Time Management Tips – How to Create Value While Saving Time


Time Management Increases Productivity and Lowers Stress

Ever hear of the phrase Time is Money? Effective time management can help you become more productive, lower your stress level, and leave you with more time to do other things.  Here are some of the best time management tips and tricks out there.

Time Management at Home

Kitchen

Crock Pot- It takes just minutes to prepare and place the ingredients in a Crock Pot and set the timer.  The best part is coming home to the smell of a favorite stew and knowing that dinner is ready whenever you are.

Spice & Condiment Rack – Keep the most often used spices and oils near the stove.  This will cut down on the trips to the pantry looking for that oregano!

Mini-food processor- This will save a lot of time chopping vegetables for salads or your favorite omelette.

Weekly Menu- A weekly menu will save time when it comes to putting together a grocery list.  It will also save you money if you only purchase items on your grocery list.

Use aluminum foil or parchment paper to line cookie sheets and bake ware to cut down on clean up time.

Clean as You Cook – Wipe up spills as you go and place dirty cookware in the dishwasher to make cleanups a snap.

Save Time Around the House

Keep active files handy – Keep files for current accounts and bills handy to reduce time required to pay bills and file paperwork.

Declutter –  Use storage bins to declutter and organize your home.  Not only will you like the look, it will save you time when looking for the TV remote.

Organize Your Home Office –  If you work from home, an organized home office will save you time.  Do I need to tell you time equals money? To save time, organize to-do items by due date: immediate, current week, 2-3 weeks, or no rush. Use shelves to organize commonly used items so that they are within reach.

Use Tax Software – Tax season is the inevitable time that comes around each and every year. Filing taxes by hand, though, can be a tedious and time-consuming task that could easily be riddled with mistakes. To avoid this, simply experiment with some of the many tax software options available as they are designed to catch these mistakes. Moreover there are many different types. If you are a student, there is student tax software available.  You get the point, right?

Hire a Virtual Assistant – Virtual assistants can perform a multitude of tasks allowing you to focus your energies on more important tasks.  Common uses for a VA are: scheduling appointments, word processing, filling out routine paperwork, travel reservations, marketing research, etc.

DVR Your Favorite Program –  Not only does the DVR allow you to watch programs on your schedule, you can fast forward through commercials.

Hire a Scrub Only Service – Hire a scrub only service to scrub floors and bathrooms twice a month to cut your cleaning time in half.

Keep Cleaning Wipes Handy – Keep disinfecting wipes handy in the bathroom and kitchen to make cleanup a breeze.

Use a Schedule – Schedule time to check and respond to email, return phone calls, pay bills, etc.  Do not let anything interrupt the task at hand if possible.  You will get more accomplished if you focus on one task at a time.

Setup a Virtual Family Calendar – Losing track of all the places your family needs to be and when they need to be there?  Create a gmail account for the family and individual accounts for everyone in the family that would benefit from a calendar.  Add events to the family calendar as they come up and don’t forget to invite the children so they can access it on their Smartphone calendar when they are making plans.  Keep a laptop in the kitchen with the family calendar on the desktop for easy reference!

Time Management for Your Technology

Dropbox – store your files online so you don’t waste time searching hard drives or flash drives for that file.  With a dropbox you can access your files from almost any device from anywhere cell or internet access is available.

Email – Create Folders for specific topics like Account Registration , Online Purchase Receipts, Taxes, etc.  Next you will need to create a filter that will automatically scan your email for fields that you specify and file in the appropriate folders.

Use Unsubscribe – Still getting email from that jelly of the month club you joined?  Use the unsubscribe link located in the footer of the email to stop unwanted email.

Buy a GPS – Before traveling, add the addresses of all the locations you will be visiting.  This will save time looking for maps or stopping for directions.  Tip – Purchase the Traffic Update Service for real-time route changes to avoid traffic jams.

Digital Photos – When saving photos to your computer, create meaningful folder names such as Yellowstone Spring 2011, it will make finding your photos easier.  Looking for photos of your Aunt Sally?  In Windows Photo Gallery you have the option of using People Tags to identify photos containing that person.  Once you have People tags configured you can search for photos containing that person.

Productivity Apps – There are hundreds of great productivity apps that can help you complete tasks while you are away from a computer.  A few of the best are: SugarSync, Vlingo, Evernote, iXpenselt, Pocketmac, and Mocha VNC.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl + A – select all
Ctrl + C – copy
Crtl + X – cut
Ctrl + V – paste
Ctrl + F – search for text
Ctrl + Z – Undo
Ctrl + Y – Redo   This shortcut undoes your last undo.
Ctrl + shift + D – Bookmark All Tabs (Great for quickly bookmarking a group of tabs.)
Ctrl + Tab – switch between applications
Windows + D – View Desktop
Mac fn + F11 – View Desktop

Firefox and ie Shortcuts

F6 – highlights url address
Ctrl + Enter – type domain name and ctrl + enter adds www and .com
Ctrl + T – opens a new tab

Create a Macro for Repetitive tasks – If you find yourself performing repetitive tasks often, a macro can save you a considerable amount of time.  There are macros for just about every application so you will need to do some research but the time will be well spent.  Check out Automator for Mac, iMacros for Firefox, Microsoft Support for keyboard macros.

RSS Feed Aggregator – Are you finding it difficult keeping up with all of your RSS subscriptions? Use an aggregator service like feedly to organize all your favorites.  I catch up on my reading with feedly while I’m having my morning coffee.

Banking

Automate your Finances – This has become a controversial topic with identity theft however, it can be a real timesaver, will reduce paper waste, and aid in monitoring your financial position.

SmartPhone Check Scan – Use your smartphone to scan and send your check deposit to your bank. More financial institutions are making this option available.  Paypal states it will take 6-7 business days for your deposit to clear however, I tested it and it took 4 days.

Time Management While Traveling

International Travel – Sign-up for the US CBP Global Entry Program which allows for expedited entry into the US.  Once approved, this allows you to bypass the standard Customs lines when reentering the US from international travel.

Travel Itinerary Confirmations – Drag and Drop email confirmation onto your departure date in your Outlook Calendar.  Now you have all your travel information easily accessible!

Pack Lite – Learn how to pack so you can avoid excess baggage fees and baggage claim delays.  Read Top Tips for Travel for more ways to save money and time.

Hotel Shuttle – If you are not familiar with your destination city take advantage of the free hotel shuttle.  Not only will you save time getting to your hotel,  it’s kind of nice to be met with a sign with your name on it and a helping hand with your luggage.

Other Time Management Tips

Learn how to say no- This is probably the best advice I can give on saving time. Some suggestions: offer to help at a later date, “sorry, I’m really busy right now. Have you asked ….”, “I’d love to help but…”.

Plan Ahead-  When possible, plan ahead so that you will have the required resources and time to complete your task. The time spent on planning will enable you to use your time more efficiently and produce a better product.

Do you have a favorite time management tip you would like to share?

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31 Responses to Time Management Tips – How to Create Value While Saving Time

  1. Eric J. Nisall 09/25/2011 at 2:52 pm #

    CAYGO! It stands for Clean As You GO–I learned that while working in McDonalds in high school and was one of the best things I could have been taught. It makes things much easier to deal with rather than having stuff just pile up.

    And now, since I found Evernote, I use it for everything. Reminders, blog posts, shopping lists, everything can be input and accessed real easily

    • Paul 09/25/2011 at 3:26 pm #

      Funny! I think everyone should work a fast food job! I know it motivated me to do well in college so I would never have to work fast food again!

      • Eric J. Nisall 09/25/2011 at 5:48 pm #

        I know, Paul, I think it’s a great experience for a first job. Not only does it give you the motivation to want to succeed and avoid ever doing it again, it’s a good introduction to responsibility and how to manage money. Some people think that it’s not good to be distracted from studies by working, I think it’s a great way to prepare for life in the real world.

        • Paul 09/25/2011 at 9:59 pm #

          I worked part-time all thru college and I feel it actually helped me to manage my time better. Not to mention having a little beer money!

  2. Untemplater 09/25/2011 at 4:27 pm #

    Wow you cover a lot of good stuff in this post! I am the least stressed when I’m doing the most and being super productive. But I used to think the opposite! Now I’m always trying to be more organized and am continually trying to simplify and minimize my belongings. Clutter is a productivity killer! -Sydney

    • Paul 09/25/2011 at 9:57 pm #

      Glad you found something useful in the post. I always try to clear my desk when I leave work so I can start the next day ready to go without the added clutter to slow me down.

  3. SB @ One Cent At A Time 09/25/2011 at 6:21 pm #

    As budget helps in finance, a time table helps on time management. Make a time table, allocate all required tasks a time slot. And stick to it.

    • Paul 09/25/2011 at 10:01 pm #

      Man you are organized SB aren’t you? Everyone uses time management in their professional lives so why would you not apply some of those principles to your personal life?

  4. Doctor Stock 09/25/2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Impressive list… Personally, I find lists really help me focus my priorities and get them accomplished.

    • Paul 09/25/2011 at 10:03 pm #

      I do to Doc. I find that if I start getting sidetracked, all I have to do is make a list and prioritize those tasks. It gives me something concrete I can focus my energies on.

  5. Squirrelers 09/25/2011 at 8:45 pm #

    Nice list. I personally think that as one gets older, it’s often time that becomes more and more valuable. You can theoretically keep making money, but time is limited and ends one day for all of us. Making the most of time is a good thing all around.

    • Paul 09/25/2011 at 10:10 pm #

      Great point! I so value my time and try not to waste it. Thanks for stopping by and have a good week!

  6. Kellen 09/26/2011 at 8:04 am #

    Very comprehensive list. I especially think that getting organized helps a TON – if the space around you is tidy, it’s *quicker* to clean, easier to find things, and less stressful – which helps you focus more and get more done when you do sit down to work.

    I admit, I have an issue with generating clutter – I’m working on cleaning up my office to start with, and then moving onto my workspace at home.

    • Paul 09/26/2011 at 9:42 am #

      I can relate, I am always working on the clutter! Having two children and two dogs can make it a little challenging. :)

  7. Buck Inspire 09/26/2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Terrific list, tweeting along. I’m using my Outlook tasks and calendar to stay on top of things. Just keep getting busier and busier these days. Thanks!

    • Paul 09/26/2011 at 5:31 pm #

      Funny how the more organized one gets the busier one gets!

  8. Ben - BankAim 09/26/2011 at 1:00 pm #

    One of the biggest time savers for me was learning the keyboard short cuts. Copy and pasting using short cuts will definitely lower your stress level. I get so frustrated over using a mouse sometimes, especially trying to use the ‘right click’ on the Apple Magic Mouse! Learn the short cuts, save time = less stress, more time

    • Paul 09/26/2011 at 5:34 pm #

      My favorite new shortcut is cntr + shift + D to bookmark tabs in a folder. You can then open all tabs at once! What a time saver!

      • Paul 09/26/2011 at 9:55 pm #

        I know I love my MacBook Pro!

  9. Sher@KNS Financial 09/26/2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Great list and tips! It made me feel good about using my shortcut keys :-) What is sad is that some of these things are ones that I know in theory, but are not being applied. I recently started my Tasks in Outlook more to help me get on track!

    • Paul 09/26/2011 at 8:52 pm #

      Small things we do to save time can really make a difference. I am always up for learning something that will help me be more more efficient with my time.

  10. Marie at FamilyMoneyValues 09/27/2011 at 6:00 am #

    Nice list. For me prioritizing what I do is key. So many little time suckers try to take over our lives – focusing on what is most important helps you avoid wasting time on things that really don’t matter.

  11. Wealth Management 09/28/2011 at 9:17 am #

    The weekly menu is a GREAT tip. This is something I’ve wanted to follow for a long time now. Not only does it save time every night while deciding what to make, but it takes away the temptation of going out to eat. This will save you money and keep you healthier!

    • Paul 09/28/2011 at 4:56 pm #

      I try to make a list for the week based off of the weekly menu, that doesn’t always happen though. It’s a good place to start and you are right that it can make meals a little quicker to prepare!

  12. Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter 09/29/2011 at 6:48 am #

    Great tips. Time management has been something I have been constantly working at to master. I often multi task which seems to help get things done. My hubby and I recently started using Remember the Milk to keep track of what we need to do and it really has helped keep us organized. With this organization we are definitely more efficient.

    • Paul 09/29/2011 at 9:00 pm #

      Is that software? I have not heard of that. I’ll have to check it out, thanks for sharing that Miss T!

  13. Sanni Kruger 10/25/2011 at 4:38 am #

    Another great way to save time is to file everything in alphabetic order and to colour-code the files. For instance I use yellow labels for my business files and orange for the personal ones. Another great tip is to file-as-you-go. It only takes a minute to file a piece of paper you’ve finished with rather than letting them pile up in your tray.

  14. maria@moneyprinciple 08/22/2012 at 7:35 pm #

    Great! I am printing this one out and starting to test the tips. Already do most of the kitchen ones – and batch doing the menu (for the whole months) combined with the weekly shopping list is such a time saver (and boredom repeller as well).

    • Paul 08/25/2012 at 3:22 pm #

      It’s amazing the time that can be wasted when you are not organized. What I have found is that if I limit the number of tasks I am working on I accomplish more, multi-tasking makes it difficult for me to focus.

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