post written by: Marc Chernoff

25 Sharp Cuts of Time Saving Wisdom


Save Time

Time is a vital constituent of life… so time saving activities are life saving.  The best way to save time is to simply do things right the first time.  Confucius once said, “Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done properly.”  In other words, haste makes waste.  If you agree with these statements, you will find value in the remainder of this article.

Here are 25 sharp cuts of time saving wisdom from around the blogosphere.  Each links back to a source article containing additional insight.  Enjoy.

Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them.
- Dion Boucicault

  1. Consolidate all weekly errands into one trip. – “Try to consolidate all of your errands into one trip away from home, instead of driving back and forth several times from store to home.” – via Frugal Dad
  2. Stop overanalyzing things. – “Stop analyzing and just do it. There comes a time when you have to stop evaluating something and just bite the bullet and do it, if it doesn’t work out do something else and start again.” – via Change Your Thoughts
  3. Don’t waste the current moment.  Be here now. – “Without looking at a clock or a watch do you know what time it is right now, right this second?  Let me tell you.  It’s now.  It always was now and it always will be now.  It’s not tomorrow or next week or next month or even yesterday or last week or last month.” – via The Discomfort Zone
  4. Start using RSS! – “RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.”  It’s a little piece of technology that allows you to receive up-to-date information from sites in one spot, where you can then read them on your own time.  Many times, a blog’s RSS is simply called a “feed.” – via Simple Mom
  5. Focus your attention on one thing at a time. – “Cutting out multitasking (or “multi-slacking” as I call it) leaves you to focus more intently on one task and finish it to completion, rather than having many tasks started and nothing finished.” – via Zen Dad
  6. Take a LITTLE time to reflect or you will misallocate ALL your time. – “It is important to occasionally take an inventory of your life.  Ask yourself, are you doing what it takes to get ahead in life?  Answer these questions honestly.  No one else has to know, but if you can’t be honest with yourself about areas for improvement, then you will remain stuck where you are at.” – via My Super-Charged Life
  7. Have the kids help you get things done. – “At the minimum, have kids do a quick tidy up 15-30 minutes before bedtime.  This would include picking up toys , laying out tomorrow’s clothes, and collecting anything they’ll need by the door.  For more kiddie help write down a list of all the chores that need to get done, and then assign them on a weekly basis on a family planning chart or white board.” – via Dumb Little Man
  8. Look for patterns in information. – “Information becomes easier to organize if you can identify broader patterns that are similar across different topics.” – via Stepcase Lifehack
  9. Use time multipliers. – “Effective delegation of lower priority tasks is a time multiplier. Eliminating time wasting activities is a time multiplier. Screening phone calls can be a time multiplier. By practicing creative procrastination on anything that doesn’t propel you toward your goals, you can multiply the amount of time you have to achieve those goals.” – via The Wisdom Journal
  10. Backup your data! – How much time would you lose if your hard drive crashed?  “Data loss statistics reveal that more than 22 percent of computer users say backing up information is on their to-do list, but they seldom do it and nine percent admitted they have never backed up their files.” – via My Dollar Plan
  11. Just say ‘no’ sometimes! – Learn to say no.  If you say “yes” to every request, you will never have any free time.  Get super protective about your time, and say “no” to everything but the essential requests.” – via Zen Habits
  12. Perform tasks with multiple positives. – “The key to finding multiple positives is finding areas where different positive actions intersect.  If I can find a way to get paid to eat delicious food I’ll be golden.” – via Pick The Brain
  13. Realize that perfect is the enemy of good. – “Perfection is an illusion. We strive for perfection because we have an image in our minds of what we should be, but what we are not.  Realize that perfection and imperfection are a result of a conflict in your mind, they don’t exist in reality.  You have to make mistakes in order to grow, don’t let perfectionism paralyze you.  If you’re not failing, chances are you’re not trying hard enough.” – via Illuminated Mind
  14. Get your priorities straight. – “Understand your priorities.  Don’t over complicate your life.  Especially when you don’t need to.  Don’t take on more than you can handle.  Always make sure that you have enough time to yourself.” – via Think Simple Now
  15. Mistakes do not waste time if you learn from them. – “There may be moments or days of weakness, but you should always come back to learning from your mistakes.” – via Work Happy Now
  16. Write stuff down or you will waste time trying to remember it. – “You’ll have your ideas safely saved away instead of having them lost somewhere in the depths of your mind.  If you don’t write things down you’ll forget many good and some great ideas.” – via The Positivity Blog
  17. Relocate closer to your place of employment. – “In every major city in the world there are people traveling over an hour to reach their work destination from home.  Huge waste of time that could be used working or spent with family.  Huge waste of money on gas and cars.  Huge impact on environment by emitting green-house gases and other pollutants.” – via Alex Shalman
  18. Batch process less important tasks. – “There are a lot of little tasks you need to do throughout the day.  Don’t let them interrupt the more important stuff.  To be more productive, batch them up and do them all at once, preferably towards the end of the day.  Batch like things together — do all your email once a day, at 4 p.m., instead of throughout the day.  Do all your paperwork at once.  Process your physical inbox to empty.  Don’t do them throughout the day.” – via LifeDev
  19. Simplify your workspace. – “The third major benefit of the one pencil philosophy is that you’ll spend less time searching and more time doing.  The few seconds spent choosing between the umpteen writing instruments in my cup weren’t a big, but little things to add up.  I was losing seconds each time.  If having everything within reach was supposed to make work easier and more productive, I was finding the exact opposite to be true: I was wasting time hunting down disposable pens for no good reason.” – via On Simplicity
  20. Be frugal with your time. – “I have had to get my finances in order by being frugal with my money and putting thought into what I spend that money on. I need to use those same principles in getting my day more organized in terms of what I spend my time doing and how long I allow myself to do each thing.” – via Remodeling This Life
  21. Use automated tools. – “I’ve been evaluating various web tools for reminder systems.  One of the more creative ones I discovered was IWantSandy.com, where “Sandy” is your executive assistant.  Once you’ve signed up, you get a special e-mail which you use to communicate with Sandy.  You simply e-mail her messages with something like “Remember to read blogs in 5 minutes” and sure enough you’ll get an e-mail reminder in 5 minutes.” – via Mrs. Micah
  22. Don’t mindlessly browse online [or watch TV] ad infinitum. – “Web browsing is one of the “black holes” in time spending.  Before you realize it, you may have spent hours browsing while generating very little value.” – via Life Optimizer
  23. If you aren’t enjoying yourself, you ARE wasting your time. – “Do you ever stop and think… Why am I doing all this stuff?  Do you ever feel like your sole purpose in life is crossing things off lists and maintaining your calendar?  Maybe if you aren’t enjoying yourself, all your time is wasted.  All that time we spend bored, frightened, angry, in a hurry, or unhappy, isn’t that the real waste of time?” – via Steve Olson
  24. Live by the 80/20 rule. – “Tim Ferris of ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ credited the Pareto Principle for significantly improving his business and personal life. He looked at everything based on these two questions:  Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?  Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?” – via 7P Productions
  25. Work smarter, not harder! – “With the right combination of skills, tactics and tools, you can work less and still impress.  It requires thinking outside of the box… and then implementing strategies that directly increase the visibility, impact and “wow-factor” of your labors.  Here’s how…” – via Marc and Angel Hack Life  ;-)

Photo by: Caucas

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