“I just don’t have enough time.”
Do you ever catch yourself saying this? I know I do. We feel cheated at the end of the day when there’s little to show for our efforts.
Author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said, “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
Brown’s quote hits home. The difference between these well-accomplished individuals and most of us is how they chose to invest their time.
If we’re going to overcome Someday Disease, we have to take action today. That means we must figure out how to invest the precious time we have instead of spending it on fruitless activities.
Here are six practical ways we can invest our time more efficiently:
1. Turn off the television.
This one is hard for a lot of us. Out of habit, some turn the TV on as soon as they get up in the morning and it’s the last thing shut off before heading to work. The same scenario plays out in the evening.
Try limiting TV viewing to one hour a day. You’ll be surprised how much more you can accomplish without the distraction.
2. Limit social media and email time.
Stop for just a minute and think about how often you check social media updates and email. Our phones are with us 24/7. We’re never unplugged unless we choose to be.
Instead of checking every notification as it pops up, schedule time in your day to check in with your various accounts. If you can cut it down to twice a day, imagine how much time you’ll save.
3. Shop with businesses that value your time.
It’s easy to tell which businesses value their customers’ time and which ones don’t. Those that do seek to make the customer experience a pleasure rather than a burden.
For years, I shopped at a store where nine times out of ten I’d stand in line at the cash register for what seemed an eternity. Even though twelve lanes lined the front, only two were open. By the time I reached the cashier, I was exhausted and didn’t want to hear how much she hated her job.
One day it hit me. I didn’t have to shop there. There were other grocers in town. I may spend a little more money, but it’s worth it to me for a more enjoyable experience and the time I save.
4. Strive to limit shopping and routine errands to once a week.
Yes, unexpected needs occur so this is not always possible. However, once you and your family get used to it, you’ll better anticipate weekly needs and become more efficient.
5. Say no more often so you can say yes to what is most important to you.
If you’re a people pleaser, saying no is a challenge. I’ve certainly struggled with this, but have found the long-term benefit far outweighs the short-term discomfort of saying no. Some won’t understand initially, but they’ll get over it and you’ll be glad you protected your time.
6. Use drive time as learning time.
I can’t stress this one enough. If you’re on the go a lot, why not invest that time in personal development or learning a new skill?
I used to commute two hours a day. Instead of listening to music everyday, I listened to audiobooks and podcasts. As a result, the drive went by faster and I grew personally and professionally.
You can break it up. Use the morning drive for education and the afternoon commute as time to wind down with your favorite tunes. You could listen to audiobooks three days a week. Choose what works best for you.
Time, once spent, is history. Our minutes are precious. Once we become intentional about investing our time instead of wasting our time, we prioritize what’s most important. We control our agenda, reduce distractions, and focus on those activities that are most meaningful to us.
What are some practical tips you have on ways to invest time more efficiently?