Never Enough Time? Read This.

Never Enough Time? Read This.

 

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As a kid i often heard the phrase  “time is money” but I’ve grown to realize time is more than money: time is life.

I say this because time is one resource you can never get back. Why do you think man has been so fascinated with the idea of time machines and time travel over the years? Just try to take count of the number of Hollywood movies with time travel as the theme and you would get a better picture of what I mean.

My years in the corporate environment working with different gender, races and age of personnel taught me that people would be very glad to come to work and spend all day doing absolutely nothing.  They were not particularly bothered about company profit or personal productivity. The only thing that produced any result like a kick in the behind was discipline and other productivity tools like annual appraisals and so on.

Meaning, they could be forced to be time efficient during work hours but after work the rest of their personal time becomes a blur of wasted activities. Do you find yourself fitting into this pattern or you just want tips to help you make better choices with your personal time? This article is for you. Let’s start by looking at the most notorious time wasters in our lives:

• Phone calls: This is particularly common amongst the younger population. Do you really have to call your best friend ten times a day every single day? Really?

• Social media: Even I am guilty of this. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and MySpace the list goes on. Constantly checking your social media updates can easily shave off hours from your day.

• Commuting to and from work: If you presently spend more than one hour daily commuting to and from work, you need to start thinking of some alternatives.

• Web surfing: Clicking from site to site without any particular aim or information you are trying to gather. Opening every ad and pop-up that appears while browsing, generally wandering around the internet aimlessly. Sound familiar?

• Shopping: Apart from the basics which we can’t live without, there really is no justifiable reason going half way across town just to window shop or buy something you could easily buy a few blocks away. You waste time, use up fuel driving your car and possibly add to traffic on the roads.

• Television and movies: This has got to be the worst of them all. While I don’t have a problem with leisure time, it is possible to actually spend 4 hours or more at a time watching your favorite shows and movies without even realizing it. Much of the so called information on T.V. really has no positive impact on your life.

• Video and online games: Almost as bad as uncontrolled Television viewing, gaming whether on or offline quickly adds up to a lot of precious time lost.

Now we have looked at the most common time wasters, let’s look at some tips that would make us better time managers.

• Try starting your day with a “to do” list. I know this sounds really boring but it actually works for most people. Even though you are not at work, have a plan for what you intend accomplishing during the day. Don’t forget to add some leisure time too so you do not get too bored and give up fast.

• When going shopping have a list of everything you want to buy before leaving the house. This would help you save time and prevent a scenario where you forget to buy something and have to go all the way back because there was no list.

• Holiday shopping can be particularly stressful, time consuming and annoying especially for Christmas. It would be a good idea to start buying gifts and other non-perishable goods a month or two before. In my household, by October of each year we have usually bought all the gifts and decorations for Christmas.

• Unless there is an emergency, avoid calling people just for the sake of it. If you want to call a friend or your mum to check up them please do so but don’t let it turn into a 2-hour phone conversation.

• Allocate time for recreation. Your choice would depend on your taste.

• Do-it-yourself projects around the house is good and noble but sometimes it may save you money and time to get someone else to do it for you.

• If your daily commute to work is killing you slowly, it may be time to have a chat with your employer to work out a more flexible arrangement. Access to the internet has even made it possible for more people to work from home. Find out if this could be an option for you. If not every day at least some days in the week or look at moving closer to where you work.

• Have you ever been in a hurry to get out of the house and suddenly you can’t find the car keys or your favorite boots? Keeping things where they belong in the first place would save you countless frantic, hair-tearing minutes trying to locate them later. Little things like hanging a key hook close to the door can save you good time.

• Plan your meals for the next day in advance and if possible ensure you have everything you need to prepare them.

Remember, our focus is not about saving time for the sake of it but to free us up to engage in the more worthwhile things that put a smile on the faces of those we love. How many times have you been absent at an important occasion for a family member because you had no time? When last did you spent 15 minutes speaking with your child or even your partner? Little adjustments could see you building better relationships that really matter.

Most of the great men and women that have gone before us earned their place in history with the same 24 hours you and I have. No more, no less.

 

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