This blog talks a lot about saving money. But, so far, I haven’t addressed one of the key ways you can save money – by saving time.
We don’t all have the luxury of hours on end to do what we like. But, if we can squeeze out a few extra hours a week, this can really help us save money. It can also help us relax more and lead healthier and happier lives.
Saving time can be as difficult as saving money, which is why this post offers some easy tips to help you free up your hectic schedule.
This post will cover:
- Being ‘time poor’
- Why saving time will save you money
- How to optimise your day
- Three time saving tips
Being ‘time poor’
Being “time poor” means you don’t have enough time in the day.
How many times do we say: “if only there were more hours in the day”? As we’re rushing around trying to cram as much as possible into our days, many of us are simply “time poor”.
We don’t have enough time to do all the things we want to do. For those with children, caring responsibilities, or working multiple jobs, it’s even harder.
Being time poor doesn’t discriminate against income level. Many wealthy executives have no time to spend with their families or doing things for themselves.
This is one of the reasons many people pursue financial independence. Taking back control of your diary can be very liberating. It’s not possible for everyone. But, there are some steps you can take to give yourself more time.
Why saving time will save you money
Saving time can save you money in multiple ways.
Firstly, when you’re rushed, you don’t tend to have the time to shop around for deals or find cheaper alternatives. You probably won’t have the time to meal prep and might instead opt for takeaways or expensive alternatives.
Saving time from your busy schedule should give you the time and energy to do some of these things. Even if you can’t manage all of them, making one or two changes could save you a significant amount each month.
It will also allow you to plan ahead more. This will allow you to budget for large expenses and plan your spending month on month rather than making impulse decisions.
Another way saving time could save you money is you could use the extra time to make more money Yes, this isn’t technically saving money, but it still has the same outcome – more money in your bank account each month!
You could freelance for a few hours a week or even get a small part time job if you wanted.
How to optimise your day
Despite what many influencers will tell you, there’s no one way to optimise your day. It’s a personal decision.
The key is to find out what works for you and play to your strengths. There’s no point booking a 6am gym class if you’re always snoozing your alarm. You’ll just start your day on a negative and probably end up being less productive.
Similarly, there’s no point in scheduling things until 11pm if you value an early night.
Obviously, we’re not in complete control of our schedules.
Work commitments, family commitments, and fixed events come into play. Rather than resenting these or fighting them, plan around them and try and use them to your advantage.
It will be easier for some people than others, but if you can make your schedule work better for you, you’ll reap the benefits in no time.
Three time saving tips
It’s easy to talk about saving time. But, like most things in life, doing it is much harder. Here are three time saving tips I use to try and use my time more efficiently.
Work smarter not harder…
I’m sure you’ve all come across people who spend hours upon hours “working” but achieve very little.
For me, this was most obvious at university, when some course mates would spend over 12 hours a day in the library, but over half of that would be spent on their phones, chatting to friends, or generally not getting much done.
Suffering from chronic fatigue, this simply wasn’t an option for me. I had to find a more effective way to work.
Now, I try and do “focused work” periods. These are times throughout the day – usually an hour or so at once – with no distractions. That means no phone, no emails (usually!), no daydreaming, and no thinking about other projects.
You can’t work like this for 8+ hours a day, but it’s amazing what you can accomplish even if you only manage 2 or 3 hour-long sessions in the day.
Write it down
If you think of a task that needs doing, write it down.
I’ve also found this works wonders with worries and anxieties. It takes the stress out of your mind and puts it onto the page. Once you see something written down, you can more easily work out what you need to do.
You can use productivity apps, like Todoist, for this. If you sign up using this link, you’ll get two months of the pro plan for free!
Personally, I’m old fashioned and prefer to use pen and paper. There’s something about physically writing a list that feels cathartic.
However you choose to do it, having a clear list of what you need to do will stop you faffing and help save you time.
Learn to say no
You don’t have to – and physically can’t – do everything. Being able to say no and set reasonable boundaries is a very valuable skill that few appreciate.
It’s very rare that a boss or client will ask if they’re being unreasonable or getting you to do too much. You have to tell them that you can’t manage all the tasks or meet a particular deadline.
As long as you’re working hard and getting a good amount of work done, most employers will actually respect you for setting boundaries. They probably just haven’t thought about the time and effort your work takes.
This also sets a good example for more junior team members who may struggle to find their voice and ask for a more reasonable work-life balance. This is how corporate culture can change over time, making a better, healthier, and more productive working environment for all.
That’s not to say you should never work overtime. Sometimes you have to if there’s a big deadline to meet or if your colleagues are on holiday. Being a team player is also key!
But, don’t make it a regularly habit. If you’re routinely logging off an hour or two late, maybe it’s time to reassess your working practices.
If you enjoyed this post, please like and share it across social media or with your friends! I’d also love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Do you consider yourself time poor? Or have you found that saving time can save you money too? Comment your best time saving tips below!
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