“Time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin
I hate this over used quote. It does not make sense. Time does not equal money. It never has and never will. The reason for this is three fold:
- If you believe this then you will always trade time for money
- Time has infinite value
- Even if you are a billionaire you CANNOT buy back 1 second when you are dead
Money can and should be used to buy other people’s time, but if you want freedom, time should not be traded for money. The following quote is a much, much better one:
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn
Time is your most valuable asset. It is in limited supply and is the one limiting factor on your life. This is why it is important to ensure that your time is optimized so that you can get the most from your life. I am going to show you some time management tips that has saved me over 4 hours daily. All the tips are actionable and I will go into detail about exactly how to perform each tip to maximize your time gains.
Time Management Tips 1: Put a value on your time
“Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.” – Michael Leboeuf
After everything I have just said this one seems like an odd one but hear me out. You will be amazed how much time in a day that you are performing low grade menial tasks that could be done by someone else. Not only could it be done by someone else, it could be done better AND in less time. This is the one serial gripe that I have with minimalist blogs. Yes you could save £10 going to one hundred different discount stores but when you factor in the time you have lost, is it really worth it?
The first step to putting a value to is to put a specific figure on your time.
Answer the question: How much is one hour of your time worth?
If you are employed you should know your hourly figure. If you own a business then divide your yearly net profit by 1700 (the average number of hours worked yearly). This will then produce your hourly figure. Be specific and write this number down.
For our example let’s say it is £50 an hour. Any task in your personal or business life that is not worth £50 an hour, you should not do and you should outsource this to someone else. The only slight exception is if you really enjoy doing the task. If it is a hobby or a passion project this is fine. If you do not enjoy it and it costs less than £50 an hour to employ someone to do it, why on earth would you do it?
A great example of this is a cleaner. A good cleaner can be employed for around £10 an hour. Yes you could clean the house yourself and save that £10, but if you earn more than £10 an hour, it is far more time efficient to have someone else clean your house. Plus they will likely do it much better than you would (I am terrible at cleaning the house).
Time Management Tips 2: Outsource and systemize the tasks you do on a regular basis
“For everything we don’t like to do, there’s someone out there who is really good, wants to do it and will enjoy it.” – John Kaufman
I think people like the idea of being self sufficient. People like to do everything in their own home and not being reliant on other people. In our interdependent modern world, this is highly inefficient. The age old adage “Jack of all trades, master of none” springs to mind. By spending your time doing things you do not like and are not good at, you miss out on becoming really great at something you do enjoy.
We have already mentioned one great example which is cleaning. Some people really enjoy cleaning their house, which is fine, keep cleaning. If you don’t then stop doing it.
Write down a list of the tasks that you do on a regular basis at home
We did this recently and came up with the following list:
- Cleaning the House
- Washing the dishes
- D.I.Y and general maintenance of the house
- Food shopping
- Taking out the bins and bringing them in
After that consider whether you want to outsource these tasks or systemize them just like you would do in a business. If you have a partner or someone you share the house with, then consider making one person in charge of each of these headings. Ours looked like this:
- Cleaning the house – Alex to outsource
- Gardening – Jasmin to outsource
- Laundry and Ironing – Alex to outsource
- Cooking – Jasmin to systemize: bulk cooking and pre-cut ingredients
- Washing the dishes – Alex to systemize: Dishwasher
- D.I.Y and general maintenance of the house: Alex to outsource
- Food shopping: Jasmin to systemize: Online grocery shopping and delivery
- Taking out the bins: Jasmin
- Bringing in the bins: Alex
Having this in place in writing means that you know your roles. It also makes your life easier as you know who is in charge of what. Doing this has cut down our “household chores time” to less than 30 minutes a day for a minimal cost.
Time Management Tips 3: Stop procrastinating!
The average adult watches 4 hours of TV per day
That is insane, we are spending 61 days per year watching TV. That is 2 months straight without sleep. That is some serious procrastination. Think about what you could achieve in that amount of time!
It seems as though procrastination can be broken up into a few different categories:
- Social media: endless flicking through the news feed of facebook, twitter, youtube and/or linked in
- TV: 4 hours a day
- Computer Gaming: My personal procrastination of choice
- Aimless internet searching: Again another one of my bad habits
- Reading trashy magazines or celebrity gossip: What do you gain from reading this kind of stuff?
- Regularly checking phones for messages and emails: When you read an email, you are reading someone else’s agenda.
We all have our weaknesses (I include myself in this). However it is important that we can recognize our weaknesses and limit them. Each category has their own strategy to remove their usage. Now many people suggest limiting procrastination. I have personally found the only way I can “limit it” is by stopping “cold turkey”. This may seem difficult at the start. I can assure you that it will get easier with time.
Time management tips to avoid Social media and Procrastination Websites
“The strength of your social media is determined by the strength of your content” – Haroon Rashid
Social media can be useful for networking or increasing brand awareness to your organisation. It however does sap quite a lot of time (I have now outsourced this to a VA, more on this later). If you want to completely remove these sources of distraction from your life there are two successful ways it can be done.
- Change your password on facebook, twitter and linked in to a password that you would never remember in a million years. Write this password down in a book and place it on the furthest away shelf, which is a real effort to get to. Every time you want to access one of these websites it will require work, which will likely deter you from going on it.
- If you want to completely block facebook, twitter, linked in or any other procrastination website. If you use google chrome then you can download an extension called Block site. This is a really simple and easy to use extension that allows you to block websites and redirect you to more productive ones. Mine has just stopped me going onto Youtube.
Time management tips to avoid TV
“You don’t have a TV? What’s all your furniture pointed at? – Friends
TV is a little more tricky to avoid than websites, it is not as simple as downloading an extension and blocking it. Removing the subscriptions to any channel extension packages like sky or sky movies. Will have a drastic effect on what is available to watch. Having just five channels to watch will reduce the amount of time that you watch TV (It will also save you money). The other route is to record the programmes that you like to watch. When you sit down to watch TV now, you will watch only the recorded programmes. This will limit the aimless flicking between channels.
Time management tips to avoid Computer Gaming
“I am a gamer not because I don’t have a life but because I choose to have many.” – Gunjan
Computer gaming is a silent time killer. I used to be a gamer and have spent thousands of hours playing computer games. Now playing a computer game is not a “crime” per se but what it does to your time is criminal. Getting away from the habit of playing computer games is difficult. I found that limiting computer games to one-two hours a day was impossible. The only way I found I could break the habit was stopping “Cold Turkey”. To do this you need the help of a volunteer ideally a close friend or relative who will take your computer gaming accounts from you. This volunteer will need to be strong willed as they must not give you back your accounts even if you beg them to.
To do this. You will need to go to your security setting and walk out of the room.Your volunteer will now change the registered email address and password to their own and click save. Voila you can no longer access your gaming account and now have saved yourself countless hours.
Time management tips to avoid Checking Your Phone
“Apparently we love our own cell phones but we have everyone else’s” – Joe Bob Briggs
The average person checks their phone 85 times a day. That is roughly around 6 times per waking hour or once every 10 minutes. “Technoference” not only wastes time but can have psychological and physical effects including:
- Lower life satisfaction
- Depressive symptoms
- Conflict in relationships
So how do we stop ourselves reaching for our mobile phones every 10 minutes. One simple way of doing it is to turn off all the notifications on your phone except text messages and phone calls. This will result in a massive reduction in external triggers. It is so tempting when your phone vibrates to pick up your phone and find out what the notification is. The simple solution is to reduce the amount of times that your phone vibrates. This will save you time and most importantly your energy.
“Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness. This is hard for most people to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.” – Tim Ferris
I love this quote by Tim Ferris because it sums up in a nut shell why outsourcing tasks is so important. If you have not come across Virtual Assistants before then effectively they are personal assistants that help you over the computer. They can help you in business and personally. Here are just some of the tasks that you can successfully outsource to Virtual Assistants (VA):
- Social Media
- Email management
- Booking and managing appointments
- PowerPoint presentations
- Manage Blogs
- Receptionist duties
Virtual assistants are a great way of outsourcing because they are much cheaper than a personal assistant and fulfill a similar role.
From those four time management tips you should be able to save at least 4 hours daily if not more. This will give you more freedom to do the things that you love in life. Thank us by writing a comment :).