19 Simple Ways To Find More Time (Even If You Feel Slammed)
“I don’t have enough time.”
I sat there with a client and part of what I do is challenge people —to think bolder, and bigger.
For the next 25 minutes, we took inventory of all the places they were spreading their time across…
…and realized that whenever we tell ourselves we don’t have enough time, what it really means is:
I’m not clear around my priorities.
I’m not committed enough to my vision.
I care more about instant gratification than making my dreams come true.
Because, often —we find the 62 minutes scrolling on Instagram, the 1.5 hours spend listening to sports radio, the 17 minutes getting caught up on YouTube.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But my original mentor, Dr. John Demartini taught me a powerful lesson:
If you don’t fill your day with high priority action steps, you’re going to fill them with things that don’t matter.
Here are 19 ways to create more time, achieve more clarity and ensure you’re focusing on what really matters:
1. Create a life philosophy. When you live by a philosophy, you know exactly what to say YES to or what to say NO to.
This is a key to all high performers and high achievers. Start with one sentence to define who you are and what you stand for.
2. Identify your priorities. I love doing this in quarterly increments — and identifying the top priorities for the upcoming quarter to make quick decisions.
What are your non-negotiable pillars this quarter? These are the do-or-die activities and action steps that must be done, no matter what.
3. If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s a HELL NO! You’ve heard this before, but overcommitting to things you don’t want to do is a crusher.
You always know when you don’t want to do something. You say yes for approval, or because you feel guilty saying no.
James Altucher wrote a book about this, called The Power Of No. Once you know your priorities, saying no becomes much easier.
Another way to make better decisions is to imagine the commitment was happening tomorrow.
Would you still say yes?
PRO TIP: If you were making your dream income, would you still say yes?
4. Create time. Yes, you can expand and create time by using practices such as meditation, walking in nature and sensory deprivation.
Time is an illusion. Remember this —often, I’ll coach my clients to spend more time in meditation and they’ll say that’s impossible.
But once they engage in the practice, they realize how presence creates more time in their day.
5. Delete 25% of your calendar and tasks for this week. You can do it, and you know it.
Now, don’t wait. This is a weekly practice for me, and there’s always something we can discard. Creating space is always the first step towards clarity,
6. Make faster decisions. We ‘lose’ so much time going back and forth with decisions — even small ones.
Leaders make fast decisions. Even when choosing what to eat, or what hotel to book on your trip —decision fatigue is real.
Choose something, and figure out the details later.
7. Start your day on Airplane mode. Do all of my lists have this? Pretty much, and for a reason: you’ll be more calm, and present.
My number one instant ‘hack’ for clarity, no matter who you are. You don’t need to check email, Instagram or your texts. This is a surefire way to start your day on someone else’s terms.
PRO TIP: Start your first 30 minutes for yourself. Watch what happens.
8. Identify your daily big rock. I use this in my programs, where we identify the ONE THING that is not urgent, yet crucial to moving the needle forward. Do this before anything else.
What is your one thing? This book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan changed the game for me and countless people.
This is not email, it’s not social media, or customer service.
It’s the one thing that creates a domino effect with everything else you do.
9. Plan your week, every week. Sit down on a Sunday, put pen to paper — and craft your week with clarity.
The amateur skips this, and wakes up Monday with no plan, no priorities and simply “winging it.”
(I’ve tried that, trust me.)
Instead, spend 25-40 minutes planning your week and you’ll never be the same.
10. Take inventory. Most won’t do this because they’ll realize they’re spending 75 minutes a day scrolling IG, another 90 minutes listening to sports gossip and then watching a TV show.
Why do massive brands close shop for a day and take inventory? Because knowing where you are matters. This is the same for our lives: take inventory of every area of your life and split it up into two buckets:
What’s serving you and what’s not serving you.
11. Create a new story. “I don’t have enough time” is scarcity driven. For example: I create time for the priorities in my life that are connected with my vision.
Examine your language with time, we all do this. Often, I feel overwhelmed with communication from texts and emails.
I always make sure to shift my language from being a victim of time to being a master of time and in control.
12. Track your usage. Moment for your iPhone will scare the shit out of you, and RescueTime will track your internet behaviors. If you don’t track, you can’t improve.
Track, track, track. I’ve sent RescueTime to hundreds of entrepreneurs.
Few use it, because they’re now on the hook and can see how much time they’re wasting on social media.
(It’s not pretty.)
13. Fill your day with high priority, intentional items. You won’t have any space left for the time vampires.
Show me a blank calendar, and I’ll show you a lot of wasted time and energy. When you fill your day with what truly matters, the non-essential fades away.
14. Delegate, automate, streamline and delete. Every single week, find stuff to release off your plate.
“But I don’t have a team, Tommy.” Cool story. There has never been access to cheap labor online who can do the stuff you don’t like doing for $10-$20 an hour.
PRO TIP: If you value your time, then you become a master at delegation.
15. Read Seneca, On The Shortness Of Life. This will wake you up to live with deeper urgency and purpose.
This text will change your life, if you let it. I read it once per quarter and it becomes required reading if you want to work with me.
16. Release the pressure of communication. You don’t have to respond to every single email within the hour…let go.
This is getting out of hand. There’s an unwritten rule that if we don’t respond to someone within a couple days, that something is wrong.
Let go of this pressure. I’ve recently added an autoresponder that tells people when they’re going to hear from me (if at all.)
17. Breathe. Even 5 deep breaths with a box breathing style will relax you.
Slow down. Especially when life feels stressful or you’re having one of those days.
18. Add ‘whitespace’ to your calendar. These are periods where you’re free to do anything — but they’re on the calendar.
For me, every single day from 3:30-5:30 is my white space. My day starts at 4:00AM on most days, and this is my time to recharge
You can’t book a podcast with me and my assistant won’t put any phone calls during that time.
What do I do? Anything. Grab a massage, take a walk in nature, nap (whoa, you nap!?) or read a great book.
19. Protect your prime time. For most, this is the morning period — and getting up 45 minutes earlier means 5+ hours of extra time for your week.
We all have a ‘prime’ time, and for many it’s the morning. Even if you committed to 45 minutes, you could truly create something special in 6 months.
Pick one and watch what happens.
No matter how busy you believe you are, there are small action steps you can take to add more time to your day.
Pick one of the above and implement it today (and tomorrow…and the next day.)
Which one did you pick, and why? I’d love to hear it in comments.