We’re spending more time using shopping apps.
Technology is allowing us to spend less time shopping. We can subscribe to the essentials. Smart homes are automatically ordering the things we need.
This is all great news, but we still spend time for leisure shopping. And that’s totally fine unless you’re finding yourself without time for other priorities.
5. No Workout
Ok, not everybody is working out. But a good number of people are working out 1-2 hours a day. That is just time working out. Not showering and changing. Not driving back and forth to the gym.
That all adds up.
Isn’t working out good?
Of course. It’s great to have an active lifestyle.
The truth, though, is that your diet has a much larger impact on your health than working out.
You can change your diet to improve your health while still finding unique ways to get your workout in:
- Taking the stairs
- Parking at the back of parking lots
- Walking meetings
6. No Meetings
Speaking of meetings…
Why don’t we just cut out all meetings.
The time spent in meetings has increased the last ten years. About 15% of an organization’s total time is spent in meetings. And managers and employees mostly consider those meetings failures.
Why do we continue to have meetings?
To make us feel busy? I don’t know. But why not just stop it?
7. No Phone Calls
Raise your hand if you get angry when you get a phone call?
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this phenomenon. We get angry and annoyed when someone calls us out of the blue.
Gary says it’s because it’s an interruption. The person is taking up our time. We would rather have them email or text us so that we can decide when we want to respond.
And you know what? It’s probably fine to communicate that way. And maybe we’re slow texters. We can record voice memos and send them to each other and get to them on our own time.
8. No Reading
This one pains me…
I love to read. Especially books. But I know that I also spend a lot of time reading articles. Probably up to an hour or two reading articles online and on my phone each day. Probably another one to two reading books each day.
Like most things on this list, it’s a fine habit to have. But the rub comes when you start finding that you don’t have time for more important things. Like spending time with those you care about most.
When that’s the case, it’s time to cut out the reading.
9. No Perfection
Isn’t perfection a good thing?
Maybe, but it’s very tricky.
Perfection can be negative when we don’t get anything done. It can be negative when we spend too much time trying to improve things that don’t really need improvements.
This can infiltrate our lives in many ways. At home. At work. If you’re looking for more time it might be worth a look at the tasks you’re spending the most time doing. Look to see if you’re pushing for perfection when maybe it isn’t necessary.
10. No Negativity
This is definitely not all people. But some out there spend a lot of time playing the “Woe Is Me” game. They’ll look for validation from others by telling them about how bad life is.
It drains time and it drains energy. From yourself and from others.
Obviously life is about balance, but if you’re struggling to find time and energy one place to look is the negativity in your life. Either from yourself or from those you’re spending time around.
I don’t mean to call out any bad behavior in this post. I certainly struggle with not having enough time in the day. Every quarter or so I try to audit my weekly schedule. I look at the daily to-do list and see if I need to realign. I track what I do during the day and see if anything has crept in that’s sapping time.
It works pretty well to get me back on task.