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6 Ways to Gain More Time in Your Day

Take on Tasks One at a TimeWe think we are reducing stress by accomplishing more than one thing at a

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Take on Tasks One at a Time
We think we are reducing stress by accomplishing more than one thing at a time, when in fact, we are causing ourselves more stress than ever. Stress-busting tip: leave multitasking to your personal computer. Do one thing at a time, do it well, and move on to the next item on your list. That's the best way to regain a sense of control over time.

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Make an Effort to Do Less
Think for a moment about where in your life you are spending valuable time on something that you could possibly live without. Think about getting away from the TV and computer screens that are mental vampires, sucking the life out of us by stealing our time and attention.By doing less and by carefully choosing which activities give you the least amount of benefit for the time commitment they require, you'll actually end up creating more time in your day.

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Scale Down Your Priorities
Make a list of four things that you would like to accomplish today. Keep the list with you and stay with each item until you have completed it. Then go to the next item on your list and repeat the process. Keep doing this until you've gotten to the end of your list. Most of us place overwhelming demands on ourselves, or we expect far too little of ourselves. The goal is to hit the ‘sweet spot,’ where our expectations of what we can accomplish in any given 24-hour period are in line with reality. If you're afraid that you won't accomplish all four things, well, that's why they invented tomorrow!

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Clear Out the Clutter
When our homes, our workplaces, and our vehicles have a sense of orderliness to them, we actually feel more peaceful and less stressed out. We've all gone through the agony of trying to rush out the door when we can't find our car keys, wallet, or purse! Keeping your personal space clutter-free makes it easier to manage your time when you're in a hurry.

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Replenish Your Body with Rest
Most of us constantly have our fingers on the fast-forward button, when we really need to hit the pause button for a while. Every time we add another activity or responsibility to our lives, we generally take the time for that activity out of our sleep. We can only carry on not sleeping enough for a while before it catches up with us, causing all sorts of health disorders, including a terrible sense of frustration and stress.

Learn about the most common sleep thieves and discover strategies for getting the good night's sleep you deserve.

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Think Positively About Time
We all know how weeds can overtake a garden, so it is our job constantly to notice and uproot any negative thoughts in the garden that is our mind. As a result, positive thoughts can take root, bloom, and create the beauty that we need in order to enjoy our lives to the fullest. If you hear yourself saying, ‘I don't have enough time,’ then say, and preferably out loud, ‘I have all the time I need for all the things I need to do.’ A declaration like that has a relaxing and liberating effect on every cell in your body, which relieves tension.

© 2009 Edward A. Taub, M.D., FAAP, Michael Levin, and David Oliphant. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction, in any manner, is prohibited.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest