Time is the stuff life’s made of.
You can’t get more time no matter how hard you try.
Unfortunately, some day you and I will die. All we have is the time between now and then.
You must learn to use your time wisely before it’s too late.
Time is (More Than) Money
There’s an old saying that “time is money,” but time is actually more valuable than cash. You can always get more money; you can’t get more time.
How to Save Time
Here are 11 creative ways to save time so you can be happier and live a life of purpose.
1. Plan Ahead
“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” ~ Andy Weir
At least 10% of the time that you dedicate to a project should be spent creating a plan for success. When you think through the project or task at hand, you’ll be able to spot potential obstacles, identify the resources and tools you need to do the job quickly, and save yourself an enormous amount of time later on.
Don’t start a new project without creating a plan.
Plan Your Week
You should always have a plan for at least the next week so you can prepare and set up everything you need ahead of time to make your work and personal life run smoothly.
2. Sharpen Your Axe
There’s a great quote that says, “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first three hours sharpening my axe.”
Sharpening your axe means preparing for success by making sure you have the right tools.
Once you’ve created your plan, you should have a good idea about the skills, tools, and resources you’ll need to do the job. Now it’s time to go get those supplies—whether that means buying an axe from Home Depot, calling a friend for advice, or taking a free online publishing course.
3. Kill the Television
Time saved: 1768 hours a year
Americans spend an average of 34 hours each week watching TV, according to a Nielsen report. That’s almost a full-time job.
If you make this one simple change and turn off your TV for good, you can easily use that extra time to start a side business, write a book, or start freelancing.
Imagine what you could accomplish with an extra 34 hours every week!
Note: It takes on average around 500 hours to write a book, so if the average American stopped watching TV and started writing instead, they could write more than three and a half books per year!
4. Save Time on Email
Time Saved: 312 hours per year
The average worker spends 28% of their time reading and writing emails, according to McKinsey Global Institute and International Data Corp. If we assume a 40 hour work week, that’s 11.2 hours a week spent on email.
Unsubscribe from Email Newsletters
I use a free tool called UnRoll.me. This amazing free service will help you batch unimportant emails into one daily “rollup” instead of cluttering your inbox with unimportant stuff.
Even better, you can unsubscribe from any newsletter with one click!
In 5 minutes, I unsubscribed from over 180 newsletters, many of which were just plain spam.
Create a 5-Minute Email Rule
Never spend more than 5 minutes on a single email. You can do this by keeping your responses to about 5 sentences maximum.
If you need to write a longer email, don’t. Call them and discuss the issue on the phone or a Zoom video call instead.
You’ll save yourself a lot of time in the process, and you’ll avoid incredibly long email responses that just suck up everyone’s time.
5. Batch Tasks
You should always try to batch tasks whenever possible.
Need to run errands? Do all the errands on the same day to be more efficient.
If you have to drive around different areas of town, do all the errands on the same side of town at the same time.
6. Organize Your Home
Everything in your home should have its own “home.”
Crayons go here, towels go in this closet, keys get placed on this counter…
Having one single place for each item in your house that everyone agrees upon makes it so much easier to find your keys, keep your home organized, and not waste trying to find things.
7. Get Rid of Clutter
Clutter is a major waste of time and energy. Clutter is linked to procrastination, and getting rid of clutter will save you so much time and energy.
If you need help managing clutter, I highly recommend the book The Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.
8. Limit or Eliminate Social Media
According to Statista, people spend around 2.5 hours every day on social media!
That’s 17.5 hours each week.
You could use that time for so many other things, from starting a new business or hobby to actually socializing in person with friends!
9. Stop Multitasking
Multitasking doesn’t work. The research is clear.
If you think you’re saving time by multitasking, you’re actually just wasting a lot of time and energy trying to do too many things at once.
Slow down and focus on one thing at a time. You can’t get somewhere faster by hurrying, but you can get there faster by staying focused and avoiding mistakes.
10. Automate Recurring Tasks
You can sign up for autopay for your mortgage, credit cards, and other monthly bills. This will save you a lot of time and mental energy.
You can also use automation tools like Zapier to automate many recurring work and business tasks.
11. Learn to Say No
Learn how to say no when you’ve overcommitted yourself. Sometimes our schedules and lives get too hectic because we said yes to too many things and ended up regretting it.
There’s absolutely no shame in saying no to something you wanted to do in the past that is no longer the best use of your time.
By saying no to something that’s a waste of time for you, you’re saying yes to what really matters to you.
These 11 time saving techniques are tested and proven, but there’s one big problem:
They don’t work if you don’t use them!
Right now, apply these 11 ways to save time to your life. Don’t keep browsing the internet or Facebook. Stop right now, write these time saving tips down, and take action!
Time is life, and your life is counting on you making the most of the time you have!
What do you do to save time? Share your tips in the comments below!
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Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.