Quick and easy ways to save hours a day.
Over the years I have given many presentations regarding personal and organizational development. At these presentations I always provide attendees with simple, proven strategies that can literally transform their lives in every way, shape and form. I provide the same general content to my coaching clients.
No matter whom I speak with or when I speak with them virtually everyone claims to have the same problem. A general lack of time.
A lack of time seems to be a common illness in our modern world and virtually everyone seems to suffer from it. Sadly I see people each and every day who wear their busyness like a badge of honor. They rush madly from place to place and task to task; rarely ever taking the time to slow down and enjoy the precious moments in their lives.
It is a lack of time is the big reason why people don’t eat right, sleep enough, exercise regularly, read books, build a business or spend time with family and friends.
Just pause for a moment and consider all of the great and awesome things you would do if only you had more time. You could get in better shape, write a book, make travel plans, clean your basement, visit your parents, learn a musical instrument or just have some quality time with your significant other.
Luckily I have a bit of experience with such things, over the years I have become pretty effective in how I use my own time. I have helped thousands of people make more effective in the use of their time and I can do the same for you.
Below are some simple solutions that, if used, can save you literally hours per day. My goal is to help you waste less time and become more productive with the time you have both at home and at work.
Below are some of my favorite time management tips
1.) Accept responsibility for your time.
Time is a limited resource, we simply cannot add more time to our days, but we can decide how to spend it. When you say that you don’t have time to look after your health what you are really saying is that your health isn’t a priority at this time. If you have been saying the same thing for years it probably will never be a priority.
You choose how you spend your time; accepting responsibility for this fact is an important first step. How you spend your time is your decision and yours alone. Even if you work for a large corporation and your boss and the folks around you seem intent to wasting as much of your time as humanly possible (believe me I understand) you can still take action and have some control.
Trust me, none of the things I suggest in this post will get you fired, although some in my upcoming posts might come close.
2.) Turn off all email, social media and instant message notifications.
Studies have shown that eliminating the distraction of notifications will save at least an hour per day. Each time you stop what you are doing to check an email you waste time and take yourself away from more productive work.
Doing this one thing will save you time and energy.
Please stop reading and do it now – you will be glad you did!!
3.) Plan your day.
On an average day the act of taking 10 minutes to plan your day will save you at least 55 minutes.
The other great thing about planning your day is that it will help you identify your most important tasks which can have a huge positive impact on your day and your life.
4.) Scale back television.
The average North American watches TV for 5 hours a day – need I say more?
Interestingly enough I have shared this information with thousands of people and have yet to hear from a single person who admits to watching so much TV.
I would suggest that a great exercise would be to actually track the time you spend in front of your television.
5.) Use a timer while you work.
Now I am not sure that this is a real time saver but it is a huge productivity booster which equates to the same thing.
Several years ago I started using a timer when I worked and my productivity soared. Using a timer has helped me work harder and smarter and as a result I get through my work more quickly and as a result I have much more free time than most people I know.
In other words I learned to do more work in less time and spent less time screwing around while I was supposed to be working.
As a side note, it is my personal goal to get through all the stuff I have to do as quickly as possible and spend as much time as possible doing the things I like to do. But to be clear my version of fun is climbing mountains, spending time in the wilderness and creating (even blog posts).
A huge time saving strategy is called the Pomodoro Technique which you can read about here. Using it helped my productivity soar and I think it will do the same for you.
This is a very simple strategy that anyone can use and it involves the following steps;
- Set a timer for a specified period of time. The Pomodoro technique suggests 25 minutes, I set my timer for one hour.
- Work for the whole time. Don’t allow interruptions of any kind- don’t speak to people, answer emails or phone calls. No bathroom breaks or trips to the kitchen. Just focus on the task at hand.
- Once you have completed a cycle or a task take a short break and do it all over again.
If you use this technique you will most certainly increase your productivity but you may find that working for a full hour or even twenty five minutes is much harder than you might think.
The good news is that, with practice you will get better at it, and as a quick tip if you can’t work steadily for 25 minutes try working for just 15 minutes
So there you have it, five tips that could literally save you up to seven hours per day. More than enough time for you to accomplish many of the things that would truly increase the quality of your life.
What do you think about my five quick and wasy ways to save hours every day? Would some of these time saving techniques work for you or would you recommend different ones?
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Have an awesome day.
Written by Joe Grainger; author, speaker, life coach and frequent mountain climber.