Have you ever come across the expression that says time is money? The fact is that this statement is not merely a catchy phrase. This old proverb is very accurate and proves to be true in everyday life and not only on professional grounds, though in such
Have you ever come across the expression that says time is money? The fact is that this statement is not merely a catchy phrase. This old proverb is very accurate and proves to be true in everyday life and not only on professional grounds, though in such a case, when it comes to jobs, it results in many financial gains. Once we realize that time is a resource to us, we should do whatever it takes not to waste it on petty issues. Therefore, time-saving proves to be very important; everyone is aware of that, however, few people possess the ability to consciously and, what is more important, effectively take up actions that save time. Today, we will show you a few rules that help save time and, in consequence, money as well. Because of the fact that the rules we provide below can be applied to both our private and professional lives, the content of this article is directed towards all those who are interested in the topic, not only businessmen.
Time is not a flexible concept
Every person, regardless of the position he occupies in the social hierarchy, or the role he plays at a given workplace, is given the same amount of time. It is up to every one of us, individually, how it is going to be managed. Time can be managed effectively – we might be able to do all our professional and family duties and even find some additional time for our personal pleasures. On the other hand, we can waste time on useless things and have the feeling that there is always not enough of it for us to do what we have to do, or what we want to do.
Every day consists of 24 hours and, unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to extend or shorten this period of time. We have to adjust all our actions to this barrier, and we have to search for the most optimal means of making good use of time in practice. This is not an easy thing because the truth is that many of us are poorly organized. Some people have a difficulty to arrange their actions in such a way that they would fit their schedule perfectly. Time treats everyone equally, regardless of age, level of education, skin color, sexual orientation, place of residence, the amount of money earned, or religion. However, people are different as to how they make use of this invaluable resource.
You have the ability to acquire practical knowledge and skills that will help you perceive time as an ally, and not an enemy with which you have to constantly struggle. It is worth emphasizing at this point that attempts at struggling with time are doomed to fail. Frankly speaking, it is like tilting at windmills, therefore, if we cannot win this eternal war, we have to form an alliance with time and try to live according to its rhythm. Below we list a few rules that will help you achieve this.
Rule number one – Planning
Planning proves to be a very important element if we want to master the art of saving time. Every day, we should act in reference to a previously prepared schedule. Of course, we always have to leave some room for unexpected tasks that our boss might want to assign to us or for some spontaneous events in our private life. In short, planning is a very important habit, though we must not fall into extremes. It helps us find our place in a given situation and introduces order to every day. It prevents wasting time. Even a simple act of finding our place in a given situation can consume a significant amount of time. To learn the skill to save it is to find a key to success. Planning is a factor that makes life easier and, surely, it makes time management more effective. You may think that the sole action of planning consumes much time and is something negative, however, there is nothing further from the truth. We can plan our tasks for the next day within 10-15 minutes, right before going to bed. It is best to write down our tasks on a sheet of paper because, in such a case, there is a higher probability that they will be accomplished. Generally speaking, it is of little importance when we will prepare our plan of action. The most important thing is to do it at all. Believe us that if you act according to a plan, you will be able to save a lot of time. You will be able to make use of these savings any way you want, e.g., to play with children.
Rule number two – Do not do everything all by yourself
Many people think that they are the only ones who can complete a given task appropriately. They are afraid that if they assign such a task to someone else in a company (e.g., a subordinate), it might have terrible consequences. The truth is that the ability to delegate assignments is very important in the process of time saving. There is no need for us to do every daily task individually, on our own. We can ask someone to help us. Thanks to that a given project will be completed faster and, perhaps, even better. Delegating tasks leads to a situation in which a person is able to achieve more in the same period of time. If you allow for someone to take up some of your duties sometimes, you will notice that you can save lots of time this way. At the same time, such method of working is significantly more effective.
Rule number three – Give up tasks which are of little importance
If we analyze our daily plans, we will notice that there are many tasks which are not very important. We spend time on unnecessary matters. Is it important to read the whole newspaper in the morning? Cannot we live without a lengthy chat with our workmate while drinking coffee? We often waste time without knowing it. Even if we think that all the things that we have to do are very important, we can try to reduce, in some way, the amount of time we devote to every task. Many matters can be solved much more quickly if we simply find the right way. We leave the choice of methods up to you because you know your work and family duties best.
Rule number four – Assertiveness
If we take up more and more duties, it quickly turns out that we lack the time to do anything. Time influences the effectiveness of our work. We have to learn to say no. If we know that we do not have the necessary time to complete a given task we should not be afraid to say that openly. Of course, it is difficult not to accept the words of our superior, however, we can talk with him or her about our situation. It may turn out that there is an option to give up a portion of the tasks assigned to us. In consequence, we will find time to complete some other assignments. At the same time, we must not be afraid to politely reject the requests of our workmates if we know that we should spend time on tasks which require our immediate attention. If we know that we have some spare time in our schedule, nothing stands in our way to help our workmates if, of course, they ask us for help. To put it simply, we have to learn to say no in certain situations.
Rule number five – Grouping of tasks
Have you ever thought that if you complete certain tasks jointly, in a group, you do it faster than by completing them individually, one by one? If we approach one task, e.g., if we want to write an answer to an email that came from our contractor, we should, if possible, answer all other emails which we received that day. It is best not to postpone anything in such cases because delays consume time in later days, and our goal is, after all, to save time, not waste it. It is no different in our private lives – if we are to take out the garbage, we should do something by the way. We may do the shopping or pay a visit to the post office. If we group certain tasks, we stop foolishly wasting time.
Rule number six – Controlling
It is not about controlling other peoples’ work or keeping an eye on our own children to see if they do their home duties. No, this time we want to take up the subject of self-control. We have to check from time to time if we work effectively in a given moment and if we are, in consequence, productive or not. Very often, many matters distract our attention – a friend from the neighboring desk might want to chat; we might feel the urge to open a community website and answer our friend’s message or comment on someone’s post. Such actions lead to delays in our basic professional duties; delays which result in wasting time. If we introduce self-control to our standard day at work we will become more active, more productive, and we will surely save significant amounts of time.
Rule number seven – Concentration
It may be hard to concentrate on a given task sometimes, especially if the conditions at a given workplace can hardly be called favorable. If there is chaos all around, if everyone is talking about something, it is difficult to focus on our personal professional assignments. However, it has to be stated that it is not impossible to finish our tasks under such conditions. We should work on eliminating any factors and situations that distract us and divert our attention from what we planned to do. If you are constantly bothered by new messages arriving on Skype or email, you should simply turn off all these applications for some period of time. The smaller the number of distractors you will have, the more tasks you will be able to complete. This very simple proportion proves to be helpful in saving time.
It is possible to find effective time saving methods, however, nothing happens on its own. We have to work hard if we do not want to waste time in both our private and professional lives. Of course, it may seem to be very difficult to succeed in this endeavor, but it should be easier if we try to follow the aforementioned rules. They will surely help us at work, and we will find some additional time for our small personal pleasures which make our lives more valuable. We must take care not to waste time, in any field, because such behavior makes as less effective in anything we do. It is possible to save time, we just have to pick the most appropriate methods and apply them to our everyday life. By reading this article, you acquired these methods. Now is the time to apply them in practice. Surely, after a few weeks you will notice that you have more time than before.