There are never enough hours in the day, or at least that’s how the saying goes. I don’t know about you, but the older I get, it really does seem like time goes by faster as well. It seems like summer just started, and here we are at the beginning of fall.
The sad fact of the matter is, if we want more time in our day to devote to saving money by comparison shopping, looking for great deals, or even better, making more money, we have to get things done in a more efficient manner as well as eliminate some of the “time sucks” from our lives. I have been trying hard lately to free up more time to spend money wisely, make more money, and spend with my family. By getting things done, so to speak, in a timely fashion, i no longer have to sacrifice my family time, or resort to convenience shopping or purchases at the last minute. This applies to both work and chores or activities around the house, as well.
Here are some ways to free up more time out of your day as well as work more efficiently and effectively. Time is money, after all!
Create More Time
1. Turn off the television- I really used to enjoy “vegging out” in front of the TV at night after the kids go to bed. After all, everyone needs a little down time, right? Lately though, I have been doing writing for this blog, reading, and other activities.
2. Get your news on the go- I am a big fan of the newspaper, I have been a daily reader since I was a teenager and feel strange if I do not skim the whole paper on a daily basis. Do I learn anything new? Probably nothing I do not hear on the radio or read elsewhere on the internet. In fact, most of the news is probably “yesterday’s news” by the time I read it in the paper. Lately, I have been skimming certain areas of the paper (mostly local info., and the money section, of course) and saving a little time by not reading the whole paper every day.
3. Listen to audio books/podcasts- Recently, due to receiving an MP3 player as a gift, I have begun to download podcasts to listen to while I am driving, waiting, or sometimes even while working. I have even experimented with a few audiobooks, and although the results are mixed as far as I am concerned-because I don’t always have time on a regular basis to listen to a whole book.
4. Bring your lunch to work- Instead of taking an hour every day to go out to lunch, save time and money by bringing your luch to work. It’s pretty easy to eat in 15 to 20 minutes at your desk, and you can run errands or do other things (including work) with the remainder of your lunch hour.
Manage your time more effectively
5. Time yourself- Learn to do things more efficiently. Time yourself, and give yourself “deadlines” to complete tasks. By setting time based goals, you will get things done quicker and more efficiently.
6. Create lists- While I am not a strict follower of the Getting Things Done system, a simple “To-Do List” created on your computer, a piece of paper, or a small notebook can help you keep track of things that need to be done, so you are not scrambling later.
7. Avoid time wasters- Everyone has there own “time wasters”, or things we do instead of doing something productive. Whether it is that morning lap around the office to chit-chat with everyone at work, or things you do at home which have become a habit but aren’t really accomplishing anything, try to identify and eliminate them and get more meaningful things done. Time wasters can be people, too. It could be a co-worker or even a neighbor. This doesn’t mean you have to be rude and short with them, just realize that they could be cutting in to time you could be doing other things.
8. Do the unpleasant or difficult tasks first- Get the one task you keep putting off on a daily basis or the most important task done first, and follow up with the easier ones after. This keeps you from doing a lot of inconsequential tasks first that probably could be put off, and having to steal time from elsewhere to get the important things done later.
9. Fight procrastination- When you find yourself drifting off or getting distracted, or you are procrastinating starting something, fight it and get started. The sooner you can get something started and eventually finished, the more free time you will end up having.
10. Schedule your day- While I am not super strict with my daily schedule, as my career progresses and I find my free time that is not consumed by meetings becoming less and less, I find scheduling my own time allows me to accomplish things in a timely fashion, allowing me more time when a “crisis” needs my attention.
- Ways to Make a Good Impression Without Spending Money
- Tips on Practicing Smart Personal Finance
- Grouping Tasks to Save Both Time and Money
- 10 Tips for Going the Extra Mile at Work Without Putting in More Time