“We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s what we do with them that makes the difference.”
I heard this saying many years ago, though I can’t recall from whom I first heard it. It’s always been one of my favorites. It reminds me that, while I don’t have control over everything that happens in my day, I can make better use of the control I do have by managing my time better.
Time management is one of the secrets to success for many of the world’s most successful people. Chances are, though, they weren’t simply born with amazing time management skills. It is something we learn over time through trial and error. Everyone’s needs are different. Lots of variables come into play, including your own unique process. You have to find your own sweet spot with it, but once you do, you’ll find that your productivity will vastly improve and those 24 hours will seem a little bit longer. (In a good way!)
When you’re able to get more done more efficiently, you open up time to do other things you want to do, like spending time with your family, reading a book, watching Netflix, or even decorating your home. To help you make the most of the time you have in each day, I’ve put together a list of 7 time saving tips for you. By following these simple tips, hopefully you can carve out a little more time to do what’s most important to you.
Time Saving Tips
1 Start your day with a plan. Write down what you want to accomplish that day and prioritize each item. Accomplish the most important tasks first. Having it in writing will help to keep you from getting sidetracked. I usually like to do the worst job first, that way it’s out of the way and the rest of the day seems so much easier.
2 Multi-task in a good way. For example, do a little dusting while you’re on the phone at home. Or go through your emails while waiting at the doctor’s office or the school pickup line. There are a lot of little moments we can get more out of by layering simple tasks.
3 Plan your errands by mapping them out. This way you can do several errands in one area before moving on to the next. And it will help keep you from wasting time backtracking all over town.
4 Call ahead before you leave. Before you make a special trip, call the store to see if the item you’re looking for is in stock. Many restaurants also have call ahead seating. It’s not a reservation, but they will put your name on the list so you’ll have less waiting time when you get there.
5 Break up large jobs into smaller ones. You may not have a whole day to set aside to clean out the garage or organize your paperwork, but if you do a little bit at a time the task can still be accomplished. Set aside an hour or two when you can and before you know it, you’ve done it.
6 Set a time limit and stick to it. Decide how much time you have available for a task, then set a timer. When it goes off, you are done. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you give yourself a time limit. This works great for tip #5.
7 Allow for flexibility. If a task on your list can’t be accomplished that day because you lack the tools necessary to do it, move on to something else. For example, you’ve planned to hang up your new pictures, but you discover that you don’t have the right anchors. Don’t stop everything and make a special trip just to buy the anchors. Write the item you need down on a shopping list, then go on to the next task.
Like many of us, I can loose track of time or sometimes miscalculate how long something is going to take. These time saving tips not only help me save time, but they also help me to stay on track when I have a busy day ahead. I hope they help you, too.
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