If you feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything you want (and need) to do, one solution—as counterintuitive as it sounds—might be to reduce the number of hours in the day.
Not literally, of course. We can’t stop the flow of time. But with the NewDay time system, we can restructure our days into ten equal chunks—which, surprisingly, has made it much easier for me to accomplish everything I want to get done in a typical day.
Here’s how the NewDay system works:
- NewDay divides your waking hours into ten 100-minute segments. (This leaves you with 440 minutes, or 7.33 hours, for sleep.)
- Each of your ten 100-minute segments gets an intention. If your first segment begins at 6: 30 a.m., for example, the first 100 minutes of your day could be devoted to “yoga, shower, breakfast” or, if you want to be a little more holistic about it, “morning routine.”
- Fill in the rest of your 100-minute segments with what usually happens during a typical workday. I know it won’t be perfectly even—you might only take a 30 minute lunch break, for example, which means that you won’t be able to devote an entire slot to “lunch.” (Of course, that means that your primary intention for that time slot is actually “work,” and should be coded accordingly.)
What I love about the NewDay time system is that it helps you clarify exactly where your time goes. Do you get to take more than a few minutes here and there for yourself, or are you filling up the majority of your 100-minute segments with work? Do you ever devote a full 100-minute segment to family, exercise, relaxation or a luxurious meal? (Remember, if you don’t take time for those kinds of things, you run the risk of burning out.)
To make the way you spend your days even more obvious, NewDay lets you add a visual icon (person at desk, person eating, person exercising) to each 100-minute slot. The icons are disappointingly limited—there aren’t any that represent family, for example—but they’re still decent tools to help you visualize what you typically do with your time.
Once you know how you spend a typical ten-chunk day, you can start to tweak it. Instead of gumming up your workflow with short, unsatisfying breaks, you can tell yourself “I’m going to focus on work for the next 100 minutes, and then I’m going to take a 100-minute break for lunch and this novel I’ve been meaning to read.”
That’s the gamechanger—and why I love NewDay’s little browser time-tracker so much. When you divide your day into 10 chunks and truly focus on a single activity for each of them, you might find that there really is enough time for everything on your list.
Of course, it helps if you have enough control over your daily schedule to follow a 100-minute work session with a 100-minute break. If you’re a parent or caregiver, it also helps if you have the kind of support that lets you spend 100 minutes on work before spending the next 100 minutes on family.
But if you can divide your day into ten chunks and set a distinct intention for each of them, you might be surprised at how much you get done—and how much time you have left over, both in the middle and at the end of the day, for rest and relaxation.