Most people realize the benefits of meticulously planned budgets.
Budgets allow you to recognize week spots in your finances, secure your money, eliminate wasteful spending, and encourage growth through investing.
As simple as they are, budgets are powerful tools that anyone can use to help get ahead financially.
We’ve all heard the old adage, time is money. If time is money, then shouldn’t your time be budgeted just as meticulously as your money? Especially when juggling part-time jobs or kids, time becomes a precious commodity.
If there never seem to be enough hours in your day to accomplish everything on your to-do list, then you might want to consider creating a budgeted time schedule for yourself. Analyze your day the same way that you would analyze your finances. You might find that you are able to edit out some activities to create a more efficient schedule.
Do you think you budget your time effectively? Here are some questions to ask yourself when analyzing your schedule.
Do you have time gnomes?
A time gnome is something I just made up, but hear me out. Is there anything in your life that steals minutes from your day like your dryer steals socks? A time gnome is anything that chips away 5, 10, 15 minutes or more throughout the day. By the end of the day, weak, month or year, you could have lost hours, days, and weeks of productive time.
Some of my time gnomes are checking my email too frequently, getting sidetracked online (looking at you, Pinterest), and scrolling through Facebook. Each and every one of these can easily suck 20 minutes away. By the end of the day, I have lost out on a solid hour of productivity because I let myself get distracted.
Time is a precious commodity, don’t let the time gnomes steal it away. Instead of periodically checking social media with no time limits, budget a set time into your day instead. Also, try to limit how often you check your email. Budgeting a specific time to respond to email could help prevent distraction from your current task every time a new message pings in your inbox.
Can you achieve better results by hiring someone else?
Is the effort worth the time, and have you considered outsourcing? Taxes, accounting, administrative duties, and technical problems are the usual suspects for outsourcing.
Why waste time struggling to accomplish something that you aren’t good at, hate doing, or are actually losing money by focusing on? Realizing when to outsource a project is instrumental to freeing your time so you can focus on the jobs that actually make money.
Hopefully, you are in a job or career that you love and that you are great at doing. By outsourcing tasks outside of your specialty, you will be able to focus on whatever it is that you are paid to do. Most of the time, the dividends produced by increasing your productivity will trump the expense of outsourcing.
Are you wasting time by micromanaging?
Do you have a hard time letting go of complete control of a project? Do you waste time by constantly looking over the shoulder of your employees, or going back and doing a job differently after they’ve already completed the work, even though the work they did was sufficient or even great?
You might want to ask whether your standards are too high, or if your employees aren’t good enough. If they aren’t excelling at their job, then hire someone different who you do trust enough to get a project done without constant oversight. Workers are there to support you and get the job done. Don’t waste your time by doing their jobs.
Do you seek perfection unnecessarily?
At what point do you stop working on a project? Take a step back and assess whether your work is solid and well-thought out. It may not be a Mona Lisa, but does it have to be? Sometimes, good is good enough.
Of course there’s always a time and a place for perfection, but flawlessness doesn’t always have to be accomplished for every project.
Ask yourself if your need for perfection is necessary or just wasting time. Focus on perfection only when it’s truly important that you do so.
Do you have a hard time saying no?
Are you trying to juggle too much? Work, second job, side hustles, kids, PTA, soccer coaching, and community events. At what point do things become too much to handle? If you have a hard time saying no, then your obligations will pile up and eventually start to slip. How much stress and lack of sleep are you willing to endure before you learn to let things go?
It is alright to say no. People won’t hate you. You can say, “Sorry, I have a bit too much on my plate to take that on right now. I will let you know if my schedule changes in the future.” A little bit of diplomatic refusal could save your time and sanity.
More time equals more money
Stop letting the time gnomes sneak off with your precious minutes. Outsource cumbersome and time-consuming tasks to others so that you can focus on the work that you are most efficient at and which bring in money. Don’t be a micromanager or have an obsessive need for perfection. Learn to say no, so that you aren’t wasting time on projects that are unimportant to you.
Streamlining your work, cutting out inefficiency, and learning to delegate from a distance will free up your schedule so that you can focus on the most important things and potentially earn even more money. Treat your time like you would treat your money, and make sure to budget your time effectively.
Do you budget your time effectively? Which activities could you drop from your schedule to make more time?