We’re all trying to save time.
After all, if you think about it, it’s the most precious natural resource we have. It’s the very currency of life, which we aim to use to do something great and meaningful.
There’s a lot of information out there about how to save time and become more productive. However, I’ve found that a lot of it is either impractical or exclusive to one type of work.
Over the years, I’ve worked relentlessly to make myself more productive. And I’ve discovered that the most important lessons about time and how we use it are always the simple ones. They’re the things which are often ignored in search of something that looks and sounds more “epic” and life-changing, like a new app or software.
And sure, these help, but they’re nothing if not supported by the most fundamental lessons on smart time management.
Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.
– Jim Rohn
Having said that, here are three simple, but radically effective ways to save time in any situation so you have more time for what matters most:
1. Maintain a clear, fully-functioning mind
To live and go about your daily life, you have tools. The most of important one is your brain.
Still following? Good.
Everything you do is performed through the lens of your consciousness. And the quality of your consciousness and mental faculties is directly proportional to how well you take care of that brain of yours. And you do that by eating foods that are good for your brain (walnuts, dark chocolate, fresh fish), working out, and exercising mentally (meditation, etc.).
It’s really pretty simple, but most people make it complicated. Research shows that both working out and meditating can be done for as little as 10 minutes with great results. Plus, many of the foods that are good for your brain make for great snacks, so they’re easy to squeeze in if not already in your regular diet.
Because everything you do is based on how well your brain functions, the better it functions, the faster you can perform tasks at full efficiency, the fewer mistakes you make, and the slower you burn out.
All of these healthy habits amount to gigantic amounts of time saved.
2. Find the excess and trim away
Even if you don’t think there is, there is always something unnecessary in what you’re doing:
- The way you’re spending an hour a day in meetings when you could really cut it down to 15 minutes
- The way you take 30 minutes to an hour just to get going in the morning, checking social, your email, and your favorite websites before finally getting to work.
- The way you fold clothes, first dropping every type of article of clothing into an organized stack before folding instead of just folding them straight away
The examples are endless, but the point is this: there is excess and you can trim it. It makes you more efficient, which of course saves you time, but it typically saves other resources as well so it’s often well worth the effort.
3. Outsource and automate
Nowadays, outsourcing isn’t just done by working with people. Automation can be utilized through software, so your options are pretty diverse.
- You can automate your calendar to Google to autofill as you add notifications, reminders, and special events in your Gmail
- You can outsource your company’s social media by automatically posting to social with tools like Buffer
- You can outsource basic administrative tasks for virtually anything thanks to a virtual assistant
- You can outsource picking up lunch or dinner with something like GrubHub
- And you can outsource waiting in line at the DMV or running to the store with TaskRabbit
Whether it’s simply outsourcing to another person or true automation, there are countless examples of ways you can save time in life by doing one or the other.
Often, I’ve found, there are far more ways than we realize. So, take some time to think about ways you can automate or outsource the lesser important tasks. You’ll be happy you did.