1. Be Careful To Not Overestimate A Simple Task
How do we do live in the present moment? Be efficient and focus your efforts on one thing at a time. When you don’t know how long a task will take, you may either over or underestimate the amount of time needed. Keep in mind; small tasks may take less time than you think. Here is a list of everyday tasks and how long they take to complete if you focus your energy on that one task:
Answer the average e-mail – 1 minute
Change roll of toilet paper – 6 seconds
Hand write a check & record it in a check register – 1 minute
Fill car gas tank – 5 minutes
Take one vitamin pill – 15 seconds
Empty dishwasher – 5 minutes
Take out the garbage – 1 minute
Make the bed – 1 minute
Make a 2-quart container of instant iced tea – 30 seconds
Fill the ice cube tray – 6 seconds
Fill the ice cube tray and put it back in the freezer – 13 seconds
Put milk carton back in the refrigerator – 7 seconds
Refill liquid soap dispenser – 30 seconds
Replace lid on peanut butter jar – 4 seconds
2. Be prepared for the Worst – Carry An Extra Key
Keep an extra car key in your wallet, in a compartment intended for pictures or credit cards. If you lock your keys in the car, there is a much better chance you will not be left out in the cold. (I learned this the hard way when I was in 6th grade and the adult I was with locked her keys in the car during a terrible snow storm. Don’t let this be you!)
3. Be Ready to Write at All Times
You should never have to search for something to write with. Keep at least one pen or pencil in a designated location in every room in your business and house. The same applies for your pocketbook and notebooks. Where possible, keep a pad of paper with the writing instrument.
4. Be Ruthless with Time, But Be Gracious with People
Be polite but firm about what you can and what you cannot do. Stay focused on the task at hand and what you need to do to complete it, including managing your interactions with others. For more ideas, read nice ways to say “no.”
5. Clutter Free Up Your Time!
Prepare the night before. Have your clothes laid out, your briefcase or the kids’ backpacks, and whatever else you need to take with you, all set out.
6. Delegate Now!
People use many excuses for not delegating. Their reasons are usually not rooted in sound reasoning. Assume that most people want added responsibilities (don’t you?). Assume they want to learn. The short term training investment will pay off in the long term. Even if you’re not the boss, there are people who will help you if you approach them in the right way.
7. Determine the Best Time for Tasks
Use your most productive time to do your most productive work. Alert in the morning? Afternoon? Tackle your most difficult, important work during your most energetic periods, and save easy tasks for less energetic periods.
8. Develop a Positive Attitude!
When you send your brain the “I can” message, vs. the “I can’t,” possibilities unfold and enable you to accomplish so much more. A good attitude is the first step in moving past your frustration and towards your organization goals.
9. DO IT NOW!
If you do it when you first think about it – you don’t have to think about it again!
10. Get to Bed on Time
The secret to getting to bed on time lies in considering whether our late-night hours are honestly productive or you not being able to let go. What is Your Optimal Bedtime? Add how many hours you need to sleep nightly and still function optimally. Estimate the longest amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Take those two numbers and add them together and subtract it on a clock from the time you need to wake up. The time you come up with will be your goal bed time.
11. Listen to Your Moods!
When you are motivated, use the energy to get things done. Quite a few people laugh at those who use anger as a motivation to scrub the floor or clean a closet, but what’s so silly about it? It makes them feel better by burning off the excess energy caused by the anger, and they accomplish something they probably wouldn’t have gotten done otherwise.
12. Saying “No” is Not Always a Bad Thing
We say “yes” to others because we want to please them. But when we can’t continue, we let them down and we feel guilty. Both parties suffer. Recognize that a desire to please often prevents us from saying no. Make sure you understand exactly what is being asked of you before you respond. Perhaps the task is more time consuming than you thought. On the other hand, it may not take much effort at all. Excel at just a few things, rather than being just average at many. Don’t try to do everything. Be polite, but firm in saying no. You only build false hopes with wishy-washy responses. For instance, the phrase “I’ll try to be there” in response to a party invitation is giving yourself an excuse to avoid a commitment. It doesn’t do anyone any favors.
13. Set Aside Time Daily for Planning
The time you take now, will be double time saved later. Use this time to re events for the day as well as errands that need to be accomplished. Schedule the time at a time of day where you are your most alert. For some that may be first thing in the morning, for others it may be the last thing done in the day. If you are an evening person and you plan last thing, make sure you are looking at the next day’s agenda!
I know that there are a lot of other ideas out there to save time. What do you do?
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