Easy Ways to Save Yourself Time
There’s a scene in Irving Berlin’s classic film “White Christmas” when Bing Crosby asks Danny Kaye why it’s so important to him that he finds a partner and settles down. Kaye responds, “I want you to get married. I want you to have nine children. And if you only spend five minutes a day with each kid, that’s forty-five minutes, and I’d at least have time to go out and get a massage or something.”
Preach, brother. It is a rare day indeed that many of us get that kind of uninterrupted time, isn’t it?
In a perfect world, 24 hours would be plenty of time to do everything we need to do. But whether you’re a student, a parent, an employee or an employer, the demands on your time seem nonstop.
What if you could make a few minor changes and get even just a little bit of time back? Think of the possibilities:
- Time for a study group (or book club, or exercise, or time with your family or friends) at your home
- An hour to cook and eat in instead of wasting money (and adding calories) eating fast food on the run
- Less stress
There are a few tricks to getting some of that precious time back in your day, and none of them involve Irving Berlin. Here’s a handful of ideas to help you get organized and be more efficient with your time.
- Use one calendar. Put everyone’s appointments and activities on the same calendar so you know a) where there might be conflicts and b) when and where activities take place. Rather than scrambling around at the last minute for rides or arguing about which activity takes priority, you can plan ahead and save yourself some stress.
- Simplify. If something has hung in your closet, taken space in a drawer or been boxed in the basement for a year (or more), donate it to someone who will use it. Clearing out some space will not only help ease the stress, it will a) make it easier for you to get to the things you really use and b) help someone else.
- Delegate. You don’t have to be in charge of every chore in the house. Ask roommates, kids or spouse to help – and then let them help. (This one can apply to “work” tasks as well)
- Block off ‘catch up’ time. Whether it’s 30 minutes each day or an hour once a week, setting some time aside to focus on what needs your attention most can spare you the last minute frenzy.
- Exercise. Make your breaks work harder for you by taking a 10- or 15-minute walk or stretching whenever you can. If your workplace offers an onsite gym, make it a habit to use it each week. You’ll benefit from the mental and physical boost that exercise brings both at work and at home.
- Focus forward. Everything won’t always go your way. Learn from your experiences, but don’t re-hash old conflicts or linger over things that are outside of your control. When you waste your time and energy on the past, you’re missing important opportunities in the present. Don’t waste another minute brooding about what could/should/might have been.
- Avoid or limit time on social media. Posting this advice on a blog seems a little hypocritical, but it’s no secret that social media and the Internet are two prime suspects in The Case of the Lost Time. If you absolutely must know what’s trending, set yourself a time limit and stick to it.
Time is precious. After all, when we have time, we want to spend it with our loved ones, or following our dreams, don’t we? Isn’t that worth protecting?
As always, we are open to suggestions – what kind of time-savers or organizers have worked for you? Let us know in the comments below.
#timemanagement #simplify #focus