How to Get More Hours in the Day, or at Least Feel Like It

by Lisa H.

Don’t count every hour in the day, make every hour in the day count.- Isak Dinesen

Have you noticed how time seems to be speeding up?

You seem to have less and less time to get done what you want and need to. You are tired, worn out and one day just seems to run into the next?

I remember when I was a kid how long a year felt. The biggest reason it took so long was because I measured it by the number of days from one Christmas to another, and 365 days was a long time to wait for Santa Claus.

But as I get older, the years seem to go by much quicker. No sooner than I am done celebrating one Christmas, I am helping my boyfriend untangle those unruly lights and hang the wreath for another.

So, why is it that way when we still have the same 24 hours we did when we were kids?

The short of it is that we are just too busy.

If it is not washing the dishes, it is doing the laundry. If it is not doing laundry, it is grocery shopping. If it is not grocery shopping, it is dry cleaning, paying bills or cleaning the house.

And on top of all of that, we are taking care of kids, working, and exercising, all the while neglecting relaxation and entertainment. It is an endless list of going from one project to another. Whew! I am tired just writing about it.

That being said, time doesn’t have to slow down, you do.

The first step to slowing down time is to get organized. It is interesting because the word organization, can somewhat feel constricting because of its structured nature. But in actuality, being organized is liberating.

Think about it, if you know where something is, you don’t have to waste time looking for it. Getting organized doesn’t have to be this long, arduous, hair-pulling, eye-rolling experience; you can declutter one room for example, and go from there.

Respect your time and it will respect you

Organization and prioritization work hand in hand. Prioritization is really another way of being organized—instead of creating a clear path of access to the things you own, you are creating a clear path of access to your productivity.

At the end of each the day, write out a list of things you would like or need to accomplish the next day.

Put them in order of time and importance. For example, it is very important for me to get my run in and I like to do it the morning, so that is the first thing I do after I get up (barring the little guy isn’t up too).

Check your list as you go throughout your day, to make sure you are accomplishing the day’s tasks.

The most important part of this method is to decide on and stick to a time to stop doing.

For example, let’s say from 6:00pm, you are going to be completely available to you and your family. All of the things that you were not able to accomplish during the day, will just have to get on the list for the next one.

After your quitting time, you might be tempted to start working down your list again, but don’t. It might surprise you at how much effort it takes to resist the pull of the list. It sure surprised the socks off of me.

Organization and prioritization take discipline, the kind of discipline that is somewhat annoying at first, but the more you do it, the better you will become at it.

Fill your heart tank with love

Right now, how do you feel? Are you happy, content, lonely? How about a little down? How about anxious? If you are anxious you are more apt to scurry around desperately trying to accomplish one more thing–thinking doing one more thing will alleviate your anxiety.

On your priority list for the day, jot down a three to four things that you are passionate about. Things that will make you feel the way you want to feel for that day.

Then write down those things that will give you that feeling. For example, if I want to feel accomplished, connected and inspired, I would exercise, spend quality time with my family and write an article for Getting to Zen.

If you make how you want to feel the driver for what you do, not only will your day feel better, it will move slower. :-)

Make time for you

I remember hearing a story once, about a guy (I can’t remember his name) who used to meditate for an  hour each day. But on this one particular day he was busier than usual; so instead of meditating for one hour, he meditated for 3 hours.

This is contradictory to what we normally do. The busier we are, the less time we think we have for rest and for taking care of ourselves. However, when we are at our busiest is when we need the most rest and restoration.

If you think about it, the more busy you are, the more energy and clarity you need. The more energy and clarity you have, the more efficient you will be.

So, you might not be able to turn the hands on the clock backwards, but with practice, you can slow them down. :-)

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