Get Your Time Back in 5 Steps

Peter Katevatis - Sep 23, 2015
Where has all the time gone?  It seems that the days, weeks, months and years pass by faster every year. And I have noticed as time seems to go faster, an increasing number of my clients are trying to maximize every minute of the day. Looking back

Where has all the time gone?  It seems that the days, weeks, months and years pass by faster every year. And I have noticed as time seems to go faster, an increasing number of my clients are trying to maximize every minute of the day.

 

Looking back with hindsight, it seems that previous generations did not have the same time stresses that we do.  Perhaps less helicopter parenting, less connectivity (web, email, etc.) or life was simpler back then.  Or perhaps as a child I had NO IDEA how my parents felt.

 

Get Your Time Back

 

Either way, time management is becoming a necessary skill for your productivity and your sanity.  Here are five steps you can take to help increase your productivity and take charge of your time.

 

  1. The first step to time management is knowing how much time you spend on daily activities.  If you are on Facebook for 2 hours each day and finding yourself 1 hour short it’s pretty easy to see where the time has gone.  Some other activities can creep in more stealthily (email, text messages, useless videos, etc). 
  2. Next try and schedule your day, and be realistic.  Don’t allocate 10 min to “clearing your inbox” when it normally takes you 30 min.  Allocate some time for interruptions and breaks and don’t forget your personal fitness.  Taking one hour out of your day for physical activity will make the rest of your hours more productive.  Unless you are a lawyer, remember there are only 24 hours in a day - save something for tomorrow.
  3. When you set your scheduled goals don’t forget about the finish line.  When you start a task, you should have your outcome outlined in an attainable manner.  Keep it simple and quantifiable.
  4. When you are working on your task use a “do not disturb” method.  Ignore email, phone ringing and messaging unless it is critical to get a human response.   Call display is there for a reason, use it.
  5. Delegate.  This is the single best word in time management.  Many tasks can be passed on to others to be done.  This involves trust and letting go, very difficult for those of us that are detail oriented perfectionists.  It may be easy to delegate home landscaping to a lawn cutting professional, but impossible to delegate presentation formatting.  The reality is that if you have support staff around you, not using them is hurting your productivity.

In the investment world I find many clients say they like to spend time looking at their financial plans, setting investment parameters, diligently doing their asset allocations, and reading research on the markets.  The reality is that they DON'T DO IT.  They leave their retirement plans in limbo, education plans drift unwatched, and only focus on the short term monthly needs of their finances.  Intentions are there but the execution is not.

 

There are many financial professionals around to help you, delegate duties to them and you will get your time back.  Spend that time doing the things you love to do, want to do, or would only do if you had more time.  The choice is yours.