save time

How You Can Save 396 Minutes Per Day With Minimal Effort

Everyone wants more time.

More time to sleep, more time to relax and enjoy life, more time to work and achieve your dreams… having more time is the ultimate goal.

However, we all have at our disposal the same exact amount of time per day – 24 hours. No more, no less.

Time is one of the rare things (if not the only one) that is the same for each one of us. Short, tall, rich, poor, white, black or purple, we all get 24 hours in the day. The question we should be asking is not how to get more time, but how can we make better use of the one we already have?

Time is all equal, but what we do with it is what makes the difference between living an OK life and being a high performer. Here is how anyone can make the switch to productivity and save 396 minutes per day in the process.

Tame The Email Beast – How To Save 1.6 Hours Per Day

According to McKinsey Global Institute people spend on average 13 hours per week sending, sorting, reading and overall, dealing with email. With a 5 day work week that equates to about 2.6 hours per day.

2.6 hours per day dealing with email!

Email does not constitute productive work for most (unless you work in customer service). Realistically, your inbox is full of other people’s agendas, which are still important, but they don’t have to take such a big chunk of your time per day.

Here is a proven system and a set of rules to cut down on the time you spend in your inbox:

  • Never check email first thing in the morning – before you open your inbox, make sure you take care of your most meaningful tasks of the day. This way you guarantee that every day is going to be a productive one, regardless of what awaits for you when you fire up your email.
  • Check your inbox 3 times a day – mid-morning, mid-afternoon and in the evening.
  • Block 20 minutes for each check – every time you open your email, schedule up to 20 minutes to process every message in there.
  • Process all emails – in those 20 minutes, process all your emails, regardless of importance or sender. No email should be left behind. Don’t leave emails for later.
  • Disable push notifications – that includes your phone, tablet and any other device that has email capabilities. An email notification should never interrupt your work and your flow.
  • Reduce the number of emails you receiveperform an inbox audit and mass unsubscribe from all unnecessary emails such as coupons, social media notifications, newsletters, promotions, etc. The less time-sucking emails you receive, the less time you need to process them.
  • Write short replies – no email should be longer than 3 sentences. Keep it short and to the point. If possible, skip the pleasantries and small talk. Everyone is busy and would appreciate the brevity of your emails. If you need more than 3 sentences to say what you have to say, consider an alternative method of communication such as phone or even a face to face meeting.

Using the above guidelines, you’ll put a maximum cap on the amount of time you spend in your email of 1 hour.

Time before: 2.6 hours

Time now: 1 hour.

Time saved: 1.6 hours per day.

Kill The Social Butterfly – Save 2.45 Hours Per Day

According to Ipsos, Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 spend 3.2 hours per day on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn.

People are social creatures. We like to have lots of friends and keep in touch with them and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, people who are more social are proven to be happier and live longer. The problem comes from the fact that only a small part of the time we spend on social media websites is actual socializing. A big portion of it is spent in watching videos, funny pictures, reading motivational quotes, reading interesting articles and news and interacting with an endless amount of advertisements.

Think of the last time you spent a good chunk of time on Facebook. How much of it was spent interacting with your friends and how much was spent in “other” activities?

Here is what you can do to lower the time spent on social media websites, without losing any of the socializing:

  • Check your social media accounts 3 times per day and never first thing in the morning
  • Block up to 15 minutes for every check. This is going to give you enough time to keep up with your social network and reply to incoming communication. If you need to, set a timer with an alarm to prevent yourself from getting distracted and going over your time.
  • Disable notifications on all your devices to avoid unnecessary interruptions

45 minutes per day is going to give  you enough time to stay in touch with all of your connections and enjoy some of the other guilty pleasures of social media websites. It will also allow you to stay focused, not to get distracted, and put your time in a more productive activity.

Time before: 3.2 hours

Time now: 0.75 hours (3 x 15 mins for a total of 45 minutes)

Time saved: 2.45 hours per day

Cut Down TV Time To Save 2.55 Hours Per Day

According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends 5.11 hours per day watching TV. That is more than 1/5 of every day spent in front of the TV set. The time is almost equally divided between watching entertainment shows and news.

Here is how you can reduce TV time considerably, while still keeping track of the news and giving yourself a good, healthy dose of entertainment:

Switch to on-demand

Half of the time spent in front of the TV is spent watching advertisements and commercials. A 20-minute sit com episode is extended to 40 – 45 minutes because of all the commercial breaks. The same is true for all major talk shows.

If you switch to on-demand you will considerably reduce, and even eliminate, the amount of commercials you are exposed to, thus cutting your TV time in almost half. Most of the shows, TV series and movies are readily available on services such as Netflix, Hulu and Vudu. You can even find some of them for free on YouTube, or on some of the channel websites.

On-demand not only lowers the amount of time spent watching useless commercials, but also puts you in control of what to see and when to see it. You no longer have to depend on the TV schedule. You can pick your own times.

Get the news online

All the news shown on TV can be found online.

The major difference is that you can choose which news you read and which ones you skip, thus cutting your news time in half.

If you are into sports, you can read only sports news. If you are into local politics, you can read only about that topic. You don’t have to sit through the weather forecast, the news about the latest celebrity goof-up in order to wait for the sport highlights. You are in control.

There are also many YouTube channels dedicated to summarizing the most important news for the day. Watching those videos will allow you to stay current with the news in under 10 minutes per day.

Time spent before: 5.11 hours per day

Time spent now: 2.55

Time saved: 2.55

What To Do With The Time You Saved

Just by restructuring your email, social media and TV habits you can save on average 6.6 hours per day (1.6 hrs saved from email + 2.45 saved from social media + 2.55 saved from TV). But how can you put that extra time to good, productive use? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Do some high leverage work that will propel your business or career forward
  • Get some extra sleep
  • Exercise
  • Spend more time outside
  • Read a book (either something entertaining or motivating)
  • Organize your desk and computer
  • Travel
  • Do whatever makes your happy, motivated and full of energy

Over To You Now

You get only 24 hours in a day. You cannot create more of them, but you are in absolute control of how you spend them. Don’t spend more time than what you should in places such as in your inbox, on social media and in front of the TV and you’ll saves yourself 6.6 hours per day, on average. Put this saved time in more productive activities and watch your performance exploded.

What are some other ways to save yourself some extra time per day? Share in the comment section below.