How to reclaim 40 hours in your week

Imagine if you and all the adults you know found a magic lamp that granted you three wishes. That poor genie would get fed up with all the requests for more hours in the day (and more money and no more back pain). 

Until we discover Aladdin’s cave and our wise-cracking, wish-granting genie, we’re left to make those wishes come true for ourselves. 

So, let’s start with finding more hours in the day. Or at least, some tips on how to make like Indiana Jones and unearth lost hours. 

Take the stress out of how you dress      

How much time do you spend deciding what to wear? Just 10 minutes of indecision each day is more than an hour per week! 

Stop worrying about wearing something different each day, and start wearing a simple capsule wardrobe that you can pull on bleary-eyed in the morning without thinking and still look presentable for work. 

Few people will notice if you re-wear the same items again and again, and fewer still will care. But you will stop wasting precious hours on outfit planning. 

Reduce distractions

One of the most useful tools on your phone is the ‘airplane mode’ button, even when you’re nowhere near an airport. Switch it on when you really need to get things done, or better yet, put your phone away where you can’t see it and be tempted to pick it up and start scrolling. 

Similarly, remove other distractions from your line of sight when you’re trying to get something done. Like a racehorse with its blinkers on, you may be better able to focus on your goal if all you can see is the finish line ahead of you. 

Cancel unnecessary subscriptions services 

When it comes to time-stealing bandits, subscriptions are one of the most notorious culprits. 

A 2021 NZ On Air study found that Kiwis are consuming 86 minutes of subscription videos every day – and that’s on top of linear TV and online video. That’s a smidge over 10 hours per week just on subscriptions.

You don’t have to give up TV and video completely, but cutting out subscription services may at least reduce the time lost, and save you a few dollars in the process. 

Don’t forget about Freeview and Freeview Satellite, which provide free-to-air channels for Kiwi’s all over the country. They include a number of news-related and educational programs so you can learn on-the-go!

Avoid working overtime 

There will always be busy times at work when the occasional extra hour is necessary to get the project over the finish line. But overtime (at least the unpaid kind) should never become the norm.

Yet for many Kiwis, it has. 

One study found that 46% of Kiwis are working up to 2.5 hours of overtime each week on average. That’s more than a full day of work every month, and even worse, almost a third of Kiwis (31%) are working an extra 2.5-5 hours per week. 

And if you’re part of the 10% who work more than 11 hours of unpaid overtime per week, we’ll leave our guide for a career change here, just in case. 

Create an agenda for your meetings

To ensure your meetings are tracking (and don’t go overtime), create an agenda which will help to bring structure to the catch-up. This eliminates opportunities for lengthy tangents, while ensuring all attendees are focused on the same desired outcome.     

This will not only save unnecessary time during the call, but, can also determine if some meetings can just be changed to emails. Furthermore, an agenda will make it easier to know what actions need prioritising post-meeting, so you can make the best use of the rest of your day.                

Hocus focus 

Being focused on your task and being mindful about how you spend your time are simple and obvious tips, but ones that can seem like magic when you employ them well. 

For example, you could take three hours to get the housework done on a Sunday if you take breaks to check your phone, hang out with the cat, and zone out. Or, you could make a point of staying on task and get it all done in two hours, then enjoy the extra free hour you have conjured out of thin air. It’s all about channeling your energy and ensuring that the task at hand requires all of your undivided energy!

Sadly, we cannot magic up extra hours in the day, but if your genie wishes involve taking care of family, then cover such as life insurance could save you a wish! Consider the benefits of One Choice Life Insurance and request a quote to learn more.