Maybe you can tell by my shop name that I’m passionate about saving you time? Most of my ‘time-saving’ is done via excel spreadsheet templates that are done for you… but I also love some good-old-fashioned time-saving tips!
See below for my take on 6 favorite time management hacks:
6.) Filling your jar with big rocks first
We’ve all probably heard about the analogy of the glass jar – fill it with the big priorities (rocks) first, and then you will be able to fill with the smaller ones (sand), last. You can make it all fit if you put the big rocks in first, but if you put the sand in first, you will have a hard time getting the larger rocks to go in. It’s all about prioritizing and asking – am I putting the right things first?
5.) Doing major tasks in blocks of time
Focusing on 1 thing at a time for a specified amount of time. In other words, stop multi-tasking! This has been a challenge for me when there are a lot of different tasks and/or requests pulling me in all different directions. Over the past year, I’ve really been able to focus in on a few main goals and block out or delay the pursuit of my other goals/tasks, until I’m able to complete the task at hand.
4.) Saying NO
Part of prioritizing your time and putting the ‘big’ or ‘important’ rocks in first, is also being able to say no to the things that are not important. As a people pleaser, saying no can be tough. Sometimes it’s easier to delay or post-pone a task or goal, until the first goal/task is met. Deciding what you will do, is just as important as deciding what you won’t do.
3.) Being Organized
When you waste time searching for something, getting more organized in that particular area can help ensure you don’t waste looking around for that again. For example – my medicine cabinet… After having 2 kids, I finally had to organize medicines into 3-4 plastic bins – adult meds, children (and/or baby meds), and pet meds. Same can apply for organizing your inventory – when I used to sell handmade jewelry, it would happen a lot that somehow after I got an order, I would waste time looking for the materials that need to go into that order (luckily I always found them, but I wasted time in the searching).
2.) Templates and Services
And then there are more practical tips and tools – from apps or softwares that save time (like a template), or paying for a service (house cleaners, take-out dinners, etc).
So what else could be my #1 time saving tip compared to all these strategies above? This might surprise you:
1.) Prayer = My #1 time saver!
Or maybe it’s meditation for you, that’s cool. The point is – it’s a process to determine how and what you’ll put first. At the heart and foundation of time management, is prioritizing what to do with the time we have. It’s about what’s important to you and then what you believe will be the best path to get there.
When there are so many things to prioritize, how do you determine which are the ‘big rocks’ to place in the jar first? For me, that answer is through prayer. Are the big rocks I’m putting in the jar first, really the right rocks? Is the direction I’m going in the right path? Stopping to assess, and then being willing to lay down what I might think as the logical path, to trust what kinds of answers I get through prayer – is the best way that I can ensure I’m heading in the right direction. Easier said than done for sure!
There are many bible versus where we are promised a Guide/ Counselor – and I’ll be betting my time-saving ways on those promises:
• For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
• Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-7
• I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. – Psalm 32:8
• Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, Ephesians 3:20
As an entrepreneur, I don’t have a boss to tell me what tasks need to be done first. Prioritizing which projects, tasks or goals to do first is probably the hardest part of working for myself.
Prayer can be a great secret weapon when it comes to saving time. It might just provide the ultimate ‘insider information’. If you’re thinking you’d like to harness the power of prayer even more, I also have a prayer template you can grab here.
So, in conclusion – there are a lot of practical tips for saving time, but to get real with prioritizing might require some soul-searching. But also consider this – is time even real? According to Einstein, it’s all an illusion! As someone who loves physical planners and calendars, it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around Einstein’s view of time, but I’ll have to dive into that topic another ‘time’.
Until next time…