Health & Wellness Articles

7 Simple Ways to Reclaim an Hour a Day

Finding Your 25th Hour

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  • Shut the alert signal off on your computer that tells you when a new email has come through.  Even better, adjust your preferences so that new mail is only delivered once an hour.
     
  • Determine a maximum amount of times to check emails each day.  For me, it’s four: Once at 8 a.m., right before I break for lunch, again at 5 p.m., and lastly before shutting the computer off at 9 p.m. Now don’t get me wrong; I love checking emails while in line at the grocery store or waiting in the dentist office.  It’s great to clear out the garbage, or send off a quick response.  But when I’m in my office or at home with the family, rules rule!
     
  • When you do check emails, handle them immediately.  Respond, delete, or file it away for later.
     
  • If you love to play computer games, Google the news, or find the latest online shopping sites, that’s fine.  Create a designated time to so, and set an alarm to let you know when time is up. 
     
  • Shut down your computer and all other technology at least one hour before bedtime.  You will fall asleep more easily, and will sleep more soundly, too!  Even better, declare one technology-free day every weekend.  Could you imagine how much more free time you would have that day? 
 
Stop multi-tasking.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, multi-tasking is a time-waster rather than a time-saver.  We may think we are gaining time by handling more than one task at once, but it’s just an illusion.  Since we aren’t fully focused on any one thing when we multi-task, each individual task takes longer to finish.  This lack of focus leads to more errors, which then, of course, take more time to correct. You will be shocked at how much faster you complete a job when you turn off all distractions, and stay laser focused on what you are doing.
 
Please note I’m not suggesting there is never a place for multi-tasking; however, it should not be done with the things that are really important.  Go ahead, watch TV while folding laundry, or talk on the phone while chopping veggies (just make sure to use a hands-free headset).  If you’re working on an important project for business, writing an email or scheduling an appointment, don’t also be checking text messages, or trying to have a meaningful conversation with your child.  For sure, one task or the other will suffer. 
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen Goldman has bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. An AFAA-certified personal trainer and certified wellness coach, she is also the founder EnerG Coaching, LLC. Through one-on-one and group sessions, Ellen helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes, lose weight, manage stress and attain work-life balance. Visit her at www.EnerGcoaching.com.

Member Comments

  • Useful article; I need to return to it to be reminded. One point that would be hard for me is the one about the frequent grocery shopping, as it is my now-retired husband's favorite thing to do. I hate any kind of shopping, but he asks for very few things of me so I accompany him. That is what a 50ish year marriage is about; compromise. - 11/7/2014 6:16:48 AM
  • When I took care of my nephew, I exercised when I took him to football practice. I walked the stadium steps while he practiced. - 11/6/2014 12:34:53 PM
  • Holly I like your idea of front loading the week. I'll try this idea with the exception of grocery shopping since the good deals are a the end of the week on Thursday or Fridays. My me time is even multitasking. I soak my feet while watching TV :-) - 11/6/2014 12:32:44 PM
  • Great article and I am guilty of the email and facebook checking, last minute meal planning and last minute grocery shopping.
    I will focus on changing all of those!!!!!
    Thanks! - 11/6/2014 11:31:07 AM
  • Great article!

    Anne - 11/6/2014 2:03:21 AM
  • Not much about TV watching, which is from my viewpoint the biggest time waster of most Americans. You feel so helpless when you're watching it. It actually takes your edge and your own sense of personal value. Glenn - 9/4/2014 12:44:53 AM
  • Fantastic article! I've found that pre-planning works the best for me. I have laminated lists for weekly meals, cleaning tasks and misc errands for each week and I try to "front load" my week and get everything done by Thursday evening so my weekends are mostly free for having fun with friends and family (especially now that Summer is here!)

    With two young children and a full-time job, it is the only way I get anything done. - 6/3/2014 12:54:04 PM
  • Oh, if only! - 5/9/2014 5:46:33 AM
  • Great article. - 11/28/2013 2:05:18 PM
  • BETTYCOOPER121
    The ideas mentioned in this article are the best!! I liked the one in where we go tech free every weekend :-). Though difficult if we have strong will power we can resist. Great article overall. - 10/29/2013 11:34:44 AM
  • RUNNINGINOR
    I am a working mother of three kids, and my biggest time drain is ferrying them to all their sports and after school clubs. Therefore, I keep a detailed calendar and "schedule" my exercise, computer time, etc. I would never miss a scheduled doctor's appointment, so I treat my scheduled "me" time as just as important. I try to teach my kids that exercise is a highly important component of their lives, but it seems counter-intuitive to gripe to them about all the time it takes to get them to sports. Scheduling dinner prep time, too, is a big way to save time when we are eating dinner out of tupperware between soccer games. It also keeps us out of the fast-food drive thru!!! - 9/22/2013 2:56:51 PM
  • Great idea! - 9/18/2013 9:35:39 PM
  • For those who would like to delegate time-consuming errands to someone else (and maybe don't have a hubby, significant other, or kid to help out), consider TaskRabbit.com.

    "Rabbits" can pick up a few items for you on their own trip to the grocery store, help with laundry & house cleaning, work on a computer project... no task is too big or too small. (Read all rules & regulations first, of course... and as of today, the service is only available in large metro markets.) - 9/18/2013 2:38:00 PM
  • Really a very good article. It's almost embarrassing the amount of time I waste in the evening in front of the computer and televison. As a matter of fact, last night the tv was on, and I was in front of my lap top, ipad and iphone all at the same time. I will be more aware of this from now on. - 9/18/2013 1:08:04 PM
  • I shop once each week; don't go near a grocery store otherwise. - 8/18/2013 5:47:13 AM

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