Stick to a Schedule
Blocking out time for each task you want to tackle during the day can prevent you from getting distracted or procrastinating. When you stick to a schedule, you never feel like the day has gotten away from you. You can even block out space for breaks and personal time to do things you enjoy. The key to creating a workable schedule starts with doing a time audit of your day to find out where your time actually goes—because we all chronically underestimate how long things will take. Download an app like RescueTime or Toggl to keep track of your time and everything you do for a week. This information will allow you to make the appropriate adjustments to your timing and block out the necessary schedule.
Quitting something is the fastest and most surefire way to get more time back. Delete that app game that pops up and steals 30 minutes from your afternoon. Step back from just one social media platform. Take a break from the committee you're not all that committed to, or see if you can put a stop to that unproductive (but reoccurring) meeting at work. Take a closer look at your day, at those times that really feel like a waste and just stop. By removing them from your week, you automatically open up more space in your life.
Learn to Delegate
For those activities you can't or don't necessarily want to quit, consider delegating to someone else—be it at work or at home. At work, this might entail tasks that can be handled by a coworker, someone below you or a hired freelancer or contractor. At home, you might recruit a loved one or roommate to help spread out chores you've been tackling yourself. Or you might utilize on-demand services like grocery delivery, laundry or house cleaning services—all of which will save you at least four to five hours a week.
Your inbox can become a real time suck if you're not careful. That's why most productivity experts advise scheduling time at the beginning and end of each day to take care of it. Clear out any unnecessary messages and respond to important emails. Putting them off only adds an overwhelming sense of dread and leaves one feeling behind. If you tend to get a lot of requests, prepare standard responses (asking for more information, or politely declining, etc.) so you can quickly and efficiently get through your inbox.