Health & Wellness Articles

7 Simple Ways You Could Reclaim an Hour a Day

Try to Find Your 25th Hour

  • 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 founded EnerG Coaching, LLC to help individuals struggling with health issues that can be impacted by positive lifestyle change, such as weight loss, stress management, exercise, and life/work balance. As a professional wellness coach and certified personal trainer, Ellen holds a BS and Masters in Physical Education and is certified by ACSM, AFAA, and Wellcoaches Corporation. Visit her at Get her complimentary report, 52 Tips, Tools & Tricks to Permanent Weight Loss Without Going on a Diet, at

Member Comments

  • if this site was easier to wade through and complete faster it would be an immense help in my opinion - 1/22/2016 10:17:20 PM
  • Thanks for the great article. - 1/16/2016 3:53:58 PM
  • I have deliveries for organic meat, organic fruit and vegetables, and my groceries. This probably saves me 5-6 hours a week. - 1/13/2016 3:02:18 PM
    Wonderful article. It really makes you take an honest look at the way you're trying to do things to make small meaningful tweaks. Great suggestions especially about food prep am email. Currently use those religiously. Thanks for sharing. - 8/18/2015 3:41:37 AM
    Many good ideas here. Thanks.

    I like the idea of menu planning but definitely think it is better if you see the weekly grocery store ads first to see the sales and then plan the menu.

    I spend way too much "playing" on the computer. Seems I go to just check email and then get hooked on some silly game and loose track of time.
    So I will start with 3 times a day and put a time limit on myself.
    - 8/7/2015 10:35:36 AM
    Good article.

    Shopping from a list is a good idea. A BETTER idea is to menu plan for the week, and THEN shop from your list.
    Menu planning means you will buy what you need, and use it in a timely fashion.

    Also, agree with turning off electronics an hour before bed (or sooner.) Our gadgets emit a high level of white light which is known to be a promoter of wakefulness...thi
    nk light box therapy for SAD!

    - 7/24/2015 3:25:25 PM
  • Thanks for the article. - 5/13/2015 6:52:10 AM
  • Thank you for the article! I need to get good at meal planning, so that I know what I need for an entire week. It's just a matter of sitting down with a piece of paper and doing some math.

    Also, not to be contrary, but there was a study that said people who went shopping every single day were more healthy than people who didn't, whether or not they actually bought anything. So there's something in the walking, and when you go be sure and walk around the parameter if you can. It's good for you!

    I found an error in the article, about batching your chores. You say there's a "best approach", and then you say it's a terrible idea, and that there's a better one. Okay, then the sentence needs rewritten to not say it's the best approach, because obviously you don't feel that way. - 4/7/2015 8:22:47 PM
  • An excellent article, and one easy to implement. I also find myself guilty when it comes to checking emails and spending time on Facebook (especially playing some of the games on FB). I did see two time wasters which were absent: online gaming and watching television. Thanks to this article, it gives me something to think about and to change. - 4/7/2015 9:47:32 AM
    I feel so guilty on the particular checking on Facebook and emails from time to time. But not for long. I made my time schedule balanced right now. But I have been guilty about last minute grocery shopping and food deliveries instead of eating healthy meals.

    But its a great overall article. Well done! I have bookmarked this article so that I can read it the time that I have forgotten it. - 4/7/2015 1:31:17 AM
  • 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

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