How to Rearrange Your Hours to Make the Most of the Day

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Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

Earlier this week, I celebrated my one year anniversary at the company that I work for. There’s something about these types of milestones that make me so nostalgic. On these milestones, I always take a few minutes to reflect on what’s happened in my life during that time — how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished, what’s changed, etc. And it’s always fascinating to see how much of a difference just one year can make. With this milestone in particular, I noticed one distinctive change that has tremendously impacted both my personal life and professional life. And that change was getting a strong grasp on time management.

Time management has always been both a strength and a weakness of mine. Similar with many other people (especially those who are also living in New York City), I juggle many extracurricular activities outside of my day job. As if my current line of work isn’t overwhelming enough, I still do my best to set time aside for my passions that make me me.

However, as we all know, there are only twenty-four hours in a day, seven days in a week, and three hundred sixty-five days in a year. And that time can go by very quickly if we don’t take advantage of it.

Prior to this year, I thought that I had my routine pretty ironed out. On a typical day when I didn’t have any scheduled plans, I’d wake up, go to work, go to the gym, go home, shower, then eat dinner. After a while though, I started getting frustrated with how little time I had at the end of the day to do anything else.

For example, there were some nights when I had to stay at work later than usual. In turn, it made me go to the gym later than usual, which in turn made me get home later than usual, by which time, it would be around nine or even ten o’clock when I finally started preparing dinner. At which point, I’d be so hungry and in a terrible mood. Ultimately, I’d be fed up with how the entire day played out.

It made me regret going to the gym, regret staying late at work, and regret not planning things out better beforehand. But, I was so ingrained in my routine, so accustomed to my schedule that I didn’t see another way. I didn’t see the other options because I was too comfortable with how I had been doing things for the past few years.

That was up until this year.

I needed to find a way to be able to workout while still having time left after work to set aside for writing, running errands, or even just spending time with my boyfriend, friends, or co-workers.

My main issue with working out after work was having to sacrifice the other things I enjoyed doing. I hated the fact that I had to say “no” to plans because I had to work out after work. I hated the fact that I had to eat dinner so late. I hated the fact that I’d be too tired to do anything else after I’d get home.

And for the longest time, instead of simply making a slight adjustment, I’d just complain about it. I’d complain to my friends, to my sister, to my boyfriend, and they would all tell me the same thing — Do something about it.

Lo and behold, I finally did.

One of my New Year’s resolutions for this year was to work out in the morning. I honestly dreaded even the thought of it, but I figured that I couldn’t knock it until I tried it. So, in January, I set my alarm to hours ahead of my usual wakeup time and started going to the gym in the morning.

At first, it was extremely difficult for me to get into the swing of things. I’d be so tired and groggy when I was heading out the door. Sometimes, I’d slightly oversleep, forget to make coffee the night before, or forget other minor things. Then, slowly but surely, I found my rhythm and it finally started feeling normal.It started becoming a habit, a new routine.

Eventually, I found myself feeling better about my days. I found myself eating dinner at a decent hour, making time for writing again, saying “yes” to plans, and sleeping earlier. I stopped complaining, stopped being in such a bad mood, and stopped feeling like I didn’t have enough time in the day. That’s when I realized that there was, in fact, enough time in the day for me to do the things I wanted to do.

All I had to do was learn how to better take advantage of it — and you can too.

In order to make the most of the day, rearrange your hours so that your down time is turned into productive time.

For me, all it took was waking up a little earlier than usual. And that could be a quick fix for many others as well. Although I was waking up earlier in order to exercise, you could wake up earlier in order to start work to avoid staying at the office so late.

Or if you don’t want to do that during the week, then do it on the weekends. Whatever excuse you may have, just find another option or another route. As the old saying goes,

“If there’s a will, there’s a way.”

And if you can’t find a way, then you don’t want things to change badly enough. Because at the end of the day, we all have the same amount of time. Time has no discrimination to any of us. So, in order for you to make the most out of your day, you have to make do with the hours that you already have.

Written by

Part-time Writer & Full-time Digital Advertising Expert in Queens, New York. Avid runner & Plant Mom. I write about writing and life. lindseylazarte.com

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