Time is money. We’ve all heard it said so much that now it’s almost pastiche. Whilst this phrase may have lost its impact a long time ago, if you take a second to think about it, it is actually an incredibly valuable and pertinent motto.
Your time really is money. Whether it be at work or in the home, it is worth learning a few time management tricks to help you get the most out of your day, every day.
Plan for the day ahead
Not only is it great because it removes meaningless distractions from your day, but it can also end up saving you money.
If you already know what you’re wearing, eating, and doing, the next day before you go to bed, then you don’t waste precious time the next day worrying about making these little decisions. You are able to wake up with a purpose and get directly into the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the day. Less faff, more hustle.
If you already know exactly what’s on your shopping list, for example, you won’t be tempted by supermarket offers or extraneous items. Small things like checking your train times for travel the day before not only keeps you organised, but it also means you don’t have to waste money getting emergency taxis because you missed the bus, or wasting half an hour of your precious time standing around on a train platform waiting for a train to come because you didn’t check the schedule.
We all have millions of things that we need to do in both our personal and professional lives. For many of us, it’s an ever-expanding list that often feels totally out of control. Don’t get overwhelmed, instead; prioritise!
Sit down and make a list of the top five things that need to be done that day, with the most important at the top. Then, put all your energies into doing only these five things. By focusing your time on a few specific tasks instead of dividing it among hundreds, you’re more likely to get things done. It will also have a great effect on you mentally because you will feel a sense of achievement, rather than hopelessness.
It’s also a great technique because it forces you to really think in detail about the tasks you need to complete, how you need to do them, and even in what order. It clarifies the next steps you need to take towards success and can avoid some costly mistakes. For example, you wouldn’t want to spend time and money decorating your kitchen if it turns out that you needed to call the electrician first to come and lay in cable.
Prioritising is key!
Do the hardest work in the morning
This is advice that is given a lot, and it’s given a lot because it’s good advice. We are often at our best and most motivated in the morning (give or take the twenty minutes it takes to get out of bed and make the first cup of tea).
Tackle your biggest problems, both personal and professional, in the morning when you are feeling freshest. Once you’ve done them you will feel a weight off your shoulders, and it will provide you with the buzz of success that will carry you through the rest of the day.
You can do this both at work with colleagues and at home with your partner or family. Sit down and work out a real strategy for how you plan to attack your biggest upcoming issues. This can be a project at work, or how to manage the kids day care during the summer holidays, it doesn’t matter what it is; a clear and defined strategy will always help.
Not only are two heads better than one, but, by taking a little time to decide the best way to tackle a problem you save both valuable time and money by avoiding any number of unsuccessful ad hoc attempts. For example, by planning out the kids summer day care in advance you can avoid last minute emergency day care that can have astronomical costs, or unplanned days off work that eat into valuable holiday time.
Review and adjust
At the end of each day take a little time, maybe only 5 minutes or so, to look back over what you’ve done that day. Congratulate yourself on your successes and analyse those things that didn’t work out so well. Think about how to improve your processes, and what you could do differently tomorrow. This valuable task will help you refine your time saving tasks and will go ways towards making you an efficiency machine!