By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
We all have 24 hours in our day, 7 days per week. And if you multiply that out, and my math is correct (I think it is because I’ve done the calculation a few times before!), that totals 168 hours per week.
No more. No less.
And the truth about time is that it can only be spent. It cannot be saved. (Did you ever have any time left over on a Sunday that you were able to use the following week?) And there’s only two ways to spend our time; wisely, or, not so wisely.
Our time is spent on “have to’s” and “want to’s.” Our time, like our money, can either be “spent” and it’s gone, or “invested,” and like seeds in the ground, will return abundance back to us in the future. Good Time Management is budgeting some of our time for “investing,” learning how to do it better and more effectively. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.”
It’s a good goal to improve on the entire twenty-four hours in our day, but just for now, think about improving on just one hour per day. If we can gain one additional hour per day either by doing what we already do, but do it more effectively or do something new, the payback will be enormous as we enjoy the “multiplier effect” of that savings.
A person making $50,000 per year who is wasting just one hour per day, five hours per week, or 250 hours per year, is creating a minimum loss of productivity valued at $6,250 per year. To be able to recapture that time and use it more effectively creates an annual return of 250 more productive hours or over 6 “free” workweeks during the next year.
“A problem well defined is 95% solved.” To recover some of your lost time, you need to know where your time is going. I recommend preparing a Time Log. Nothing fancy about this, just take a pad of paper and make a heading, “Time Log.” As you complete each major task or spend a chunk of time, log it in on your list. Note the date and time, what you did, the length of time it took, and the rating: A=Crucial, B=Important, C=Little Value and D=No Value.
Run this for 3-5 days, as a shorter period may give you a distorted sense of what is really happening. Then analyze the results and almost always we will find chucks of time wasters that you can control and reduce. Your savings may come from reducing meetings, delegating more effectively, reducing interruptions, planning better, etc.
One immediate, major improvement most people can realize in their day is to improve their reading speed. The average person spends 2 hours per day reading. By learning the simple skill of speed reading, that reading time can be cut in half or you can read twice as much within the same amount of time.
For most, the skills can be acquired in one day. Our Dynamic Reading Seminar is six hours and our students typically double their reading speed and double their comprehension rate by the end of day.
Would you like to receive free Timely Time Management Tips on a regular basis to increase your personal productivity and get more out of every day? Sign up for your free “Timely Time Management Tips” newsletter at our website: https://www.balancetime.com
Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
Certified Executive Coach, Consultant and Trainer
Author, “Organizing Your Life” and “The Productivity Handbook”
Personal Productivity Solutions to Leverage Your Impact
127 Jefferson St.
Stratford, CT 06615
Follow me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timemanagement
Follow me on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/timeguy
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