Time is money so stop wasting your time and money with these eight time saving tips
Talking about ways to save time isn’t so far off topic for a personal finance blog. They say time is money so the best way to make extra money may be to make extra time. While you can’t physically make time, we can all find a little more time by cutting back on wasting time and spending it a little more wisely.
Spend any time on the internet and you’re likely to read countless time saving tips. Most are pretty lame and hard to measure the actual time you save. For this post, I tried to go with only the time saving ideas that I have tried and that will legitimately save you time.
After reading through the list, I’d love to add your ideas to it. Use the comment box to add your own time saving ideas.
How is the Average Person Wasting Time?
Before you know which time saving tips will work for you, you’ll need to know how you are spending time and how you’re wasting time.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys and compiles data on how the average American spends their time in its Time Use Survey. I’ve put the average data into a graph below, though averaging out the numbers may not be an exact way to look at how people are wasting time.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of the average day is spent sleeping, working and watching television. People spend, on average, nearly nine hours a day sleeping and six hours a day working. Neither one of these is necessarily wasting time but the two hours 49 minutes spent watching TV might not be so well spent.
I was surprised that the average person spends just an hour and 20 minutes a day eating. Another two and a half hours is spent doing housework, preparing food, caring for the lawn and on other household chores.
Within the “other” category above is 11 separate items on which people spend an average of 13 minutes each during their daily routine. The point isn’t that some of these items can be taken off your list completely, though some of them can, but that we are bombarded with a million things to do every day.
You need to know what’s on your daily list to understand where you’re wasting time and how you might save time.
If the saying goes, you need to spend money to make money, maybe you need to spend a little time to make time. This means sitting down each day and taking the time to plan your day. Plan out what you really want to get done and put yourself on a schedule. Don’t be too restrictive. Give yourself a little time to relax.
Taking the time to plan out your time and put yourself on a schedule will go a long way to avoiding little annoyances and wasting time.
Besides planning out your schedule, review the previous day’s schedule.
- Were you able to get your most important tasks done?
- Did you find yourself wasting time and not even knowing it?
- What are some ways you could have saved time?
Time Saving Tips to Stop Wasting Time
Some of the time saving tips below might be fairly easy while others…won’t be so easy. Stick with it. Any time saving program is going to take between eight to 12 weeks to really do any good. That’s the amount of time it takes to create a habit. Do anything continuously for two months and it should start to feel like second nature, making it a lot easier to carry on with the behavior.
- Eating out may seem the faster alternative but you’re wasting time traveling. Eat more fruits and vegetables, foods that do not take a lot of time to prepare.
- Turn off your cell phone when you’re trying to get something done. Is it really that big a deal that you are unreachable for a couple of hours?
The average person spends more than 23,000 hours washing clothes and over 300,000 hours getting dressed. Save time, go naked!
- Set yourself on a strict TV schedule. Pick one or two shows that you really enjoy and cut out the rest. No more wasting time watching reruns!
- Set your morning alarm clock across the room so you have to get up when it sounds.
Watch nothing but Mexican daytime soap operas for a month. After 30 days, you’ll be so confused that you’ll never want to watch TV again!
- Put yourself on an internet intervention – how often do you check email, social media and other sites that really don’t need to be checked more than a couple times a day? Write out a schedule on a piece of paper for when you can check these sites.
- Know the value of your time. It may seem silly to pay someone to do something so you can spend time making money but it might be worth it. If you can get someone to do the grocery shopping or yard work for $10 an hour, it might be worth the extra time you’ll save to dedicate to your hobby-job.
Make your own time machine! Try going a week without internet, cellphones and anything created after 1980.
- Replace your quantity time with the family to quality time. Time spent in front of the TV doesn’t really count for much. Plan an activity you can all do together. You’ll create a stronger bond together in less time.
- I like to sleep as much as the next guy but the fact is we need a lot less sleep than most people get. Studies actually show that people who sleep between 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours a night live the longest. Cut back by 15 minutes a week to acclimate yourself to about seven hours of sleep a night, including weekends.
Ok, so some of the time saving tips might be a little extreme. I happen to like Mexican daytime dramas so no help there. Pick out a few time saving ideas and try them out for a couple of months. You will save at least an hour or two a day and may actually have time to devote to that project you always wanted to start.
Your turn, what are you wasting time on and what time saving tips have worked best?