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5 Easy Time Management “Hacks”

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

When I was a kid and stuck at school, the days seemed to drag on forever. I remember staring at the clock above the chalkboard, wondering why the hands were moving so slowly. Once the bell rang, I’d jump up from my desk and rush home to do something a heck of a lot more fun than sitting at school.

Now that I’m an adult, it seems like time moves a lot faster than it did back in elementary school—I find myself going to bed at night thinking of ten other things I could have done during the day if I’d had more time. It’s funny how that works, because I have the same 24 hours a day that I had when I was a kid, but it never seems like enough.

The Lack of Time Excuse

Lack of time is one of the biggest complaints that people have about their life: “I’d love to start exercising, but I don’t have enough time.” “Finishing my degree is a great idea, but I don’t have enough time to go back to school.” “I’ll paint the house when I have a little bit more time on my hands.”

How you use your time is up to you—it’s your decision—but you can probably think of any activity and there’s someone out there claiming that they’d do it if they had more time.

I know people who went to college in the evenings while they held down full-time day jobs, I know people who worked two or three jobs to make ends meet because they had to do it in order to survive, and I know people that sit around their house all day and complain that they don’t have enough time to get things done. Pretty funny, really, when you look at it that way.

If you want to make any sort of change in your life, you need to learn how to manage your time. People who know how to manage their time wisely are usually a lot more successful than people who don’t.  “Lack of time” is usually a good way to let yourself procrastinate.

Here are a few easy ways that you can add a bit more time to your day. Think of these tips as time management hacks:

#1- Stop wasting time on the internet.

It’s easy to sit down at your computer to check email only to wind up watching YouTube videos and checking out Facebook photos of people you knew in high school. If you constantly find yourself wasting time on the internet, get up and walk away.

It’s not really as bad as it sounds—somehow we all survived before the internet was invented, and it’s okay to avoid it for a few hours.

#2- Don’t go overboard with TV.

There’s nothing wrong with watching a few hours of TV each week, but when you sit down with the remote it’s easy for one show to become three or four. Record your favorites—most of us have a DVR these days—and fast forward through the commercials. A one hour show without the commercials is only about forty-five minutes long.

#3- Avoid video games.

The amount of time people waste playing video games amazes me. Some of my friends literally stay up all night long playing games on their Xbox. Supposedly some of the games for younger kids are educational, but there’s really no point to most other games, especially if they’re keeping you from getting important tasks accomplished.

#4- Watch your sleep.

Sleep is obviously necessary in order to function, but you don’t need ten or eleven hours of sleep each night. I’ve found that getting too much sleep actually makes me drag throughout the day. Go to bed and get up at a reasonable hour, and you’ll find yourself with a lot more energy.

#5- Listen to audio books or podcasts.

I like to multitask by listening to audio books while I drive or go out for a run.  It’s a good way to learn about business or other skills that you’re working on while you do something else.   

Final Thoughts

If you want to know more about time management, I recommend you read my post about how to manage your time while traveling and having fun.  Also you might want to take a look at this article that helps fix four bad time management habits.

Finally… I know a number of people have their own methods for “creating more time.”  So if you have any, please share them in the comment section below.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Alien Ghost

Hi Steve,

Interesting, I do have the problem of time management but don’t use internet other than blogging and commenting and just about one hour a week for youtube and surfing.

Also don’t watch more than two or three hours of tv per week, don’t play video games and sleep an average of three hours a day yet time still is scarce. The only thing I don’t do that you recomend is #5 “Listen to audio books or podcasts”

Maybe times fly too fast or I have a too big “To Do” list :)

Raul
.-= Alien Ghost´s last blog ..Don’t Say Sorry! =-.

Reply

Steve Scott

Raul,

Yeah, even with following all the good time management techniques there still may not be time enough to “get everything done” Sometimes there is simply too much to do. Imagine how bad it would be if your didn’t have solid time management techniques…

As for an hour or two surfing….that is needed. The brain does need some downtime to unwind, it is just a question of amount. All things in moderation as the man said.

If you follow solid time management principles and are still short on time There are two great things you might want to do. Start with a list of all the things you want and need to do.

now,

1. Take anything that is not important to success, family or happiness (unwind time) off that list
2. Find items on that list that are mindless,repetitive but necessary and outsource. Even if your outsourcing is something like paying your son or a neighborhood kid to wash your car, you are freeing time for more important things. Just a thought

Steve

Reply

Aaron

And stop playing Farmville and Mafia Wars and Social City and all the rest of them. Games are a huge waste of time when you can be doing something much more productive with your time, like making money.

Thanks Steve!
.-= Aaron´s last blog ..blogReaction Introduces Revenue Sharing on Free Blogging Platform =-.

Reply

Steve Scott

Aaron

Absolutely. I avoid those games and ones like “Wow” and Starcraft not because I think I “wouldn’t” enjoy them, but because I am scared that I would.. and there would go all my time.

Reply

Jazz Salinger

Hi Steve,

I think it’s all about your focus. If you really want to get something done, you find the time to fit it in.

I find that if I think I want to do something in my life but I’m not really getting it done; I just have to look at what I’m focusing on.

If I say I really want to get fit and I’m playing video games instead of working out. I’m not really focused on getting fit. If I was I’d do the things I need to in order to be healthy.

There are a lot of things that will drain your time. It’s just what you focus on. I think.
.-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen – Aussie Internet Marketer Making a Difference =-.

Reply

Steve Scott

Jazz,

That is true, if you have real focus as opposed to just “wanting” something you really do find ways to “make it happen” rather than excuses as to why it “didn’t happen”

Steve

Reply

Ben

This are some great tips.

The thing for me is how much you can get done, productivity when you manage your time effectively. If everyone did it and started their own businesses or worked on losing weight and eating right, wouldn’t the world be a different place?
.-= Ben´s last blog ..2 simple fears that stop your success =-.

Reply

Steve Scott

Ben,

To be pessimistic for a second If everyone managed time and productivity well , the competition would be a lot fiercer, at least for the business aspects of things.

But aside from the random second of pessimism, even in the business world this would mean that creativity and ingenuity would become the important ascpects of success, so yeah, it would be a wonderful place

Reply

Justin Popovic

Reading this post came at an interesting time for me. I am just wrapping up one of the busiest weeks I have had probably since launching my business 3 years ago. And I cannot tell you how much more productive I am now compared to my days at the beginning.

Without going into detail, I accomplished 3 very big projects this week that would have taken a week each in the past.

So part of time management I think is the ability to make it a practice. You can’t just wake up one day and say I’m going to be an elite time management guru. You evolve into someone who maximizes their time spend. The tips you have given are a sure fire way for people to cut out wasted time and leave room for the quality time we all seek and desire. Committing to productivity and being accountable for your actions (in my case I am accountable to clients who are keeping my business funded) will automatically force you to spend your time wisely. It is a great weeding out process as well because if you are held accountable and you don’t learn how to manage time, you generaly are left on the side of the road having to start all over.

Thanks for the insight Steve.
.-= Justin Popovic´s last blog ..Get More Interested in Other People =-.

Reply

Steve Scott

Justin,

Thanks for the comment.
You are absolutely correct, it is not something you can roll out of bed and master, it is process and you keep growing and getting better at it. At some point it all becomes second nature. At least, that is what I hear. :)

Reply

Harsh Agrawal

Another nice one Steve… and one more point from me: Avoid Facebook.. Lolz its a serious time waster…. ;)

Reply

Steve Scott

Yup, farmville, mafia wars and the rest are specifically incredible time sinks. It is a great resource used occasionally. But a “everyday or an “all the time” thing it is horrible.

Reply

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