3 Steps to Find More Time in Your Day

Did you wake up this morning thinking ah crap, it’s Monday?  Or maybe, if you live around here, you thought ah crap it’s snowing, and it’s Monday, and if my kids don’t have school I might have a nervous breakdown and have to drink three bottles of Prosecco by noon because of the stress of your forever long to-do list?

In my opinion and experience, the biggest time suck for each of us is our phone. Think about it. We carry the little device with us everywhere we go these days.  I know I have left it at home on accident and panicked!  How could I function without my phone?  Or the best lie I tell myself is- what if one of my kids gets in a fight with a bully and runs away from school so scared and alone and needs their mama to come and save them immediately but they can’t contact me because I forgot my phone!  I must always have my phone. Really, Courtney??

So a few months ago I decided I was going to break up with my phone and I wanted 3 things to happen:

  1. To be more present with my kids after school and on weekends
  2. To feel less distracted by feeling the urgent need to check emails and social media
  3. Have closer connections with friends via talking on the phone, sending a card, or meeting in person for wine/coffee 

And guess what?  I was able to meet all three of my goals easily and it made a huge impact on my time and overall happiness!

This is how I did it:

1. Get off social media

Say what girlfriend?  Oh yes, get off it all and get off of it right now!  But how will I keep up with my friends and family you say?  Um, by calling them, texting them, sending them cards or letters the old fashioned way, or now that you have the time, scheduling a happy hour.  

Oh, I know what your gonna say, I only check my Insta at night.  What else will I do?  Here’s an idea- READ A BOOK.  Seriously, I have read three books in three weeks since I got off my Insta account!  Or write some poetry, read it to your husband, and then see where that leads.  I’m sure it will lead to a happier place than Insta ever can.

Start by tracking your time to see how much time you are spending aimlessly scrolling and track the actual time.  For example- you track that at 8:00am you were checking Facebook for 30 minutes because the pile of dirty dishes or the presentation you should be working on didn’t sound as much fun as judging a girl you know who just had her boobs done.  Seriously, you know you are doing this…

Things to do instead if you find you are online at:

  •  Lunch: find a lunch buddy and have a chat (not office gossip) or listen to an inspiring podcast.  Some are only 15 minutes and you’ll learn something and feel smarter at the same time:)
  • 3:30pm slump at the office: get up and go for a walk around your work parking lot with a co-worker.  In fact, start a health challenge together, share delish recipes, and cook them now that you both have time.
  • Bedtime: READ A BOOK!!! Not only does reading before bed help you sleep better, but it also reduces stress.  And if you don’t like to read, that’s a story you are telling yourself.  Pick up a juicy romantic trashy novel or a scary mystery or a biography.  You’ll stimulate your brain, your creativity, and your imagination.  Social media doesn’t have that power.

Oh but Courtney, you say…I have to be on social media because of work and building my business.  That’s a load, and you know it — sorry sister (mister).  Social media can be awesome for brand building, but you can schedule and batch all your posts ahead of time so no need to use your phone.  And the best way to grow your business is via EMAIL anyway:) 

Which leads me to…

2. Take your email off your phone

Maybe you can quit social media, but EMAIL???  Oh sister (mister), email is such a problem for most people.  I mean you need to reply to that important client as soon as they email you, right?  Maybe.  Or your boss is super demanding and you need to email him right away or you’ll lose your job, right?  Maybe. 

Hey, I get that everyone might have a situation where this might not be possible but I know it’s not everyone.  Ask yourself, is it true that you have to reply back asap or is it a story you’ve made up in your head?  Have you set expectations with clients about when you’ll be online and when you won’t be?  And is it really true that your boss demands you have to get back to her right away?  What if you had a talk with her and found out her true expectations? And if you are that boss, you need to take a look at yourself and your demands.

If you email me, I might not get back to you until the next day.  I check my email twice a day- once in the morning and again in the afternoon.  And when I had a “real” job, I did the same but added in at lunch.  So it’s possible.

And that means no alerts on your laptop/desktop too. So when you are in the zone preparing your awesome sales presentation, the little email notification telling you flights to Hawaii are now 50% off, won’t distract you.

3. Delete all the games or shopping apps right now

Ok, now I’m just a crazy woman.  What are you going to do if you can’t play Candy Crush or order your groceries online??  Look, I get it. And I admit, I still have my grocery store app on my phone.  But I took off most everything else; the stuff that I was wasting my time on.  This isn’t about not allowing yourself to have fun.  So if you play Candy Crush once a day for 20 minutes and it brings you joy, then sister, go for it.  But if you find you are not making dinner, doing laundry, or paying bills because you don’t have time but you still have time for Candy Crush, it’s time to delete it.

Finally, Create your destiny

It sounds corny, doesn’t it??  It’s true though! I found that by getting rid of the stuff I was wasting my time on, I have several more hours in the day. A few minutes here or there adds up, and if you are mindful and truthful with yourself, you’ll realize you too are wasting time.

But create a compelling story for yourself- what would your life be like if you had an extra two hours in the day? Would you have fun at Great Wolf Lodge with your kids rather than working in the lobby? Maybe you’d have time to go to the gym or have a cup of coffee before running out the door in the morning. There are endless choices when you don’t feel stressed and bogged down.

It’s in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped- Tony Robbins

Get off your phone and shape your destiny!



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