Time is a strange illusion. It can seemingly crawl like a snail across the road or run as swiftly as a cheetah around the savannah all within the same 24 hour period. We are either constantly chasing time or wanting it to slow down. How can we find time in our day to achieve all that we want?
As with all things, you must start by asking yourself why and then go from there. Once you understand the reason, you can now adjust your schedule to allow for more time in priority areas and less in unnecessary ones. Therefore, if your hope is to have more self-care time then consider saying no to projects that you do not need to do. If you want more family time, maybe reduce your working hours.
24 Ways Time-Saving Tips
- Identify your time-wasters. Do you find yourself endlessly scrolling through your social media feed or browsing YouTube or procrastinating by endlessly researching? Then consider deleting that app, blocking Youtube and setting a time limit for internet browsing so that you can reduce their effects on you.
- Eliminate or reduce your time spent watching television. As you probably know, a lot of time can go by sitting in front of a TV or idly browsing the internet. If watching TV is an important part of your leisure time, then bookmark your favourite shows or movies and set aside a specific time at the end of your day to watch a movie or an episode or two. Subscribe to your favourite Youtube channels and catch up when you allocated time has reached.
- Internet browsing. Save time by setting a limit on the time you want to spend browsing the internet. Go in and out with a purpose in mind. Close unnecessary browsers and focus on the task at hand.
- Stop checking your inbox. Instead of looking at your inbox as soon as a new email enters, set aside a designated time in your day to catch up and respond to your email.
- Turn off notifications. Hearing your phone or computer going off can be very distracting. It intrudes on your workflow and makes focusing difficult.
- Prioritise. Identify your most important tasks and get those done first before moving on to lower priority tasks or rescheduling to another time.
- Utilise time batching. By grouping like activities together you are more likely to achieve flow and work more efficiently instead of jumping between different tasks.
- Schedule tasks. Why not make use of calendars and strategically input all those batched activities into your day, week or month? If it is not blocked off on your calendar with a set deadline you are likely to be all over the place, wasting unnecessary time procrastinating. The key is to work smarter not harder.
- Make use of gap or wait time. If one of your goals is to have more time to read or learn something new then use the gap between activities to be productive.
- listen to that podcast that you have been meaning to
- read a few pages of the book you have yet to start or the article you bookmarked
- make notes on that event that is coming up
- Keep a notepad on hand. This simple change can help you boost your productivity and eliminate the time-wasting effects of distractions. Our brains sometimes chooses the most peculiar moments to distract us especially when we are performing a difficult task. Instead of allowing your thoughts to take you off on a tangent, write down whatever thought, idea or task is distracting you until you can attend to it.
- Consider meal prepping or batch cooking. This can save you a lot of time in the kitchen.
- Cut down work hours. If you are self-employed or have a flexible work system, try reducing the hours working so that you have more time for family or leisure.
- Set aside time for social media. Establish boundaries with your phone and set a limit on each social media app.
- Plan ahead. They say the best morning routine starts from the night before. Use that philosophy in everything you do. Decide on your outfit of the day, put out your workout gear and prepare your breakfast from the night before to save time the next day.
- Get help. Delegate tasks that do not require your expertise or outsourcing administrative work to a freelancer so that you can spend time focusing on more important tasks.
- Learn to say no. Stop taking on projects that you could care less about or can be passed on to someone else. Saying no to other people’s demand means saying yes to your prioritise.
- Handle tasks once. Once you open an email, during your predefined time, make sure an attend to the contents one time instead of leaving it for another time. This will just lead to an accumulation of to-dos and wasting of time later on.
- Organise your environment. Declutter and arrange your space so that items are put away in their designated areas. This will make them easy to find without wasting time and energy searching.
- Have a strict start and end time. When you implement a specific time to start and end you are forced to be as efficient as possible with your tasks so that you can finish within the set time period. Add a reward system for achieving your goals in the set time.
- Errands. Instead of running errands multiple times in the week, use an app where you can to save time: grocery shopping or banking. Schedule one day in the week to attend to in-person tasks or hire help.
- Apply the two-minute rule. Anything that can be done in two minutes or less should be attended to immediately. Wash your dishes immediately after eating, throw trash when you get up from your sit or clear desk as soon your finish.
- Short productive meetings. Your meeting should be to the point and clear. Make sure everyone has an agenda before hand so they can prepare and come ready to tackle the purpose of the meeting. At the end, everyone should be clear on the plan of action and next steps.
- Single-task. Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking is not very efficient and actually reduces productivity. Constantly shifting between tasks is stressful and it takes time for your mind to refocus on subsequent tasks.
- Get enough rest. This is so important so that you are energised to start the day on time. Hitting the snooze button is a major time-waster and sets back your entire day or at the very least leaves you stressed out.
Thank you for reading. Leave a like if you enjoyed and a comment with your recommendations to save time in your day.