PREVIEW: Time-saving hacks can make you so much more productive. The thing is, you need an action plan to save time. Try these time management hacks, and time-saving methods to hack your day and make you more productive.
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Time management is about more than time-saving hacks. The truth is time management leads to life management.
Realistically, time management in business is just as important as time management for students, busy professionals, moms, and anyone truly.
Especially in the early days of starting a business, time-saving hacks and time management tips for entrepreneurs is imperative to scaling your business successfully.
Knowing how to manage time wisely is a major life skill. Try these actionable, clever time-saving hacks and tips to save time.
- Balance activities and obligations.
- Prep for the week and day ahead.
- Leverage routines.
- Complete your biggest tasks first.
- The 5-minute rule.
- Stop procrastinating.
- Optimize pockets of time.
- Clean your space.
- Leverage content batching.
- Outsource and delegate where you can.
- Practice focus.
- Always have a to-do list.
- Streamline your selections.
- Optimize your peak performance.
- Add 2-in-1.
- Pay yourself first.
- Put in place good record-keeping systems.
- Never leave a space empty-handed.
- Set small, actionable steps and goals.
- Remove distractions.
- Automate, automate, automate.
- Take breaks.
- Schedule your response time.
- Honour your time.
Get a digital planner
Shameless self-promotion but downloading a daily digital planner can save you so much time! Start your day each morning clear on your priorities. You’ll be less stressed, more focused, and get more done too.
Balance activities and obligations
Determining between activities and obligations is important to identify what you need to get done first and when.
Is work/life balance real? It’s relative. Personally, as long as you’re doing your best; that’s a win.
Prep for the week and day ahead
Getting your next day sorted the night before makes for a simple and calm early morning.
Try starting with a to-do list the day before or first thing in the morning. This can help you to stay on-task and improve your productivity.
Getting into a routine has a lot of data-backed benefits to it.
Turns out, it can feel harder to do something when it’s a brand-new habit.
When something is a regular part of your routine, it takes out the logistics and anticipation.
Making your bed or squeezing in a workout before your first morning meeting, are all tasks that set you up for success in the day.
It’s one of those things that becomes such a “set it and forget it” once you’ve established it as a habit.
Except in effect, it optimizes your life in so many incredible ways.
This also sets your brain up to hack its reward system.
As you build more confidence, your brain signals that it’s prepped and ready to succeed at the next task.
Complete your biggest tasks first.
Prioritizing your hardest tasks and getting those done first is great for time management. This will free up your time.
Majority of the time, the task doesn’t take as long as you think.
The 5-minute rule
Take 5 minutes before and after each activity/phone call to assess what outcome you want.
This also helps to slow time down and give you more in-the-moment focus.
Follow it up with a 5-minute review session. Determine if your desired outcome occurred or not.
If not, ask yourself, what could you do next time to make a better effort to reach it next time?
Just do it.
How many times have you thought a task would be harder than it is?
Then you finish it in 15-minutes and wondered why you procrastinated for so long.
So often the mental anticipation is worse than the follow-through. That’s part of why it can be beneficial to getting your largest tasks done first.
In the end, procrastinating becomes the bigger time-suck than the task at hand.
This is especially useful to practice when small tasks roll across your desk.
If it will only take a few minutes for you to complete the task, do it right away.
This way, it doesn’t ruminate and stay on your to-do list.
Your mind has more mental space for relaxation or creativity instead.
Optimize pockets of time
On any given day, you might have 20–60-minute intervals in-between tasks.
How could you optimize that time?
For example, many moms take 15-20 minutes each night to clean up and keep clutter at bay for the next day.
Putting away laundry or sitting down and doing the first draft of a blog post can greatly optimize pockets of your time.
This isn’t to say breaks aren’t worthwhile. But better optimizing your time will help you to get more done in a day.
Clean your space
You might be thinking how does cleaning up save you time?
Cluttered, disorganized, and unclean spaces impact your productivity.
In fact, decluttering your space can remove distractions, and give you a clear mind. Research shows cluttered, messy spaces can lead to more anxiety.
Put everything away, declutter and organize.
Leverage content batching
When you schedule your work in batches, you can optimize and refine your content strategy from a 30,000-foot view.
Content batching gives you more freedom and flexibility.
By setting up your schedule and determining particular days for specific work it helps with habitual processing.
So, that means the processes will become more automatic.
Part of batching your work is so effective because it allows you to focus on one thing at a time.
Turns out, science has proven that changing to a new task requires a “retooling” process each time.
This means it might take longer for your brain to reset between meetings or tasks than you think.
Outsource and delegate where you can
If the task doesn’t meet your dream hourly wage; outsource it.
Identifying your hourly wage goes like this.
- In a dream world, (regardless of how astronomical) what would you like to make in an hour?
If the task is less than what you’d charge in an hour, outsource it.
For example, let’s say you want to make $5,000/hr.
How much would you pay someone to pick-up your dry cleaning?
If the activity costs less than what you’d charge in an hour, outsource and delegate the task instead.
Spending that hour picking up your dry cleaning is going to cost more if you were to do it yourself versus what you might pay someone else to do for you.
Optimizing your time in this way gives you more opportunities to focus on what you love.
Learning how to save time involves getting focused.
Getting focused is more like exercising a muscle and less to do with mood or interest.
Sometimes, you’re going to have to complete tasks that don’t excite you at all, and they require concentrated focus.
If you can’t outsource these tasks, complete them as quickly as possible. Use it as an opportunity to practice focus in 20-25-minute intervals with time blocking.
Always have a to-do list
Be very strategic with this.
Not only will writing your to-do’s down on paper help you to stay organized and on-track.
Science has proven it will also help you to increase the chances that you’ll complete the tasks.
Checking each item off a list also sets you up to hack your brain’s reward system once again.
Streamline your selections
If you have too many options, streamline and simplify.
Simplifying the options available helps you to be more decisive.
For example, having a standard uniform or variation of it each day helps you to get dressed fast and look presentable for the day.
You don’t waste time trying on different options. Rather, you use a template or uniform to help you get dressed and move onto other things.
Optimize your peak performance
Throughout your day, you might have optimal times when you’re at peak performance. This can vary based on your sleep schedule when you eat, and other circumstances.
But, if you have a regular routine, you might be able to biohack specific time periods.
To identify your peak performance time, assess your energy and focus levels throughout the day. Then complete your most important or creative tasks during those time periods.
For every task that you’re able to tackle, think about one extra task you can add on and do it too.
While it might feel like it doesn’t immediately save you time, accumulatively, you’re maximizing your time and being more productive.
Pay yourself first
Always pay yourself first in every way.
That means beyond the income you make, set aside tasks, goals, and rewards that are entirely for you.
While it can apply to personal finance, paying yourself first is more of a spiritual practice.
You need to care of yourself first. Whatever that might mean to you.
Whether that’s carving out time to get your meditation and workout in before 8 A.M. or getting important entrepreneurial tasks completed like emails, marketing, or other admin needs.
Getting to your most important tasks before anything or anyone else will set you up for success.
Put in place good record-keeping systems
Keeping all your files organized reduces disorganization.
No one wants to navigate a digital labyrinth looking for things in different places. That is a huge time-waster.
Further, having an effective record-keeping system helps with version control and documentation purposes too.
Never leave a space empty-handed
This is a great clutter hack to help keep your home cleaner.
Before leaving any room, remove any dishes, glasses, or fresh laundry.
Put away obvious things that can quickly clean the space up.
Always making sure you leave the room with something in hand.
This will help keep your space free of clutter (and we know what that does to productivity).
Any effort to organize and clean your space can have incredible effects on your creativity, mood, and focus and thus maximizing your time.
Set small, actionable steps and goals
Turns out, science can prove that small, specific goals are more likely to become habitual.
This is important. Especially since the automatic processes and habits that make up your day are how you spend your time.
Setting small, actionable steps and goals is the process of getting from A to B.
Your success is 12 or 13 small, actionable steps away from your goal.
Setting achievable goals is how we get ahead.
If you find yourself reaching for your iPhone mid-task, you’re at the whim of every distraction.
It can be difficult to concentrate when you have a constant stream of notifications.
Minimize distractions where possible by removing the temptation.
Automate, automate, automate
This applies to so many areas of life in business.
If you don’t like cooking, use a food service. Save time grocery shopping with delivery apps.
Get your house cleaned, set up autopayment on your bills, get dry cleaning, hire mobile groomers — for any task you can automate or expedite, do it.
It sounds counterintuitive but recharging is so important.
Taking a break (even for 20-minutes) recharges so much of what we need to replenish ourselves.
Taking a break to reset between activities or during your day can make you feel like you can start all over again.
Plus, science has proven taking breaks and pausing between activities can decrease stress and boost your productivity.
Schedule your response time
Setting aside time to get back to people via email, text, or phone all help you to better optimize your time.
Don’t be available all the time and at the peril of every digital distraction.
Tim Ferris talks about this a lot in the 4 Hour Work Week.
Tell work colleagues, that you answer emails once a day — either at noon or from 3-4 P.M.
Having dedicated times that you’re on email means that you’ll be able to catch any urgent requests each day.
You’ll likely find yourself better utilizing your response time too.
By setting aside specific times to get back to people, you assign more-focused communication.
For example, calling, or answering emails in batches allows you to ensure each conversation stays on task. The next one queues up in 10 minutes.
This applies to any task.
Scheduling in any other tasks and carving out time for them in your calendar increases your odds of getting something done.
Plus, communicating this type of schedule makes you responsive and reliable. All while making you more time rich.
Honour your time
Having an uber-demanding client or regular work interruptions that have you stuck in meetings is a no-go.
Honour the time that you have scheduled to complete your work.
Managing interruptions isn’t easy which is why your boundaries help set a standard.
When you’re on the clock, you’re ready to work. If it’s your lunchtime or break, you’re off the clock.
Also, make sure that the clock pays you well and charges your dream hourly wage.
Your time is sacred.
Use time-saving hacks to honour and amplify how much and what you get done in a day.
This starts with saying, “no” when you need to or going on DND for the foreseeable future.
It might seem counterproductive to meditate as a form of maximizing time but be prepared to be convinced.
Meditations can slow down time.
Kickstart your mindfulness practice and all you need is 5 minutes. Here are 7 easy ways to help you learn how to practice mindfulness throughout the day.
- Setting aside 5-minutes at the start and end of the day is enough to get started.
- To quickly get into a meditative state, try listening for a ceiling fan or other background sound.
- Try a walking meditation with no headphones allowed.
- Pausing to fully enjoy your cup of coffee or tea first thing in the morning.
- At lunch, savor each bite and it can lead to weight loss.
- On your morning and evening commute, let there be calming silence rather than the radio or a podcast.
- Start practicing a nighttime routine. Spend 5 minutes on breathwork before bed.
Science has proven meditation makes you more productive and focused.
Plus, a wide range of more benefits — meditation makes you more productive by training your mind to resist distractions.
Based on the famous marshmallow test conducted by a researcher at Stanford University, delaying gratification through distraction correlated with improved relationships, increase dependability, and better performance.
Practicing mindfulness and building resiliency to resisting impulses is a life skill.
Adding meditation to your morning and evening routine can help you to practice focus and feel more calm and relaxed too.
Time is an asset
How you spend your time is how you spend your life.
You already know that your time is important.
Except it’s not like anyone teaches you how to manage time.
Maximizing and learning how to save time, in effect helps you manage time better.
In fact, simply spending 10-12 minutes invested in planning your day will save at least 2 hours of wasted time and effort throughout the day. (Source: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy)
Making the most of the time you have each day means you can prioritize what needs to get done.
Plus, you’ll feel more accomplished at the end of each day.
In fact, learning how to manage time leads to greater productivity and efficiency across the board.
However, time-saving ideas require strategy plus consistent practice or implementation.
Practice these actionable time-saving hacks and time management strategies
These time-saving hacks and time management tips all help you to be more productive with concentrated focus.
Remember, time is your greatest asset.
Maximizing the time-saving hacks outlined in this article can help you make the most of your day.
Experiment with different time-saving ideas to better manage your time, and try them out starting today or tomorrow morning.
Time is of the essence, after all.