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5 Easy Ways to Save Time

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

You’ve probably noticed by now that time management is one of my favorite blog topics. I think that’s because time management is pretty much essential for people who run their own business—there’s no clocking in and clocking out when you run the show yourself.

We should all figure out how to “go with the flow” if things don’t go as scheduled, but if you learn how to organize things and budget your time wisely, you’ll be able to get so much more out of life. More time to spend on your hobbies. More time to be with your family. More time to tackle those things you swore you’d get to one day but haven’t so far.

5 Easy Ways to Save Time

I already mentioned that I write about time management fairly regularly, but I wanted to discuss it again on a Saturday—a day that many people have off from work and want to get the most of. (Don’t worry— I know you’re busy so the list isn’t very long!)

  1. Learn to prioritize. Take a look at your to-do list and rank things in order of importance. Tackle the “must-do’s” before you tackle the things that you can do tomorrow if you have to.
  2. Do difficult things quickly. Most of us procrastinate when it comes to things that we don’t want to do or things that are hard. If you get the tough stuff out of the way first, the easy things will seem that much … easier.
  3. Just do it, already. This suggestion is related to #4 but it’s so true I had to discuss it on its own. If you’ve been avoiding something, step up to the plate and do it already.
  4. Avoid perfectionism. This one may receive some criticism, but if you want to get something done don’t worry about it being absolutely perfect … you can fix things after you’ve gotten most of it done.
  5. Don’t over-schedule yourself. We tend to be “too busy” at work, but a lot of people over-schedule themselves on the weekend or in their personal lives, too. Unless I haven’t learned the trick yet, there’s no way you can be in two places at the same time.

Let’s add to the list. What are some other easy ways to save time?

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 26 comments }

Ryan Biddulph

I like 2 and 4 Steve. Plowing through tuff stuff and avoiding perfectionism help me to save time. I could care less about multiple edits on my work. I do something from the heart and give it one of maybe two once-overs at most…then I hit the publish button. Saves a great deal of time and worry.

Thanks for sharing!

Ryan

Steve Scott

Getting it done certainly beats worrying over a topic for hours. You gain maybe 5% improvement fro doubling your workload.

Of course some edits are important. But the beauty thing is if you catch an error later, you can always go back and fix it.

Have a great day!

Adam Paudyal

Steve,

I have a hard time dealing with Perfectionism on a regular basis. I like the point #2 as well because it is very true that if you do difficult things first, everything else just seems to go with the flow. I see you have covered almost all the points to help manage time effectively. I would also like to add, allow time for distractions.

It is very true that distractions and interruptions exist no matter how organized we are. They are a part of our life. Being flexible is necessary to work around those distractions and interruptions.

Thanks for the insights Steve.
You have a great weekend.

Steve Scott

Like I said to Ryan. Perfectionism can be a tough one. At one point it was so bad that since I thought none of my stuff was perfect (which none of it still is) I didn’t want to publish anything.

It is something you should try to work past. Don’t post shit-which i know you would never do- but do not worry over it too much either.

Allowing time for distractions is good, but avoiding them is good too. Turn off calls during writing time. NO TV. Keep drapes shut to avoid watching birds outside. Things like that are important.

Also if you leave TOO much time available for distractions you will use it. if you give yourself 2 hours to get something done and then halve the time, it is very possible you could still get it done. People often stretch time to fill the job.

Steven

Nice tips Scott! Time management is definitely crucial for entrepreneurs and the self-employed. We have to be our own bosses, which means exercising self-discipline and other self-imposed standards.

Steve Scott

Very true. If you can’t motivate yourself to get the needed stuff done it will be hard to succeed as self emplyed. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

I hope the rest of your weekend is awesome.

Fran Aslam

Hi Steve:

Very hot topic, everyone has something to say about it. Behind all of this there is # 3. This is what makes it done. But then again If it is not perfect it always haunts back again and gain. So get in the habit of overcoming all and do it to the best of ability.

Actually all 4 work for time management.

Thanks for reminding

Fran Aslam

Steve Scott

Thanks fran,

Time management can be a big deal. Specifically if you are self employed. IF you dither and waste time when self emplyed the only one you are hurting is yourself. Either you end up taking all your time to get the needed stuff done, or it just doesnt get done. either way you hurt yourself.

Mark Bell

Hey,
These are really useful tips. I’d expand the first point, on learning to prioritise, though. I’d say DON’T multi-task. It may just be me, but I’ve found prioritising, as you say what needs done now to the top of your to do list, and focusing on each item individually works best. Multi-tasking spreads your effort and I believe leads to procrastination because you can’t develop and momentum behind your tasks. Soon when the momentum builds, you steamroll through all the tasks to do.

Steve Scott

I agree. I have seen some people who SEEM to multitask pretty well. There are jobs that may require it. But it surely is a loss of efficiency, even for people who do it well.

Matthew Needham

Hey Steve, you know I am in the process of re-writing my auto repsponder email series. I’m actually starting with Time Management, because without that you really won’t achieve anything.

The only thing I would add to this list is, do I need to do it? Sometimes you do things because you think you should, not because you need to do it.

Cheers Steve.

Steve Scott

Well I do not consider the need to “rewrite” mine often. It is more about trying to constantly add new stuff a mix or free affiliate and combo stuff.

You are right though, it is easy to feel the “need” to fix something that may not be broken. That is why I love things that can have real analytics applied to them. Like doing split tests for two versions of an autorepsonder, to really see which one works better. Or even simple things like “asking” what posts people want, like I did the other day.

Murlu

I love anything time management Steve

#1 is spot on and I try to do this every day, I use a simple A, B, C system.

For example:

[A] – Write 10 articles today for 1K Article Challenge
[B] – Find a new theme for one of my new side-project blogs
[C] – Work on a few emails for newsletter

My priorities are what will be most important as my challenges, goals and what pays the bills, then it trickles down from there.

#5 is something that seems to have hit home today; I’ve waaaay over scheduled myself to the point that I’m so far behind just from waking up late that I feel demotivated to the point that nothing is getting done – which is why I’m checking my RSS atm haha.

Speaking of which, time to get back to work; keep it up Steve, love this subject cause it always gives me a nice boost 🙂

Steve Scott

It is easy to over schedule yourself. No doubt about it. Many good hard working people tend to bite off more than they can chew thinking they can handle it.

It seems like you have your priorities pretty strait. Pay the bills and then work on all the other stuff. If you have an overload of stuff it is just important that SOMETHING from the “get to it when i can” list gets cycled to the “Do it now” stuff every so often.

Zengirl @ Heart and Mind

Steve,

I like time management tips as I think I am one of the organized person or aspired to be one. Once I took a seminar by Stephen Covey and I learn to focus better on what was important to me and my life and I create my to do list, short term or long term both. Writing things down sure helps me.

I admit #4 and 5 are still something I am working on, getting better though. Btw, how was Berlin?

Preeti

Steve Scott

4 and 5 can always be an issue for over achievers. All you can do is try!

Berlin was awesome!! Thanks for asking. My trip has been great so far. I am actually looking forward to finally heading home though. You can only wake up in new places so often before it begins to be tiring.

Peter J

That depends on the path you want to take – someone that does something, has it break and fixes it or someone that does it and gets it right the first time 😉

Steve Scott

haha, definitely do it right the first time. I do not think that they are mutually exclusive though. You can “do it right” and also do it with speed and efficiency. I am not advocating doing a shit job to get it off your plate. I do see your point though…

Patricia@lavenderuses

I tend to put off the hard tasks and could blog comment and write articles all day! Prioritising is a must with a home business otherwise the day is gone and half the tasks aren’t done. I write a to-do list and at the end of the day can see if I have achieved what I set out to do. Really informative post with lots of salient points. Thanks Steve
Patricia Perth Australia

Steve Scott

To do lists are awesome. I love plans. I think without a guide it is too easy to fill up time with wasted effort.

lawmacs

These are five brilliant tips Steve another on that could fit on the list is having a timetable thanks for the heads up

Mike

Steve,

My previous problem with time management was I did not know how long a task will take. However, I came around that problem with a time log to record down how much time I spent for a specific task. That log has helped me much in allocating time for repetitive tasks like blog commenting or so. That log also has helped me to know how do I spend my time today and I think it’s a good tip to note about 🙂

Cheers!

Steve Scott

Time logs are a great way! I always advocate a little bit of planning to make easier. It is certainly true that if you give yourself too much time for a task that you will fill up that time.

Bryan

Hey Steve,

Nicely written post here. Straight to the point. Hmm about your point do the difficult things quickly. Sometimes I do find that difficult things can take quite a long time so I do those that I can do and get rid of first and then go back to it. My strategy is to do the easy one and while I’m doing them ideas can come in to solve the difficult tasks. Just offering my 2 cents worth 🙂

Steve Scott

Bryan,

Thanks, glad you like it! If doing the difficult things last works for you that is awesome. As long as it works. There have been studies shown, and I have found myslef, that putting the big hard things off to last has a tendency for people to procrastinate doing them. But the ultimate answer is how it works for YOU. If it isn’t an issue, it isn’t an issue! Thanks for dropping by!!

El Edwards

Just do it already! Love it! One of my least favourite things is phone calls. Ironic or what?! But I’m proud to say that about an hour ago I picked up the phone and made the call that has been on hold all week.

Sometimes it really is just a case of biting the bullet and starting already. Great tips Steve. 🙂

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