How many times have you found yourself saying, I don’t have time or how I wish I have 48 hours per days. Or have you found yourself to be extremely busy for the entire day or week or month but don’t seem to get anything done? This is very normal especially in our modern lifestyle where most of us spend approximately 8-10 hours working busily in office, driving around the city to meet clients, pay bills, wait in a long queue for a simple lunch or drive half an hour for food craving, stuck in traffic jam, and by end of the day spend another 3-4 hours sitting in bar, sipping beer.
1. Start to take charge of your time by managing your time. Aside from the time we are sleeping, we have a mere average 15-16hours a day. Minus off those hours we spend working for our job we probably have only 5-6 hours for ourselves. Even we only have 5-6 hours left for ourselves we still need to be as productive as possible if we want to achieve financial freedom. Start to plan something useful out of those hours, allocate specific time for activities – like a short lunch, nice but unelaborated dinner, errands, a bit of leisure, build a part time business, budgeting, reading a book, financial planning, etc.
2. Focus on High Value Deliverables. For an employee, have you ever wondered why your paycheck amount stay stagnant for a few years or having only a little increment but your peers seem being paid a few times more? This is because the value you deliver for your job. Some people do the exact number as their boss tells them to finish, some people do lesser than they are told to do, while some people do a lot more than expected. The last employee delivers higher value in his work. If he is a sales man that bring in more sales than the quota to company resulting in higher revenue, then he is said to deliver more value in his work, thus it becomes justifiable for higher pay even he might be junior among the three example employees. You need focus on high value work deliverables during the 8 hours work and keep low value work short and simple. If you are a computer programmer, fixing bugs is the value clients expected you to deliver, however if you can deliver a piece of program that runs smoothly, efficiently and reliably that improve business process efficiency then you are delivering high value work.
3. Leverage on other peoples time. To be successful time manager, you need to know how to use other peoples time. More over, if buying other peoples time resulting in higher cost efficiency and improved profit then it become justifiable. If you are a high flying sales man, a personal assistant is probably justifiable, consider you can use the time you spend in administrative works to call up clients and meet up a few more prospects.
4. Multitasking. In nowadays information age, when a corporate employee usually works on a PC, it is very normal that we tend to multitask, in another word, wanting to accomplish many tasks at the same time. Certain level of multitasking will improve efficiency but if you are juggling too many tasks at the same time, the efficiency in completing one task will diminish and we end up accomplishing nothing. After all we are human, not a multitasking computer, even a computer will run out of memory and slow down.
5. Doing things the most efficient way. If you spend more time on average to work on one thing, probably you are not doing it the right /efficient way. If you have colleagues or friends who can do something faster, more efficiently, try to learn from them and see how they do it. If you don’t have a role model to learn from, try doing it the different ways you might find out something different and more interesting. Repeat doing things the same inefficient way will only render you obsolete.
6. Don’t waste time contemplating on boredom. Nowadays, when there are a lot of ways to kill time, we tend to think fully utilizing time is to go somewhere, or out there doing something and if we are not going somewhere or out there doing something, it will be a waste of time. This is the mindset for many people, typically you can hear them ask; “So where are you going tonight?” or “What have you been doing all over the weekend?” And you can hear them response like; “Come on, go somewhere fun” or “You are wasting your weekend reading book?” They define doing meaningful things as in going where nice, fun, even doing nothing and just to kill time. And this also explains why many people get bore so easily when they have no “plan”. Time is precious, so don’t waste time in planning your “plan”, start doing something really meaningful.
7. It is probably time to move on. If you waste a lot of time stuck in traffic jam it’s probably time to change the mode of transportation. Or probably you can consider moving to a place nearer to your work place if family situation allow and cost justifiable. In a modern city and the way of life, working employees usually spend hours a day traveling in the high way or traffic jam, this happens because living cost in the city is so high that they have to live further away to cut on living cost but unaware that they traded off for a more precious resource, time.
8. Fully utilize your idle time. A lot of time we spend our time commuting and waiting. During waiting or sitting in the train, why not read a book or listen to audio book while driving.
9. Don’t Waste time in queue. Some time in a month you probably need to spend an hour or two to queue up in the bank, post office or something just to pay your credit card or utility bills, these activities don’t add value to your life. Look for a time efficient way to settle your errands. You can always pay utilities, credit card bill through internet banking. Even it charges a small amount for every transaction, it is still better than wasting
your time queuing up as time is more precious than the small amount of charges. Certain thing that require physically presence you can pay a runner to do it for a commission. In my countries, there are runners for a lot of things like driving license, passport, car road tax and insurance, etc. If the time saved in exchange for higher cost efficiency or profit, then it is justifiable to hire a runner to do the job.
10. Reduce happy hour frequency. For many people it is justifiable to go for happy hour almost every day because they thought they deserve it. It’s okay to do this once in a while but doing it every two or three night is too much. You have much more productive life task waiting for you to accomplish than sitting around chit chatting and talking about nonsense.
Last but not least, after a day of hard work, you deserve a good rest. The last way to manage time efficiently is to have enough time for yourself to rest and relax. Having enough sleep and rest then only you will be able to achieve higher efficiency and fresher mind in your subsequent day’s works, thus achieving greater time efficiency.