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Never have enough time? 10 ways to buy it back, without spending a penny!

Updated: Mar 22, 2022

Do you feel as if time eludes you? Why is there never enough of it? Where does it go?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone, we all feel like there is never enough time, and it’s normal to feel as if life is getting on top of us.

When we feel like things are getting away from us, we can feel frustrated, overwhelmed, and like a headless chicken. It can affect our mood, stress levels, anxiety, and overall well-being.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to buy time back, helping us feel more in control, and I guarantee to spend some of your time reading this blog will get you time back!

Buying Back Time at Zero Cost!

1. Cut down social media

I think we are all aware of this one but find ourselves doing it anyway. We know that mindlessly scrolling through our apps can soon add up and become a serious time waster.

Tip: Use tools on your mobile ‘phone to limit your screen time and stick to it. Remove the Apps which do not bring you value. It’s also good to put your mobile ‘phone down 1 hour before bedtime so that sleep is less impacted.

2. Multiple WhatsApp groups

Through the pandemic I seem to have found myself on many additional groups as a way of

connecting socially through the difficult times, but these have now become onerous – always having to keep up, read and respond…it’s exhausting.

Tip: Review your groups and think about the ones which bring you value, and that you want to nurture in the long run. One way to deal with it is to mute the group and see if you missed anything a week later! If you didn’t, politely tell the others that it isn’t personal, but you need to have a digital clean-up as life has become too hectic. People will understand.

3. Procrastinating

This is the art of putting things off, and I used to be the queen at procrastination! Doing things straight away gets them off our to-do list and avoids wasting time because we aren’t thinking about the same task multiple times. It also makes us feel good because we can tick something off that list!

Tip: It takes practice, but the art is when you think about it, just do it!

4. Overloading

If you spend time making extensive lists of all the things you must do, it is demotivating when you don’t achieve them, and it also wastes time. The reality is you simply won’t get them all done so don’t waste time trying.

Tip: Be kind to yourself and halve that list – only focus on the important things. If you’re unsure, ask your partner, a friend, or a relative to look at your list and give it a sanity check.

Additional Tip: if you don’t use a visual To-Do List, start making one. If you can’t visualize what you must do, chances are you will forget, and then you can’t get it off your mind.

5. Being a people pleaser

If you find it hard to say no when you don’t want to do something, you will never be able to get on top of the important things and put your focus in the right places.

Tip: No one will mind if you politely decline to say you are too busy. Try to invest your time in friendships/relationships that are reciprocal and supportive to both of you, and distance yourself from those that don’t bring value. Just say no! I guarantee it gets easier, the more you do it.

“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will get you the right ones”

John Lennon

6. Being tempted by distractions

Veering off and being easily distracted is a legitimate time-waster, and it’s usually because the task we are doing isn’t important enough to hold our attention.

Tip: Re-read point 4 first �� Secondly, try to block time out and focus on 1 thing. Complete it first before allowing distractions to creep in. It feels very good to get things ticked off.

7. Re-checking emails when you can’t / don’t action them

We all do this – we read and re-read the same thing several times, allowing precious minutes to tick by, feeling unproductive afterward.

Tip: I changed my approach by setting up an “On Hold” folder in my In-Box; if I couldn’t action them there and then, I dragged these pesky emails into the folder so that they were out of my sight, and I couldn’t keep re-reading them. You can come back to them later when you can complete a task. Chances are, when you do go back to them, they will have been resolved anyway.

8. Not batching errands

Not doing this means we must make multiple trips to complete all the tasks, which is annoying and wastes time. If travel is involved, we are wasting even more time (and potentially, fuel costs!) by going back/forth.

Tip: Through the week, keep a list of important outstanding errands on your ‘phone, and block a fixed time on a particular day to complete them all together.

9. Too much clutter

This can make us feel overwhelmed and it also means we waste time looking after it or trying to find things we have lost in the maelstrom of ‘stuff’. Having clear spaces and surfaces will make you feel organized and on top of things.

Tip: Set aside time without distractions to clear clutter, e.g., you could tackle this room by room. Put on some music or listen to a podcast or audiobook while you do it. It feels rewarding to take unused clothes or items to the charity shop, or the recycling centre.

10. Avoid multitasking

Doing multiple things at the same time can be stress-inducing, and it can lead to not doing anything properly. Studies have shown that breaking away from one task and back to another in a short space of time shortens attention spans and affects the quality of output.

Tip: Focus on 1 task at a time and engage in it, be absorbed in it. It improves attention span and allows you to get much more done in a quicker time.

Below is a summary table that you can print off and pin next to your PC, in the home office or kitchen, to remind you of these top 10 tips.

How to buy time back, free!

1 Cut down social media

2 Come off multiple WhatsApp groups

3 Stop procrastinating

4 Avoid overloading



Make a To-Do-List!

5 Stop being a people pleaser

6 Avoid being tempted by distractions

7 Stop re-checking emails without action

8 Start batching errands

9 Remove excess clutter

10 Avoid multi-tasking

Final Words

Most people think they simply don’t have enough time – the reality is, most of the time we aren’t using it for the important things.

The key is consistency and taking these 10 tips seriously, which doesn’t cost us a thing, will help you to feel less overwhelmed and stressed and give you time back for the important things in life, like rest and relaxation, spending more time with family and friends, taking physical exercise, or focussing on your mental health.

Lastly, do not feel guilty – buying time back so that you make sure not to neglect your self-care is vital to your overall sense of health and well-being.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” Socrates

If you would like to know more about tailored health & wellness coaching solutions, please reach out to me – I’d love to help you!

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