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by Vault Careers | September 18, 2019

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If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “There aren’t enough hours in the day …” then you’ll want to consider the below three tips for creating more time in your day to accomplish all that you want to accomplish.

1. Go easy on the Netflix and chilling.

While it might be true that we’re in a golden era of television with so many excellent streaming series, documentaries, and movies to choose from, we’re also in an era where the practice of “Netflix and chilling” is detrimental to our health. And so, if you find yourself continually late-night binging on the latest and greatest in streaming television, only to wake up a few hours later for work overtired and under-rested, then you need to think about limiting your streaming diet.

It’s no secret that if you don’t get close to eight hours of sleep each night, then you’re not going to be as productive as you can, meaning you’ll have stolen many minutes, if not hours, from your day to accomplish all that you want to accomplish. And even if you do get to bed at a decent hour after watching hours of streaming TV, it’s no secret that your sleep will likely not be as good as it can be, since screens before bed equals poor sleep. Which can also lead to lost productivity and thus lost time getting your work done.

Note that no one said don’t Netflix and chill; just be mindful of what all that late-night streaming is doing to you. And if you think it’s harming you, try to cut back—at least during the week when you need to get your rest to be at your best. As an added incentive to cut back on your streaming intake, keep in mind that doing so will help the environment.

2. Uninstall Instagram before work; reinstall it after work.

Social media can be a great tool to connect with friends, colleagues, future employers, and clients. But, as well all know, it can also be a tool that uses us, taking us away from our tasks, wasting our precious time to accomplish all that we want to accomplish. And so, if you find yourself a slave to the social scroll, try this trick: Uninstall Instagram (and/or any other apps distracting you during your workday) every morning before work, and then reinstall it/them when you’re work is done for the day—and at that point, feel free to scroll away.

Doing this will allow you to use social media but not binge on it, not overuse it. And it will show you how much you really do miss scrolling all day—which, you’ll likely see, is not all that much. As an added way to get less distracted by your phone and free up more time for work during your workday, try putting your phone on black-and-white mode (you can read all about that trick here).

3. Stretch, run, lift, bike, swim, skate, or climb during lunch, not after work.

Maybe you already know that streaming TV late at night is bad for your health and that Instagram can be a time suck, but you’re still looking for ways to find more hours in your day. If that’s the case, and you’re already keeping a healthy lifestyle to be your most productive, try this out if you’re not already doing it: do your daily physical exercise during lunch, not after work. This might seem counterintuitive—isn’t this time wasted I could be working? you might think—but getting physical midday can increase your productivity in a few ways.

One, it’s been proven that physical exercise can give us a boost that will help us be more productive afterward. Two, when you get physical (even if it’s just light exercise like a walk) it can significantly boost your creativity. Three, if you commit to exercising at lunch, then you’ll free up time after work, allowing you to put in another hour or so of work at the end of your day and/or freeing up your evenings for more socializing—and socializing earlier at that so you can get to sleep earlier and be more productive the next day.

The only drawback of exercising during lunch is you might not be able to connect with colleagues in an out-of-work setting like going out to lunch together offers. But what if you and your lunch colleagues all exercise at lunch together? This could allow for an even closer bonding experience than eating together.

A final note

When it comes to finding more hours in the day to do all that you want to do, it’s important to remember that what will work for you might not work for someone else. So, if the above tips don’t seem to apply to you, try to take stock of your day. Maybe keep a “day in the life” diary and keep track of everything you do, with the exact times you do them. Do this for a week and see where you might be able to squeeze in more work time, doing something less that seems inessential to your workday. And pay very close attention to how long you’re picking up your so-called smartphone, especially when you pick it up when you have work to do. Keep track of that screen time, along with the exact apps and sites you’re interacting with, in your “day in the life” diary, too.

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