You’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard the familiar saying, “time is money.” We all know it’s true, but at some point we’ve lost the correlation as to just how much wasted time really affects our financial growth. There’s a lot to be said about time management and its effect on your wallet. It basically boils down to the simple fact that what you decide to do with your time directly affects your personal financial growth.
When you realize this, you come to the understanding that as much care should be given to what you do with each hour of the day as you give to how you spend or allot your income. There’s a basic truth that the more value you can produce, the higher your income potential will grow. If you can produce twice the amount of value in half the time, then you’ll effectively quadruple your income potential. If you’ve been one who’s prone to pushing off organizational tasks, this is a solid argument for taking that necessary admin time to really make sure you’re getting the true value out of every minute you’re awake… and possibly even the minutes while you sleep!
How should you organize your day to take the most advantage of the wealth opportunities out there?
To make this decision, you really need to decide what you want from your day. What are your time management priorities?
- Do you need more independent time to focus on projects?
- Do you need more organization so you can double up on tasks and get more done in less time?
- Do you need help handling tasks that are taking you away from income generating tasks?
The time you spend analyzing your needs and desires will be rewarded with a more streamlined and efficient plan of action. You’ll also see what’s really important to you so it will be easier to prioritize tasks. Maybe cleaning the house yourself isn’t as beneficial as hiring someone so you’re freed up to write more blog posts or finish up more client work. It’s possible you might need to restructure your work day to find more time to work without distractions.
Whatever your desires, take time to structure an outline of how you want to spend your time. For instance, you might want to plan your schedule in blocks of time per day or even by days like the following plan:
- Monday – catch up work day
- Tuesday & Wednesday – no distraction work days
- Thursdays – conference calls and meetings
- Fridays – winding down, tie up loose ends and get ready for the next week.
However your overall plan is laid out, the point is to create something that works for you and allows you the freedom to really create more value.
What should you focus on day-to-day?
The above will help you structure your long-term time management goals, but the real action gets done on a day-to-day basis. For this, you need to break down each day by what you absolutely need to get done. This is best accomplished with a simple method that easily duplicated. Let’s face it – a sculptor doesn’t start with a beautiful piece of art. They have to spend each day focusing on small elements that will eventually give way to their masterpiece. The same is true of your daily time management.
Every night or every morning, make a list of what specific things you need to complete that day. Don’t make a huge list, just decide on three to four things you absolutely MUST finish that day. This will help keep you focused throughout the day when distractions come in. Obviously, some days just tend to snowball with emergencies and potential fires to put out, but overall you should notice a huge improvement in what you’re getting done with the simple daily task list.
Final words of wisdom…
When you’re planning, there are certain traps that can lead to wasted time. To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, try a few of these tips:
- Always try to multi-task errands whenever possible. Don’t expend unnecessary gas or expensive time with wasted trips.
- Be honest and over-allowing when factoring in how much time you think it will take to complete a task. If you have three task to do that day and they each take four hours to complete, chances are you won’t get them all done.
- Plan out your day in blocks of time. For the most effective productivity, you need to have a 20 minute break every hour and a half. This allows you to reset and actually work for longer “optimal” periods of time throughout the day. Schedule your to-dos around these 90 minute blocks and you’ll notice a vast improvement in not only what you get done, but also the quality of your work.
- Set a timer for when you browse social media sites or you’re doing research. Both of these activities can zap your time without you even realizing it. Setting an alarm to go off in a set time will help keep you in check and will force you to do what you absolutely need to do before your time is up.
- Don’t be afraid to close the door, ignore phone calls or to just say no. Everyone always seems to want a piece of your most valuable asset. Honestly, can you really afford to throw your time away to please someone else? If you know you’ll increase your bottom line by spending another hour doing a certain task, do what you need to do to make sure that time is uninterrupted.
By now, the phrase “time is money” should have taken on a new significance! Share what you plan on doing to increase your wealth through the use of time management below!