“Time is money,” is more than just a snappy aphorism; it’s the truth, and the two are more interconnected than you might think. Those who have perfected their time management systems tend to find themselves more productive and thus able to more efficiently plan and generate their income.
“I parlayed my time management techniques into a promotion,” said Michael Bonebright, consumer analyst with DealNews.com. “Our department previously handled workflow via email and spreadsheets. This wasn’t working at all for me personally, so I proposed a switch to productivity software. My boss agreed and put me in charge of finding said software and then onboarding the team. When my boss moved on to another company, I was positioned to take over. Obviously, this is an edge case, but there’s a lot of value in showing the higher-ups that you care about productivity. But you can’t help others without effectively organizing your own time first.”
Employing effective time management isn’t just about apps and other software. It’s a psychological experience, too. GOBankingRates consulted a number of financial experts to learn how to manage your time so you can make more money.
1. Be Clear on Your Financial Goals
Like Bonebright said, there’s a lot you can gain from managing time better. One benefit can be money.
But first, to apply good time management to money, you need a good plan. As Mary Elizabeth, personal finance expert and founder of MeMoreMoney, said, this means knowing your goals. Being clear on what you want your end result to be will save you money in both the short and long term.
“Sit down and set what your financial goals are, then write them down,” Elizabeth said. “Ask yourself where you want to be in a year, five years and 10 years, financially. Then do the math on what your budgets should be and how you will manage them.”
2. Set an Hourly Rate for Yourself
“No matter if you are employed, run your own business or are a passive investor, you still earn a certain amount of money per year,” said George Guillelmina, certified financial planner and CEO of Best of Budgets. “This means you can calculate your hourly rate. The goal is to make hourly rate your own compass that will transform you into an effective decision maker.”
3. Get Comfortable Saying No, and Stand Up (Literally)
“The contrast between fruitful individuals and extremely effective individuals is that exceptionally effective individuals say ‘no’ to nearly everything,” said Chris Taylor, marketing director at Profit Guru, who also recommends, if able, to stand more in meetings.
“Direct your gatherings standing up,” Taylor said. “I discover it to be a speedier method of getting serious, settling on a choice and taking care of business. Whenever given the chance, I frequently prefer to make things a stride further in a real sense, with a mobile meeting. Have time to think– I attempt to think a ton and attempt to expand the measure of time I spend considering things versus on the telephone or in a gathering.”
In other words, ax the email back and forth when possible.
4. Manage Stress Wisely
“Stress often transpires when we accept more work than we are proficient in succeeding,” said Julian Goldie, CEO of Goldie Agency. “The conclusion is that our body starts responding [by being] tired, which can influence our productivity. Stress comes in different forms for different people, but some fruitful ways to deal with stress can include: Exercising, practicing meditation, listening to music, participating in your favorite hobby, calling up a friend, getting outside or listening to a podcast.”
5. Severely Limit Time on Social Media
“A lot of my staff are struggling with time management as a result of COVID-19,” said Daniel Foley, founder of a digital marketing agency. “We are, of course, being lenient with them as it is very frightening, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t have at least some impact on the business as a whole.”
Foley added that because staff are working from home, they are unsupervised when working, meaning that they can find themselves doing other things. “This is understandable– it is hard to work when your mind knows that you’re at home,” Foley said. “In most cases, it isn’t too much of a severe time loss as it’s the occasional scroll through social media for five minutes every hour or so, but it’s those that lose themselves to scrolling that can cause issues. Muscle memory gets the best of all of us when we reopen the Facebook app we had just closed, but it can be problematic. Where it might be two minutes now and again, that time adds up. When at home, I highly advise either sticking to a schedule or, if you live with others, have them tell you if they notice you slacking off. We all do it, it’s a natural thing, but teach yourself to avoid it.”
6. Set Up Deadlines
“When you have a job at hand, set a sensible deadline, and stick to it,” Goldie said. “Once you establish a deadline, it may be essential to write it on a sticky note and put it near your workspace. This will give you a visible cue to put you on task. Try to set a deadline a few dates before the assignment is due so that you can accomplish all those jobs that may get in the way. Examine yourself and satisfy the deadline. Reward yourself for finishing a difficult test on your responsibility list in a short amount of time.”
7. Don’t Waste Time Worrying About the Little Things
“The best time management skill that I have found is to allocate your time and energy properly,” said Akua Sarhene from Dem Coins Finance. “Don’t spend a ton of energy debating the small things. Don’t spend a ton of energy worrying if you should switch your savings account because it dropped from a 1.00% interest rate to a .70% interest rate. Savings accounts aren’t designed to make you rich, and the difference of .30% is barely a few dollars a year.”
8. Don’t Focus On Perfection
“The best time management tip we have discovered that saves resources across the organization is ‘finishing a project is better than making it perfect’,” said Jenna Carsom, HR director, Music Grotto. “Our internal analysis found that many areas of the business spent over 50% of project time finessing the finer details, rather than churning out the results that make a difference. There will always be some projects that need extra care but if you’re a good leader, your work is probably fine before spending too much time on the little stuff.”
9. Use a Productivity Timer
“If you are paid on completion of tasks it is financially beneficial to finish them in the shortest possible time,” said John Davis, founder of ScoreSense. “It is astounding the amount of time we waste during the course of the day switching between tasks. Using a productivity timer like HubStaff will show you how many hours you actually work and highlight areas you can reduce wasted time.”
“One time management tip which can result in saving you money is relaxing,” said George Birrell, C.P.A. and founder of TaxHub. “Yes, I know it sounds counter-productive but hear me out: One of the problems that a lot of people have these days is constantly being ‘on the go.’ Constantly doing something and thinking about your next task never gives your brain a break, which can cause you to produce less than adequate results in terms of work, finances and more. Taking the time to relax (even if it’s just for 30 minutes or an hour within your day) can do you a lot of good. If you do this right, you can go back into what you’re doing with a clear mind, and, when it comes to managing finances, you could end up making much better decisions and saving a decent amount of money.”
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