Time Efficiency: 4 Ways to Find Hidden Pockets of Time in Your Day

Big blocks of extra time are not always available to us in the world we live in, especially when we’re continually trying to balance work and life. Lack of free time can especially make it hard to get things done outside of normal workday business hours, even when this seems our only option.  

If you struggle with not having enough time, I have good news. Read on to learn how to make more things happen in the time you have.  

Little blocks of time are hiding in plain sight  

It’s very common to overestimate the amount of time it will take us to complete a task, finish a report, make a call, or put other must-do items to bed. It’s also common to feel we need complete quiet and total focus for our work. All of this starts to resemble those big blocks of extra time we don’t have.  

Often, all we really need is 15 to 30 minutes here and there, while we’re doing other things, to make a big dent in our to-do lists. Instead of trying to carve out time to do several consecutive tasks, or even a big one, it helps to break them up into smaller, more manageable efforts. You’ll be surprised by what you can accomplish in short order.  

Here are four solid suggestions for better time management: 

  1. Let technology open little windows of time for you: Since it’s impossible to carry a Mac, desktop, or laptop around in our pockets wherever we go, we should take advantage of the mobile app version of our e-mail and other systems our companies use by installing the apps on our phones. Granted, we can’t do everything on these apps, but the integrations, shortcuts, and anytime access to email, files, notifications, workflows, and internal networks make our lives a lot easier. 
  2. Use minutes and hours in new ways: I have a 6-year-old and 3-year-old who were (and still are) terrible sleepers. I devoted two years of my life spending complete nights in a rocking chair…which left my mind to parse work-related things that needed my attention, too. I thought I had no choice until it occurred to me: Why not get some work done when I need to be in this particular place? After that awakening, I was able to work through thousands of resumes and fire off thousands of emails – all while holding a snoring baby. Most of us have stretches of downtime when multitasking can make us more productive, like when we’re exercising, walking the dog, or waiting for the doctor.  
  3. Invite tasks into your down time on the weekends: Many of us spend time scrolling Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok each weekend, and afterwards feel stressed that we didn’t get anything accomplished during that time. Instead of scrolling, you might find it more relaxing to knock out small work tasks over the weekend, so you can feel that sense of accomplishment and hit the ground running on Monday mornings.
  4. Avoid procrastination: It can be defeating to decide that something must be completed in a certain amount of time – period – especially given our propensity to overestimate how long it might take. By the time we validate that it’s not a good time to do it, we could have already completed it. If you find yourself managing your to-do list versus just doing it, that’s a problem! Rather than adding short things to your to-do list, simply take care of the small items as they come. Like Nike says, “Just Do It.”

Start making big progress in small increments

I hope these tips are as helpful to you as they are to me. As the Director of Internal Recruiting for Goodwin Recruiting, I work remotely in finding the next great recruiters to join the Goodwin team. It’s exciting and fast-paced and staying on my toes is a lot easier when I supercharge those little pockets of time in my day. Also, it’s gratifying to knock things out faster than I thought possible. I find myself saying over and over, “Well that was fast!”  

Try it. It works! And if you’re inclined to explore a career in talent recruitment, get in touch with Goodwin Recruiting. Remote work presents more small pockets of time, not to mention the big benefits of partnering with a leading company. Goodwin is ranked by Forbes as one of America’s Best Executive and Professional Recruiting Firms.