Which problem does everyone have? You will hear ‘I don’t have time’ from almost everyone. Time is the most valuable and most important asset. If you are good at managing your time, you are more efficient in your all work. A successful person’s important secret is ability to manage time.
Unfortunately we cannot add hours to a day of 24 hours, but you can use the time you have in efficient manner and improve your productivity.
We are not talking about saving every minute, but of course there are many effective ways you can save lots of your hours by easily and it can contribute to achieve you more success, quickly. Here are some tactics which helped me a lot to become more efficient in my work, learning things, blogging, SEO and helping others; and also able to spend great time with my family:
1. Learn to Concentrate
Concentration is the key to efficiency in anything. Lack of concentration slows down your performance. If you are good at concentration, you will learn things fast; also you will accomplish your tasks efficiently. Great concentration can be achieved with consistent practice and training the mind. Try doing your daily work being conscious and intentional and you will learn better concentration and it will increase your over-all efficiency. You will do better in everything you do.
2. One Thing at a Time: Avoid Multi-tasking
By single tasking, you do efficient due to concentration in one task. If you try to do multiple tasks at a same time, you will end up wasting so much time by frequently switching between each of them.
Even listening to music or watching television while working, distract your attention and slow down your performance.
3. Note down Goals
A life without any goal sucks. List your tasks with dead-lines and arrange them as per priority, this way you will not miss anything. This will also show you where you are and what you need to do.
In fact, you need to write down everything even results and timings. It will be very useful for your future planning. Also note down the rewards which will inspire you to keep moving and also keep you from being lazy. This will also help you become conscious and train you for better concentration.
Use calendar and reminder features in your phone or computer to plan your tasks better.
4. Determine Priorities
Try to tackle the most important tasks first. Postpone minor and less important tasks. If you have prioritized important tasks, you will have more success ratio which will encourage working harder to achieve more. Again, noting down things will help you organize better.
5. Take A Small Break
When a writer feels writer’s block (losing ability to think!), it is often suggested to take a small break, and come back. This technique is useful everywhere whether you do anything. Whenever you are stuck at somewhere, just take a small break and then come back. Your brain which was blocked, will start getting fresh ideas after continuing! How many of you have felt the same?
Taking a break doesn’t always mean stop working or go to sleep! Take break as change of work. So whenever you are stuck at one work, switch. It will give you change and freshness. This way you will also start loving all your work.
6. Enjoy Your Work
All work and no play will easily make you hate your work. Start having fun while working. If you hate your work and it is unavoidable, act like you really love it. Think of it as having good fun and you will gradually start enjoying your work. This way you will improve your concentration without any efforts and it will increase your efficiency.
Also be kind to others, help your co-workers and your workplace will not seem boring to you.
You can never do better in things you do not have interest in, so choose your profession wisely.
7. Optimized Use of Resources and Technology
You can take so many examples. Use touch screen feature when you get tired by using keyboard or mouse. Try paying your bills online. You can also consider scheduling automatic payment for recurring bills. Book your tickets (any kind) online without leaving your home or office.
By smartly using technology, you can save a lot of time during your day.
8. Prefer Calls or Video Conferences
Got to meet somebody? If you have to travel too far and direct meeting is not necessary, talk on phone or meet on a video conference. If you have a meeting with people from various cities, you can also arrange a teleconference using tools like Skype. This will save so much of all.
Not all meetings are waste of time, but many are.
9. Cut Down on Communications
You might be using so many tools like phone, chatting (AIM), emails etc. for communication. You need to cut down on things which are wasting your time. For example, being online on an AIM or Facebook can waste your hours without making you realize.
10. Use Remote Computer Access
We save our lots of time and money by giving client support through remote computer access programs. TeamViewer and AmmyAdmin are such popular tools. That way we avoided going to client’s location meaninglessly.
11. Learn Typing and Short-cut Keys
If your most work is on computer, I highly recommend you to learn typing with proper technique. It will require regular practice for a few weeks. This will save you a lot of type. And you will become a winner if you are a blogger, software programmer or writer.
It will be also helpful to learn short-cut keys to operate the computer. Especially get short-cut keys for things you often need to do on an operating system or software like Microsoft Word or Excel, it will save a lot of time for you. You can also consider using utilities (like Autohotkey for Windows, Quicksilver for Mac) to setup your own hot-keys for any task on computer.
12. Avoid Rush Hour
Instead of travelling on peak traffic time, try to travel earlier than that. Leaving for an hour earlier for work can cut another hour wasting in traffic. You will also be able to leave earlier to avoid outbound traffic.
I had suggested a change of time in my office. We shifted our timings to an hour earlier and it proved to be very useful for all and saved a lot of our time.
13. Take Benefit of Public Transportation
If you have to travel too long, you can use public transportation and use that time for purposes like responding to emails, using social media or even downloading or listening to music.
14. Practice Promptness
Whenever I find something to do and know it will take only certain time, I tend to do it promptly. Got an email and need to respond? Do it now. Got to call somebody? Do not postpone it for tomorrow. Got to pay some bills online? Pay them all at once. This habit will save lots of your time. And it will also save you from missing your important tasks.
15. Do Small Things Greatly
Somebody has rightly said that you do not need to do great things, but do small things greatly. That has made great people. Doing all your daily work in efficient manner will train you achieve better performance.
Take an example. Writing an email is not a big thing, but whenever I write important emails in my office, I carefully look at my words and do my best to improve it. I also tried including useful pictures and infographics and often linked text to helpful sources. And my emails successfully left great impression on my boss and colleagues. Use opportunities to do best, effective use of every small thing for your success.
16. Avoid Distractions
There might be many less important tasks which could distract you. For example, habit of checking emails every five minutes or frequently checking social media updates. Make a certain rule that you will check for emails, social media profile (more on this later) and Youtube videos only at the certain time during the day. Decide that you will not waste time for doing certain things.
And if you are doing some important task, avoid answering your phone or checking your email. A research has found that it takes you 20 minutes or more to regain the same level of concentration after an interruption.
You may also use website blocking tools on your computer to prevent yourself opening such websites frequently.
17. Limit Social Media
It is same as avoiding distractions as discussed above but social media is a huge time waster.
You very well know what happens whenever you open your Facebook, Google+ profile or Twitter. Being social is necessary and it is a great tool to build your brand name. Those who do not have active profiles on popular social medias are idiots, but those who are on it (without a reason) for most of the day are more. Try limiting it as much as possible. It is just part of marketing- not heart of it.
Like and comment on a few great posts of your friends. Share some great things and that should be all. Consider quality of posts (and time) on social media as more important than quantity. If you have other priorities, you cannot afford to be on social media all the day!
18. Stop Playing Games
If you are addicted to a game, it is very difficult to leave it. True, gaming is fun: But this could waste a lot of your time and energy. Learn self-controlling and accept that playing the game will reward you nothing: Instead using your time for productive things is going to pay you back. Check your rewards in your task list and it will inspire to forget or limit gaming.
Watching television or YouTube videos is such addiction which you can gradually avoid by practice.
Joke of the century: Computers and mobiles were invented to save our time.
19. Hire People
Yes, you are a superman/woman, and you can do everything: But you are smarter if you hire persons for things you cannot do in time. When I felt that I cannot accomplish a few tasks like graphics designing, SEO and marketing myself, I hired people for that who did it better. And it proved to be very productive for me because they were professionals in respective fields.
If you are not able to complete your work, you can outsource it to somebody if you can afford it. This will really benefit you.
20. Take Care of Health
With good health, you will have good energy and can finish your work efficiently. Start eating healthy and exercising regular for better health. This will fill you with great energy. How simple it is!
Exercise harder, not longer if you can. A research by Dr. Stuart Gray of Aberdeen University found that high-intensity exercises of just 2 minutes can benefit your health better than moderate workouts such as a 90-minute jogging. But it actually depends you must decide that as per your age and ability.
Getting a treadmill desk would be a good idea while you can use your computer and improve your health too at the same time!
21. Sleep Better For More Energy
Most people, especially students mistakenly believe that more sleep wastes time, so they would work/study till late night. In fact, less sleep weakens your memory power and energy level too.
If you are taking enough sleep, you will have more energy for your entire day. Less sleep also causes depression and bad mental health temporarily.
Try to sleep much during the night. And it is the regular habit, not pills which will help you get good night’s sleep.
22. Learn, Inspire from Other People
I learnt most things in my life from others and was motivated by them. Whenever I look at some awesome people, I really feel that nothing is impossible. If humans did it, you can too.
Keep such people in your memory who will keep encouraging you to do better and increase your efficiency.
Internet search is the best way to learn from others’ experiences.
When you are stuck somewhere and you know smart use of searching on internet, it can be very helpful to you. You can use Google search for best solution to many questions and it helps a lot. Internet search is your best, free adviser.
Instead of getting help from only one website, consider using multiple websites and experts to get best out of all answers.
If you are planning to buy something, web search is your best friend for real reviews.
24. Buy Things Smartly
Consider buying things which can save your time. For example, buy wrinkle-free fabrics to save your time from ironing. Choose cotton knits/blends and synthetic fabrics while avoiding 100 percent linen. Such small observations can help you a lot.
25. Keep Things in Their Place
Make it a key habit to have a place for everything, and put things back in their place. It takes a few seconds to do that, but actually saves your lot of time finding them. It also keeps your home and office neater.
26. Help Others if You Are Able to
Helping others benefits you a lot but only when you are really able to help. Don’t “try to” help when you are not able to do so: That will only waste both others’ and your time.
I am used to help every time whenever I am confident that I can: But if I have a doubt, I would suggest them to try alternative ways: Thus it proved to be even more helpful and time-saving for them and me also.
Remember that if you have helped others, others will also happily help you whenever you need it and ask for it.
27. Don’t be Shy to Say “No”
No time to go for a picnic with your friends? Come on, learn to say ‘no’ if you feel something is wasting your time.
But at the same time, do not forget to…
28. …Enjoy Life
Life is fun. Saving time to achieve success does not mean that you should make your and your family’s life boring and stop playing with your children. As said earlier, taking a break will indeed help you in your work. Spend enough time with your family and friends. Plan a picnic or hang-out, it will be fun but you will also learn a lot of things from your family members and other people. And ultimately it will be useful to achieve success. This will also save you from being mad.
Conclusion – Practice Makes Perfect
If you really understand and apply this amazing rule of practice, you will be saving a lot of time and use it to lead you to success.
Make it a practice of following all above things, and you will become an efficient person. Initially it will trouble you and you will find it hard but ultimately you will notice that it’s benefiting you a lot and you are saving lot of your time. Everybody can do that.
Do you find any other way to save time? Feel free to share whatever has helped you.