How to Productively Use Your Time

Cufflinks VI: Pfennings
(Photo credit: jessica @ flickr)

The number one way to use time is be on time. This shows respect for other’s time by showing up at the scheduled time. It shows respect for yourself as well.

Management of time is as important as management of money, remember that time is money. You have only a limited amount of time to carry out the tasks that you have given yourself or that others have given you. If working for yourself you want to make every second count towards earning you value. That could be working on starting or expanding a business, completing a classroom assignment with enough time left to edit it to increase the mark attained, or it could be allocating time in order for you to prepare meals, exercise or just sleep. If you are working for another then they will be monitoring your time to make sure they can exploit you to your fullest to get the most from their dime.

Use all your time productively. Use spare time while travelling, waiting in line or waiting for an appointment to read notes, write memos, catch up on professional articles, respond to emails, memorize lines for a play, or go over the material for the presentation you will be giving.

Always be prepared-this could be as simple as hanging next days clothing on hangers for easy access in the morning. Place socks in shoes, cuff links and tie clips in jacket pockets, wallet/briefcase/purse next to the shoes, underclothing on the hangers the shirt is on. Once you complete morning shower/shave just grab these hangers and all you need is already there. Put on your shoes, grab your bag and out the door.
This can save you up to fifteen minutes each morning. Instead of looking through the closet determining what to wear, trying to find a misplaced tie or keys or wallet, wasting time doing needless unnecessary searching this has already been taken care of the previous night. The extra time could be used to eat a nourishing breakfast or to quickly scan your day’s agenda.

Make sure everything works before your presentation or performance. It is a waste of your time and the audience’s time if they have to wait for repair of equipment or a forgotten extra piece brought into the room or on stage and setup. It also makes you look like an amateur and you lose credibility.

Your hard files/paper/file cabinets and soft files/computer records/data should have exactly the same name and similar types of filing system so that you can refer to each type of file using the same name and system of filing. This prevents wasting time by trying to create two file systems and then having to remember the organization and where to find the files.

Do you have a plan of action so that you have direction to your day? Prepare the next day’s agenda before you go to bed. This prevents wasting time figuring out what to do and in what order to do it. Concentrate on what you are doing and give it 100% effort to complete it in the least time-start, keep at it, and plan to finish.

Work hard, play hard. Make every minute of your day yours.

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