In today’s demanding world, twenty-four hours does not seem like enough time to accomplish our daily tasks. With family, work, and other pressing responsibilities, there is not much time left for us to spend on the things we truly care about. We need to develop strategies to make the most of our limited time. In addition to reviewing and possibly cutting some errands, we should maximize our time by taking steps to eliminate wasted time. The following time saving tactics can help with these efforts:
Group errands geographically. We always have a need to go somewhere, whether it is to the supermarket, the cleaners or some other location. To the extent that you can wait, try organizing your errands geographically so that you can complete your tasks in as few trips as possible. Use “to-do” lists to keep track of your errands and group your items. Be sure to plan your driving path so that you will be on the correct side of the road of your various destinations.
Eliminate “time thieves.” Time is constantly being “stolen” from us by “time thieves,” that is, unproductive moments wasted as we wait to see the doctor or stand in another of a countless number of lines. We should strive to reclaim some of this lost time by being prepared to complete small tasks during these occasions. Bringing along reading material is always useful. Perhaps you can finally read that magazine article. Or maybe you can complete a few small tasks on your PDA. The goal is not letting our time be taken from us without a fight.
Visit during “off times.” Avoid the rush at highly visited locations by going during less popular hours. Going to the gym, bank or mall during off-peak hours when there is less congestion will enable you to complete your errands and tasks quicker. You will probably also get better service and assistance because of the fewer number of people.
Use online services. There are many things you can do from the comfort of your home using your Internet connection. Instead of going to a crowded payment center, pay your bills through an online payment service. Save yourself a trip to the library by renewing your items online. With many companies offering free shipping and a wider selection on their website, you can do your shopping online and have your items delivered to your home, saving you time and gas.
Learn from others and avoid their mistakes. We learn some of our greatest lessons from our mistakes. Analyzing and understanding how we failed will serve us as we surge forward toward our goals. The only thing better than learning from our mistakes is learning from others and avoiding their mistakes. By incorporating wisdom gleaned from the missteps of others, we can often avoid common pitfalls, reduce frustration, and save us valuable time.
Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although not initially obvious, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can save you a substantial amount of time by providing you with the energy to complete your tasks quickly and effectively. The time spent improving and maintaining your physical conditioning is an investment that will be repaid to you many times over as you find yourself more alert and faster to devise solutions to problems that arise. A healthy mind and body provides you with the clarity and fortitude necessary to overcome daily challenges in a manner that is the most efficient with time.
Following these tips can save you valuable time and energy. A few minutes saved here and there can quickly add up to hours of freedom. We all have ideas on how we can be the most efficient, but putting those ideas into practice is the key. Each of us is unique, so what works for some may not always work for others. Experiment and devise your own time saving tactics to suit your particular circumstances.