How to Save Time by Doing Less
Time management is about spending your time on the right things so you can have more of it. One way to achieve better time management is by doing less.
This is the foundation of minimalism. To be a minimalist is to stop asking yourself what more you could have, done and been, and instead eliminate the unnecessary. That leaves room for new and better things and it also allows you to enjoy life in the present moment, be more productive, find focus, and let go of stress and anxiety.
Doing less can save you quite a lot of time too. Here’s how.
Stop going after too many goals.
People often try to achieve too many things at once only to end up being overwhelmed and feeling like giving up on it all. What they do wrong is that they chase what sounds good instead of what they truly desire.
It’s worth having an honest conversation with yourself, creating a vision for your future and making a plan on how to get there so you can see which goals are worth your time and which ones you’re better off without.
If you’ve lived with these objectives in your mind for a long time now, it might be hard to let go. But you owe it to yourself as even if you reach them, they won’t make you happy.
We’re most effective when we chase the right things and only a few of them at once, so we can have enough focus and energy for each and follow the necessary steps.
By ditching some goals, you’ll have more freedom and get some time back.
Leave some projects behind.
Chances are, you’re working on more things than you should be. Whether it’s having too many clients at work and constantly saying ‘yes’ to new ones, filling your free time with many hobbies and activities, or planning to many things for the near future, this is not how life should be lived.
It prevents you from slowing down and taking a breath. And once you do that, you’ll notice you’re already doing enough.
Stop expecting too much from yourself. Know that you have limits and that you must be ruthless with your time. Only high priority activities and projects have a place in your calendar. Leave the rest behind.
Remove items from your to-do list.
Examine your to-do list. Which of the items on it help you reach your most important life goals sooner? Which make you a better person and help those around you?
These tasks are worth your time and attention. Anything else, however, must be eliminated.
By making your list for the day shorter, you allow room for new ideas and opportunities, new experiences and realizations.
Also, people who do less in a day get it all done and perform better. That brings satisfaction at the end of the day and leads to a happier life.
Say ‘No’ more often.
Once you clear your mind and agenda, you will have more time for yourself. But the issue with lack of time doesn’t end here. New people will enter your life, work-related things will take your time and require your attention, you’ll have the chance to start new projects every next week, and you might often dedicate more time to other people in your life than necessary.
Not all of this will be the right investment of your time, though. You need to carefully weigh the options and know what’s the best thing you could be doing with your time at any moment of the day.
Being ruthless is no easy task as it requires leaving potential opportunities behind and missing out on something that seems important or interesting. But it’s always for a greater cause.
Your time is in your hands. Don’t allow anyone else, your work or your schedule to take it away from you. The moment you start feeling too busy and like you’re living in a rush and don’t have a minute to yourself is the moment you need to stop, look around, and start doing less to get back control over your time and life.