Do you look at people who do a gazillion things at once and wonder how they find the time. You know the people I’m talking about. They write books, and launch businesses, and appear to have double the amount of hours that us mere mortals do. They may seem superhuman, but in reality they are just super organised. They know how to use their time efficiently and effectively. Here are some time-saving tips for work and home that will help you find more time to do the things you really want.
Follow the 2-minute rule
If you can do something (like replying to an email, or a house chore) in 2 minutes, do it now. Planning it for later, or remembering to do it could take 5 minutes or more.
Do the important things early
One of the golden rules of time management is to complete the essential stuff first. If it will play on your mind until you get it done, strike it off your list early.
Focus on one project at a time
Multitasking is not all that it is cracked up to be. Studies have shown that multitasking is inefficient and ineffective. Switching from one project to another can take up to 40% more time than focusing on just one job at a time.
Work in blocks of time
30 minutes is a good timeframe. Turn everything off and focus on one task for thirty minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done.
Don’t be available all the time
Turn your phone and email off, and return calls and messages in batches. You don’t need to be available all of the time, and people generally don’t expect you to be.
Check email twice a day
Email is a major distraction in the workplace. By checking your email twice a day you can allocate that to a thirty-minute block of time, rather than responding as they come in.
Attend fewer meetings
If you don’t need to be at a meeting, don’t attend. Have someone else fill you in on anything that is relevant to you.
Use your best hours
Know what works best for you and utilise those hours. Something that may take four to five hours in the afternoon to complete may only take you two hours in the morning. If you work best in the early hours save your emails and phone calls for later in the day.
Have a to-do list
There are so many things that go on at home that we can easily lose track of, so keep an up to date list for your personal life in the same way you would for work.
Utilise your waiting time
When you are waiting at appointments or at the school gate, take something that you can do. Use that time to plan and organise, or tick things off your to-do list.
Say no to invitations
You get to choose the way you want to spend your time. If you don’t want to do something say no. It will not only be liberating, it will also save you valuable time that you could be spending doing something else.
Watch less television
Downtime is important, but too much downtime can be a time waster. If you watch a lot of television, cut your watching time in half and see what happens.
Put the kids to work
Everyone who lives in the house should be contributing to the smooth running of the household. That includes the kids.
Plan your weekly meals
Planning your meals for the week is a big time saver. You only have to make one trip to the supermarket each week, and it allows the rest of the family to chip in and help out with the cooking.
Double up meals
If you are going to spend an hour in the kitchen cooking one meal, double up the ingredients and freeze the other portion. You now have another home-cooked meal ready to go later in the week.
Keep an ongoing shopping list
Make everyone responsible for writing down the items the household needs. Keep a list on the fridge or somewhere convenient. This will save you time running back and forth to the shops for the things you forgot.
Have a clutter-free home
Keeping your home clutter free saves you time, and makes it easier and quicker to clean up.
Two birds with one stone
Look for opportunities to use your time productively. Listen to podcasts, or get the kids to do their homework while you are cooking.