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Simple Ways to Free Up Time in Your Busy Schedule

“There aren’t enough hours in the day!” With auditions, travel, performances, teaching, side hustles, and other commitments, a singer in today’s world can find free time hard to come by. However, that doesn’t mean you need to be a slave to your schedule. Looking to make your life less hectic in 2020? Here are some easy ways you can free up a few hours in your schedule so you have more time to tackle those New Year’s resolutions:

1. Find ways to multitask.

Look for moments you can do multiple things at a time to be more efficient. Waiting in line at the grocery store? Answer some emails or texts. Have a long walk to and from work or classes? Return a phone call or two while you walk. Watching a TV show or sports game? Update your website during commercial breaks. Utilizing those times to get work done will leave you with more time later to focus your attention on other activities or enjoy a few moments for yourself.

2. Automate routine tasks.

If you’re sick of spending precious time on mundane tasks, like bill-paying or shopping for necessities, try automating as many of them as possible. Set up auto-pay for your regular monthly bills (phone, rent, subscriptions, etc.). Check out Amazon Prime’s Subscribe & Save service to get household products delivered regularly in the quantities you want, all with free shipping. If you frequently send emails to certain people or groups, such as a newsletter or meeting reminder, set up a schedule so your email sends the messages automatically at the specified times. Technology can be a great tool to make these chores less tedious.

3. Set a time limit on your phone for social media apps.

According to this 2019 survey, the average person spends 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media. Social networks certainly have their value, but let’s be honest: it takes serious willpower not to get sucked into mindless scrolling! Most phones have a setting that allows you to set a daily time limit for each app, or for all social media apps collectively. When you reach the time limit, it will lock you out of the app(s) and stop sending any notifications until the next day. It will force you to be more intentional with your social media use and devote that scrolling time to something more productive.

4. Plan your outfits in advance.

Getting ready in a hurry can lead to frustration, lack of creativity, and a lot of time wasted trying on outfit options. Avoid the stress and the mess by planning your outfits for the week in advance. Glance at the weather forecast, think about what activities you’ll be doing each day, and then choose an appropriate outfit for each day. It will eliminate rushing around in the morning and give you a few extra minutes to enjoy your cup of coffee and get ready leisurely. You can do the same with packing lists when preparing to travel, avoiding the night-before frenzy. You can even use an outfit planning app like Stylebook or ClosetSpace.

5. Use your driving/commute time productively.

Don’t let travel time be wasted time. While you’re driving, listen to new repertoire, put on a podcast, or test your memorization by singing along with recordings of pieces you’re working on. If you use public transportation to commute, draft program notes or plan social media posts while you ride. And while you’re at it, consolidate your errands as much as possible so you cut down on overall travel time. Being intentional about running multiple errands in the same area on the same trip increases your efficiency, giving you more flexibility later.

There are plenty of moments throughout the day you may consider a necessary “waste” of time, but that don’t have to be. Optimizing those moments helps you accomplish more in less time, creating more freedom in your schedule to do the things you want to do!

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