Nicole Miles
Nicole Miles
Work & Money

How to Find More Time in the Day

Sis, you’re not Superwoman. Here’s how to avoid doing too much and feel less stress.

Let’s face it: Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed. Between taking care of others, cleaning the house, trying to grow and manage our money — and more — we may be doing entirely too much.

But there are ways to complete tasks and carve out time in the day. First, take this quiz to see how you’re faring. Then learn how to smooth out those rough edges of your busy life.

Your laundry has piled up and the house is a mess. But you’re exhausted. You:
a. Push your tiredness aside and clean every speck.
b. Ignore the chaos around you and take a nap.
c. Clean a few things, and leave the rest. Then feel guilty the rest of the day.
d. Pick up a few things and finish the job tomorrow after you’ve slept.

You have a great idea to start an online side hustle. But you need to create a website. You:
a. Spend hours and hours figuring things out yourself. When you create the website, you feel accomplished but stressed.
b. Delay starting your business — you have no idea how to even begin the design.
c. Give the project 15 minutes here and there, but never finish.
d. Sign up for a quick class and carve out time to finish this month.

It’s dinner time and you’re starving, but tired. You:
a. Brush off your tiredness and get to cooking for 50 long minutes. Top Chef has nothing on you.
b. Have a glass of water and a bowl of chips, and push down your hunger pangs.
c. Get carryout, again. So what if your budget and waistline suffer?
d. Quickly microwave some veggies and sauté a piece of chicken.

You have a party this evening but you’re completely out of household supplies, from paper towels to edge gel. You:
a. Battle the crowds at your local superstore and go late to the party. Edge gel is a necessity, okay?
b. Skip the store. You have tissues, and your hair just will be frizzier than normal.
c. Walk to your neighborhood drugstore. They don’t have your favorite brands, but you find something.
d. Style your hair with a different product, go to the party and resolve to shop tomorrow.

Mostly A’s. You’re devoted but you may be pushing yourself too hard. Sure, you can finish your projects, but at what cost to your health and peace of mind?

Mostly B’s. Sis, you’re tired. We get it. But skipping important tasks could be limiting your potential. While it’s good to do self-care, it’s also good to do things that can help you grow.

Mostly C’s. You’ve been doing things halfway, and it’s been okay. But imagine what could happen if you really committed to projects you care about and planned in advance. And how much better you could feel by finishing what you start.

Mostly D’s. You’re pretty balanced when managing your tasks, and you seem to keep the big picture in mind. You’re probably using your time wisely, but if you plan ahead a bit more, you could manage things even better.

Now that you have a handle on your time and how you use it, the next step focuses on maximizing your time. It comes down to these three things.

Prioritize what matters. While you may feellike Superwoman, you’re (sadly) not. To avoid exhaustion, burnout and guilty feelings, try making a list of what’s most important and then scheduling those tasks.

Reschedule when needed. After you plan, some things will naturally fall from your list. You can save them for a different day — maybe Saturdays are laundry days and Sundays are when you plan your weekly meals. Or you can set reminders in your phone, as needed and listen when you get the alerts.

Assign out the rest. After you’ve confirmed what to do, find help for things you don’t haveto do yourself. Need to go shopping? Let the store deliver. You can order from places like Amazon and Target, or via services like Shipt, and have items as soon as the same or next day.

Similarly, consider hiring help for household chores, business tasks and more. A freelancer, virtual assistant or household helper could be your best friend for things like social media projects, email responses and DIY projects, respectively. Try Google searches or sites like Upwork and TaskRabbit. Similarly, consider letting a drycleaner or laundry service manage your clothes and hiring a housekeeping service once or twice a month.

If your budget is tight, also consider swapping tasks with a neighbor or asking your children or partner to help. (Yep, that means releasing some control. Your teenager knows how to vacuum.)

In all, think about what your time is worth. If it could be better spent on tasks that could bring more revenue or freedom, it may be worth paying someone a few dollars an hour to take over. Or asking others to help.

And now you see: You literally can buy yourself time to do things you love.

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Nicole Miles