One of the cornerstones of Monetary Realism is understanding the importance of time. We’re all here for a finite period and we can choose how we use that time and whether it’s going to work for us or against us. Now, I’m not good at many things, but I think one of the few things I really understand is time management. I really value my time. And I use it wisely.
The saying “don’t work harder, work smarter” is one of those cheesy taglines that you hear all the time and never quite find any real world application for, but it’s dead on. Here are a few thoughts about working smarter rather than working harder:
- Don’t conform to everyone else’s schedule. Yes, I know, most of us work for someone else and have to conform to their schedule, but that doesn’t mean you have zero flexibility within that schedule. So what if you have to show up at 9 and leave by 5. Does that mean you have 8 hours to do an allotted amount of work or does it mean you can design your 8 hours however you like? Most of us have deadlines we have to meet and we build a schedule around your employer’s deadlines. But you can still design your own deadlines and use your time how you like. You don’t have to meet a deadline by Friday just because that’s when it’s due. Can the work be done by Thursday so your Friday is open to focus on other things? If so, why wait? Don’t let everyone else control your schedule….
- Stop procrastinating and create a sense of urgency. Most of us procrastinate and wait until there’s a sense of urgency to get something done. Create your own sense of urgency right now. Set your own personal deadlines by creating goals and forcing yourself to work smarter.
- Organize your schedule. I spend a huge amount of time organizing a schedule. I usually spend every Sunday evening planning my week. When do I work on this project, that project, when I eat, when I workout, when I read, when I relax, etc. If you’re not organized then working smarter is never going to work for you.
- Make the robots work for you. Don’t let the “world is ending because of robots” meme get you down. All that technology is out there to help you work smarter so you don’t have to work harder. Take advantage of it, learn about it and use it to become more efficient.
- Stop getting distracted. Are you on Twitter, Gchat, the phone, email or Facebook all day? Why? It’s a waste of time unless it’s helping you achieve your goals. Cut out the waste! Learn to stop filling your email box with clutter. Stop spending time on the phone with people who are just chewing up time. Stop Gchatting about what you’re going to do next weekend. Stop checking Facebook. It’s so easy to get distracted these days. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to take time off, but don’t let it control the time when you should be getting things done. Block out your time for social interaction so that it’s working to benefit you and not working against you. You don’t live to work, you work to live, but when you’re working you need to actually be working!
That’s my thought process about managing time efficiently. If you have more tips or thoughts please add them in the comments.
Mr. Roche is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Discipline Funds.Discipline Funds is a low fee financial advisory firm with a focus on helping people be more disciplined with their finances.
He is also the author of Pragmatic Capitalism: What Every Investor Needs to Understand About Money and Finance, Understanding the Modern Monetary System and Understanding Modern Portfolio Construction.