At some point or another, we all wish we had a duplicate self. When the list of to-dos is piled high and there just seems to be no way to complete it all, wouldn’t it be great to hand over some tasks to another you?
At this point, however, it’s not exactly possible to self-duplicate. That’s why it’s important to use your time wisely to maximize your productivity.
There’s a lot of advice out there for saving time and increasing the amount of items crossed off your list, but what happens when all of that advice isn’t enough?
Take a look at these five ways to save time when all other advice fails:
Learn How to Delegate
You can’t have another you running around, but you can learn how to delegate. Though it may be uncomfortable at first to unload some of your burdens onto others’ shoulders, it may be an opportunity to work on being a team player. As HExL, Inc. founder and CEO Rick Kimball would like to put it: “That the fastest road to success isn’t about assembling smart people and working hard, but rather engaging people in a bigger ideal than themselves and positively engaging people to work as a team.”
A perfect example is the grocery store. If your partner is headed in that direction, write a quick list of the items you need, and ask him to pick them up. Not only will you be saving time, but by combining and delegating tasks, you’ll likely save fuel costs, as well.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology is a great tool if you wield it properly. Phones, laptops, tablets and GPS systems all have various apps that can make your life a little bit easier. Take banking, for example. Most banks have online bill payment systems where you can set up paper checks or automatic withdrawals to be sent to all of your payees. Different payment schedules can be set up to take care of all of your bills efficiently.
If you want to increase your productivity and save money in the process, use technology.
Learn to Say No
There’s extraordinary pressure to say yes to everything you are asked to do, whether it’s for your religious organization, your family, schools, etc. What happens when you overcommit yourself? You become bogged down with an inordinate amount of tasks and lists of to-dos that you just can’t get them all done. It’s not that you don’t try, it’s just that it’s humanly impossible.
The fix? Strike out some of the activities. You don’t need to be on every committee or go to every event for which you get an invite. It’s unnecessary. It’s stressful. Cut out the excess, commit to less and you’ll be more likely to succeed.
Be OK With Imperfections
For all those perfectionists out there, managing time can be difficult. There’s the pressure for everything to turn out perfectly, for everyone to love your product and for you to be proud of the result. However, spending so much time focusing on being perfect means you aren’t allowing yourself room to be human. We all have flaws, so let’s not pretend we don’t.
Think about the holidays. You search for the perfect gift, the wrapping paper, the tape, the bow. Then, after all that and getting it home, you spend 10 minutes making sure it’s wrapped in a presentation worthy of Martha Stewart. However, the reality of gift-giving is that the presentation lasts for about 10 seconds. And you spent 10 minutes? How does that add up?
Instead of trying to be present yourself as perfect, embrace your imperfections. Accept that sometimes a job, task or to-do item just has to be good enough.
Get up Earlier
For night owls, this is difficult, but getting up earlier can end up saving you time. There are less crowds in the early morning, so commute times will be shorter and the machines at the gym will most likely be more available. You’ll also have more time to eat breakfast and prepare for the day, which can get you fueled and ready to knock out your list.
There’s a lot of advice out there on managing time. Use this list as a way of packing that time management into five powerful punches that will lead to saving energy, sanity and – ultimately – time.