You cannot make more time, it’s just not possible. But you can make better use of the time you have. In a recent post to TheStir.cafemom.com Stephanie Booth identified 5 critical time wasters and how to defeat them. Though aimed at mothers this advice is golden for all of us.
“You might THINK you want to win the lottery, but know what would make you even happier? To have more time.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia recently asked 4,600 people if they’d rather have more time or more money. While the responses were nearly even, researchers found that people who placed more value on their time were happier.” Read all the post here.
Attitude Adjustment: Do Not Criticize Free Time
How often have you had just a few minutes to spare and thought “darn, I only have a few minutes until my next appointment…”. When you see those small periods of time in a negative way you often waste them. You lose them. Instead see them as a blessing.
You can use those small amount of free time between obligations to do many useful things. You can relax, you can think, you can review your schedule and make plans, you can stretch or do some small exercises, you can smile and refocus on what is important to you.
You cannot remember everything you have to do or when it has to be done. You cannot always remember all your appointments. You must write these things down. Keeping one or more checklists is an easy way to do it. If you like paper use paper. If you like using your smartphone they have many excellent apps for lists.
When you put something on the checklist list it by priority. It may be by how important it is to get done first. It may be based on when it is due if there is a deadline. It is not enough just to make a list and start checking things off. Use your list to prioritize your activity so the important things get done first. That way you won’t waste time doing a low priority task and find not enough time left to do the important stuff.
Get Control of Your Phone and Other Devices:
Smartphones, tablets and computers are great devices and used correctly they can save you time. If you do not control them however they can waste time – lots of time.
Turn off notifications so they do not interrupt you. Shut down email programs when you are working on something important. When you are working on something really important and not using a device you may just turn it off.
As Booth observes multi-tasking is a myth. We do not do many things well if we try to do them at the same time. Learn focus. One thing at a time and done well.
Group Similar Tasks Together:
By grouping similar tasks together you can often get them done more quickly. Return several phone calls at one time. Run errands in one trip rather than making multiple trips. Answer all your email at one time. If you can group appointments that are physically close together.
Run Effective Meetings:
If you are running a meeting plan it well in advance. Create a good agenda and stick to it. Start on time and stop on time. End the meeting with an action list. Meetings can suck lots of time if they are poorly organized. If you are not running the meeting urge the person who is to do these things.
Perhaps most importantly if a meeting is not really necessary cancel it. I’ve cancelled hundreds of meetings and have never had a complaint yet.
If you follow these 5 time saving tips you will be more productive and avoid a lot of wasted time.
Learn how to manage your time to achieve more of what you want to do in my book, Effective Time Management. Get free lessons on how to use your time more effectively with my Effective Time Management Lessons.
Questions? Comments? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to post your comments or questions below or if you want to contact me privately you can do that here: http://danielrmurphy.com/contact-me/Wishing you well,
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.