“Time is money,” is an old saying that has stuck around in business circles both explicitly and implicitly.
We all know that things like proper financial management are essential for the success and continued existence of any business. But it’s no less obvious that proper time management is absolutely vital, too.
In her book “168 Hours,” the writer Laura Vanderkam specifically looked at the time management habits of some of the most successful people in society.
Among other things, she found that those people scarcely ever let a minute go to waste if it could be used in some or other productive way.
Here are a few tips for freeing up more time in your business, so that you can then go on to maximise this most vital resource.
Use the Right Tools for the Job
We live in a highly advanced age, with all sorts of different tools available for streamlining processes in just about every domain of life.
Some of these are artificial intelligence tools that leverage machine learning algorithms to become more “useful” as time goes on. And there’s no denying that, in certain contexts, these tools can have a dramatic effect on freeing up time – although, of course, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks of such systems, too.
In any case, every job will have a set of tools that you need to use if you want to be competitive. The saying that “a bad workman blames his tools” is fair enough, but even the best carpenter is unlikely to create masterpieces in a timely manner, using a spoon.
Just what the particular tools that you should use are, will vary depending on your job and circumstances. Just make sure that you aren’t missing an important trick.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No, and to Focus Only on Your Core Tasks
Warren Buffett has supposedly gone on record as having said: “the difference between really successful people and everyone else, is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
When all is said and done, no one has any more hours in the day to spend than any other person. Time is a resource that you can’t hoard, but it is one that you can squander.
In every professional venture, there will be dozens if not hundreds of things that you could potentially do, that might have some slight benefit. But if you try to do them all, you will waste all your time, and will likely lag far behind the competition.
Don’t be afraid to say “no,” and to focus only on your core tasks; the things that have the most significant impact.
Use a Good Task and Project Management System for Keeping Track of Everything
You are never going to be decently efficient if you don’t have an effective system for tracking your tasks and projects, organising them, and figuring out what the next step is at any given time.
David Allen’s famous Getting Things Done method is idolised in many business circles precisely because it helps to keep everything properly organised, and reduces decision-making lag.
Use good task and project management systems to keep track of everything, and your free time will accumulate significantly.