Seven Tips to Free Up Time for Yourself in Your Daily Routine

Have you been thinking about taking a day off for some time, but your schedule won't allow it? Do you feel like you're underwater and can't get to the surface? If so, in this article, you'll find some helpful tips.
Seven Tips to Free Up Time for Yourself in Your Daily Routine
Sara González Juárez

Written and verified by the psychologist Sara González Juárez.

Last update: 25 July, 2023

The end of the day arrives and you think of everything you’ve achieved today: cleaning the house, cooking, delivering your project on time, going to the physical therapist… The list ends because you fall asleep the minute your head touches the pillow. If this sounds like you, perhaps you need to free up some time in your daily routine.

As a matter of fact, it often feels like having free time is yet another obligation. That’s because you have to make room for it among the thousand other things you should’ve done yesterday. Furthermore, the chaotic life you lead tends to distract you from taking any rest, preventing you from putting the brakes on and disconnecting.

For this reason, here, you’ll find some tips to optimize all your tasks and free up some gaps that you can take advantage of without feeling like you have other more pressing things to do. Or, those things you do eventually have to do certainly won’t bother you while you’re resting.

1. Establish an order of priorities

Maybe it’s not necessary for you to do the shopping today, or that task that your boss wants you to do is no longer so urgent. Optimizing your time involves establishing an order of priorities that allows a constant and positive flow of action.

Therefore, before starting your day, take a second to visualize what you expect to happen to you during the next few hours. If doing so feels overwhelming, you need to prioritize those tasks that are most urgent and leave the others for later. Once you’ve solved them, you’ll be able to see the free time you have.

Woman drinking coffee at the window thinking about scheduling the day
Establishing an order of priorities in your daily life helps you to organize yourself.

2. Identify your peak performance hours

Some people perform better in the afternoon, others in the morning, it all depends on the individual. One way to make the most of your time is to concentrate on the most tedious tasks in the period you’re at your best because you’ll do them faster and better.

Reserve the times you don’t concentrate so well for the lighter and less urgent tasks.

3. Ask for help

Sometimes, the frenzy of checking off every item on your daily to-do list makes you want to do it all and do it now. However, there must be someone around you who can give you a hand to give you a moment of respite.

For example, if you have to pick up your daughter from karate, wash the car, and cook for the week, maybe your partner can do the cooking. This means the whole family gets the satisfying feeling of working as a team and finds some time to spend together.

4. Avoid distractions

We know that Instagram sends you notifications even when there’s nothing to report. Indeed, the distractions of the modern world aren’t only at odds with optimizing your productivity, but ultimately create mental noise that prevents you from enjoying free time in your everyday.

Therefore, if you want to free up some time for yourself in your daily routine, turn off any non-urgent notifications. Devote all your mental energy to what you have to do. Even though you know it deep down, you’ll be surprised at how efficient you are when the world falls silent around you, even if it’s only for a little while.

5. Automate processes

Automating tasks such as emails or notifications, especially in the workplace, saves more time than you might think. After all, there are many hours wasted on small assignments that could be done by a machine or artificial intelligence.

For example, task management tools often include bots to distribute paperwork instead of having meetings or giving them out by hand, one by one.

6. Respect your time and your abilities

Not everyone has the same energy levels or abilities. There’ll always be some people who work less than you, but also people who do more and do it better. Set your own goals, don’t compare yourself, and when you have to stop, do so.

Sometimes, not having free time is due to assuming more tasks than you’re able to carry out. Maybe you feel you have to work better than anyone else, go to the gym, have a relationship, do the laundry, and go out partying every Saturday. You don’t. In fact, if from this list, you can only do two activities, that’s fine. You can do the rest another day.

exhausted woman
Taking a break from time to time is necessary and recommended to feel good.

7. Don’t skip on your self-care

This final point is extremely important. It’s directly related to the priorities we mentioned at the beginning of the article. Because sometimes, even without realizing it, you put your own well-being last in your pyramid of pending tasks.

However, when you become aware of back pain, or that you’ve been feeling constantly anxious for three days, or you haven’t seen your mother for two weeks, you realize that you also have a place in your own agenda. As a matter of fact, once you make the decision to dedicate quality time to yourself, there’ll be no looking back.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Rodríguez-Muñoz, J. V., & Gómez-Lorca, J. (2002). Integración de las tecnologías de flujo de trabajo y gestión documental para la optimización de los procesos de negocio. Ciencias de la Información, 17-28.
  • González, A. M. C., & Rubio, J. M. L. (2010). Engagement: un recurso para optimizar la salud psicosocial en las organizaciones y prevenir el burnout y estrés laboral. 28 de abril, revista digital de salud y seguridad en el trabajo, (1), 1-22.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.