One of most common complaints these days is that “i don’t have a time”. This post is my contribution on how to save time from your daily routine. To save time is an art not everyone can master the same. Time is Money, and Everyone has 24 hours during the day. To save time means better productivity. It depends on individual to individual how they utilize 24 hours. The world’s richest person also has 24 hours so as the poor person in the world. If we adjust sleeping time and other daily routines, then we are left with approx 14 hours during the day. In last few years, i could not find someone telling me that i have a lot of time. One of the reason can be that people will make fun of that person. It is good to remain busy, but we miss a lot of imp tasks like regular exercise, having food on time, enough sleep, etc. I observed many people attend workshops or read books on Time Management. In my opinion, you cannot learn time management. You have to practice and follow yourself. It requires a lot of discipline to save time. Let check how we can save time from our daily routine.
Cut down trivial tasks
In my opinion, these days there are lot more distractions or avenues to KILL TIME compared to my childhood days. During those days, no one talked about how to save time or time management. We had a lot of time at our disposal to complete all the tasks of the day. The life was simple and free of distractions. There is no clear cut definition of unproductive tasks. It varies from individual to individual. A task that is unproductive for me to save time might be a productive task for person A. I am listing down some of the unproductive tasks that i have cut down to save time.
(a) Limit TV Viewing to 30 mins a day: Recently, i read in one of the surveys that on average people in India spend 3-4 hours a day to watch TV. Though i agree that entertainment is equally important, we should restrict it to 30 min or max 1 hour a day. TV viewing should not be an addiction. I watch TV only after completing my imp and critical tasks of the day. To save time, we should restrict leisure activities to max 1 hour a day.
(b) Reduce Traveling time: In metro cities lot of people spend 3-4 hours daily in traveling. It’s a waste of time. Though it is not a rocket science to stay near to your workplace to save time. In know many people who have put their house on rent in the same city and staying near their place of work. Another advantage is that you save tax by doing this as you can claim HRA from your employer.
Identify Distractions to Save Time
As i mentioned, life is now FULL of distractions. I removed certain distractions from my LIFE to save time. Some of the distractions that killed my time were
(a) Social Media Channels: I am not against social media channels but trust me these were biggest distractions. I call it as a social media addiction. A lot of people around me are suffering from same. People have a habit of checking mobile every five mins for any new likes or WhatsApp message. I disabled my mobile data connection and made a rule to check only every 3 hours initially. I decided to organize my life first before knowing what’s happening in others life. With a disciplined approach, now i check my personal social media account once in a week and personal WhatsApp messages twice a week. There can be counter argument that we are a social animal and should socialize. I believe that we should save time for productive activities. Trust me the world will not fall if you will not check your social media accounts or WhatsApp message every five mins. To save time, i segregated my personal and professional profile. Of course i am always online on my business profiles as it is bread and butter for me
(b) Stock Market: It is another distraction until unless it is your profession or business. To save time, you can always hire professional services and opt for long term investment. Also, long term investment does not demand daily tracking of Stock Market.
(c) Sports: No offense to anyone or hurt anyone’s feeling but i observed people wasting the whole day watching a cricket match. If you observe that the sports that are craze abroad like football, hockey, athletics, tennis, etc. are a maximum of 2 hours. Whereas in my opinion, a match of cricket means wastage of 1 FULL day. Moreover, after the match-fixing scandals and commercialization of same many people don’t feel like wasting their time on same. I can be included in this class. A game of Kabaddi or Hockey are equally thrilling, but i save time compared to cricket.
Shop Online to Save Time and Money
Earlier i used to shop for grocery from the nearby hypermart. It meant wastage of 3 hours weekly. Now i shop for almost all the household items through e-commerce sites that help to save time. Besides time, it also helps to save money. From a safety pin to an airplane, you can buy everything online.
Recently i visited the post office to book a speed post parcel and saw 100m queue. When i inquired, i came to know that 90% people are in a queue to pay their electricity bill. Similarly, you can see long lines in PSU banks where people don’t mind standing in a queue to withdraw the small amount. In an interesting study, one of the largest banks found that people prefer branch banking in summers to enjoy the air conditioning. To prove this, they removed air conditioning from one of the branch and footfall reduced by 55%. Despite govt and RBI’s efforts to promote the use of debit cards, people prefer branch banking. In my opinion, all these activities are wastage of time. I have given auto debit facility to my bank for payment of mobile, electricity, credit card and other bills. It helps to save time.
Organize the Day
Though it is easy to say, difficult to practice. You can always take help alarm on your mobile or calendar for reminders. Google Calendar app is very helpful, and you can also set recurring tasks. It helps me to save time and become more organized. You can also maintain a small diary with a to-do list. It will contribute to better planning. Also, you should club your outside activities to save time. For example, you can keep one day i.e. Saturday for any physical purchase/repair/service rather wasting time twice or thrice a week.
Words of Wisdom: There can be 100 more points, but i believe that for a significant change in life you should take baby steps. Apply 80:20 principle i.e. KILL 20% tasks/activities that are wasting 80% of your time. It will save time with visible results. Also, start with the ones that are easy to implement. Always remember that you cannot bring very drastic changes in your life. Sometimes we enjoy doing certain things like in-store shopping or watching a cricket match. A change should always be gradual. Always remember that we have very limited time at our disposal. We should utilize it FULLY and productively.
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