Tips

Ten Things You Can Do to Save Time & Money

Conduct a time and motion study on yourself. For a week pay attention to how you are spending every hour of every day. It;s a lot of work but you’ll learn so much. How much moving around are you doing? What are you doing? Is it what you should be doing? Can you delegate? What didn’t get done?

Answer the phone. Voicemail is a great tool, when you need it but many of us fell into the habit of screening our calls. Take the call, even if it’s a solicitor.

Get a PDA. The days of waiting until you get back to the office to review a document, check or send an email are over. Keep all of your phone numbers and email addresses in there.

Get and keep organized. I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t know where to find what you need, you’ll waste time. Make sure you have everything you need all of the time.

Keep your stock, stocked. Whether its printer cartridges or aspirin, spending time without something you need is wasteful. Don’t run out of the critical things that keep you going. Keep everything charged and ready to go.

Plan, Plan, Plan. If you aren’t controlling your life, it will control you. You’ll be late, stressed, worried and wondering all too much. Spend two hours each week – one hour on Friday and one hour mid-week to pay attention to what’s coming and what you need to do in advance.

Journal. Whether you use a PDA, notebook, Netbook or your computer, starting journaling your ideas, thoughts, to do items. It doesn’t have to be neat and an organized either, just something to catalog your open action items in one centralized location.

Keep a tight calendar. Whether you realize it or not, time management has a lot to do with your calendar and blocking off time to do the important things is critical. Schedule administrative, planning and down time to make sure you are getting everything done.

Delegate. If you can put a price tag on your time vs. how much delegation may cost you, you might be surprised. If you have tasks that you can ask someone else to do or help with, do it. Don’t try to do it all yourself.

Be real. Small business owners have an amazing passion for what they do and if you aren’t living the passion, then take the time to really drill down on how you are spending your time. If you’re miserable with your day, revamp it!

Debbie Quintana, President & CEO of Gourmet Gifts

More Time Management Articles

Here we recommend ways to involve your children in helping with household chores whilst also learning the principles of Time Management.

1. Monitor the “dead” time you spend watching TV. Now of course the TV is an excellent resource and a great way to relax and unwind. However the TV can eat up valuable hours that with hindsight you might wish you had spent in other ways. Most people have no real idea how much time they spend in front of their TV. You need to be aware of the extent to which the TV schedules are arranged to keep you in front of your TV. With the exception of the few networks that do not carry advertising (such as the BBC) they want you to watch for as long as possible so that you see as many advertisements as possible. It can be an eye-opener to learn how much TV time you spend either watching advertisements or waiting for them to finish to resume watching the programme of choice. Make a note of this for a few days – you will find you will start to fast forward through adverts and record a lot more TV. The trick is not to watch more programmes, which almost by definition will be of less value to you, but to spend less time in front of the TV.

2. Learn to de-clutter effectively. For most people spring cleaning is appropriately named, undertaken just once yearly without realising just how much time is wasted in between by working and living in disorganised and cluttered surroundings. It is a much better approach to organise everything you do in a way that builds in spring-cleaning on an ongoing basis to ensure that everything is readily to hand. At home this can be achieved by following the maxim – a place for everything, and everything in its place. This requires a measure of self-discipline because the number and size of your possessions will be curtailed by the amount of storage space you have. When cupboards approach full capacity – then it is time to get rid of something. As a last resort, get rid of those things that have been unused for 15 months and are of no sentimental value – which means a complete year and one repeated season since last used. Save money by only buying what you have space for!

3. Save time on making grocery lists. By having a computer generated pre-populated shopping list handy in the kitchen you can compile a shopping list with the minimum of effort. Simply tick the item when you know that more is going to be required when you next go shopping. This removes the need to compile a shopping list from memory and the need to spend time examining food cupboards. Do not use a wipe clean kitchen board – you cannot take that to the shops. Furthermore, knowing you have a complete shopping list will reduce the temptation to make impulse purchases whilst in the shop – and so save money also.

4. Adopt a consistent and logical method of storing food in your freezer. For example if you have an upright freezer then take items for use from the bottom drawer first. Place items that are bought last in the top compartments and rotate the drawers so that the items bought longest ago gradually migrate towards the bottom. In this way you can save time and money by ensuring you know which items are nearing the date at which they should be eaten – and you will no longer waste time – and perhaps food – sifting through for expiry dates.

5. Teach your children how you are required to organise and use time wisely – and how they must also learn to do so. Allocate jobs to children according to their age and ability. Keep a list of household jobs and who is responsible for them visible in the kitchen. Everyone can then tick off a job when it has been done. Children not only like to tick off their tasks when they are done, but also learn how much a parent has to do to keep a house running smoothly. If possible, rotate jobs between children ‘in that way they learn more and jobs do not become monotonous too quickly. Fairness is important to children – or perhaps it is better to say they are keenly aware when they feel unfairly treated, so job rotation is a good idea. Involving children in this way is a great way to instill a sense of responsibility, mutual support and cooperation – and so save more time.

In common with all time management tips, you and your family will benefit only to the extent to which you consistently apply the methods recommended. Involving your family in the ways suggested will provide a gentle way to educate and introduce the need for personal time management discipline. It is important for younger family members to learn these lessons in the comfortable and relaxed way that is possible by following these suggestions.

With a UK Masters Degree in Internal Audit and Management, Brian Hazell audited strategic & business planning within a large UK Government Department and has managed successful businesses within UK legal & financial sectors. His book Time and Tasks Management provides detailed practical steps for radically improved time management for small businesses , team managers & individuals. For a FREE preview visit: => http://www.timeandtasks.com

Here are 3 simple time mangements tips to save busy professionals a ton of time every day:

1. Delegate more!

Prioritize your work A, B, C with A as being the MUST be done activities…those you were HIRED to do. B’s are the SHOULD be dones, like the stuff that keeps us legal or allows us to get/keep our ISO 9000 certification. C’s are the NICE to be dones. Once you have done this, delegate most of your Bs and almost all your Cs to someone who is capable of doing them. What if you only were able to offload an additional 29% of your work, would it be worth doing? Sure!!! 29% solution.

2. Toss stuff!

I might need this someday.  NO WAY! Toss it out. 85% of what is in file cabinets will never be referenced again. Toss it out. If you can find it on someone else database. Toss it out. If you can get it with a phone call. Toss it out. If you can locate it on the Internet, toss it out!

3.  Be more productive!

No busy. Every idiot who works anywhere thinks he/she is ‘busy’. They move aimlessly from task to task; exhausted by the end of their work day. NEVER confuse busy with productive. Productive means you spend 80 to 90% of your time on your A priority tasks. Is that how you spend YOUR day? If not, stop being busy and get productive.

 

Say NO to C and low B tasks until every A is completed.

Start living life with PURPOSE and towards your ultimate goals in life.

Live life with PASSION to be your best.

These 3 time management tips may seem simplistic, but the simple things in life are usually the truths of life. Love your family. Live your life. Praise your God. Be content while striving to be better. These are simple things. Difficult to attain but within everyone’s grasp. Within YOUR grasp. Go for it!

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