10 principles for saving time Part I

By Stew

I am not an expert in using time, by any means, but I am committed to improving my time management. There is a famous adage that says “time is money”. That saying is just about always true and if there are not monetary rewards for saving time, there are certainly relaxation and family rewards for redeeming our time.

The person whose time management that I most admire is my father. Sometimes my brothers and sisters and I joke that he gets more done in thirty minutes than the average person accomplishes in an eight hour workday. Except it isn’t really a joke. He is probably the most efficient worker/administrator that I have ever observed. I thought I would share ten of his time habits this week. Five today and five more on Wednesday.

1. Work Ahead

Last minute problems should never prevent you from keeping your word. When my father was a school teacher, he always returned corrected papers on the next school day without fail. Even on days when his children were born, corrected papers were returned the next day because he graded them at the first possible opportunity. It is difficult to finish work on time, it is infinitely more difficult to discipline oneself to work ahead consistently.

2. Always push a little harder at the end

When I was young, my dad supported our family by working as a contractor in the summers. He taught for small, private Christian schools that usually could not afford to employ him year round. Most people’s effort tends to trail off as a break time approaches,but  not dad. I always remember hearing him say to “do a little more” right before lunch or before it was time to go home at the end of the day.

3. Delegate

Even though my father worked hard, he did not think he had to do it all by himself. He was good at investing responsibility in others, motivating them to get the job done and then holding them accountable. If you learn how to organize people, you can save time by multiplying your efforts.

4. Learn to use technology

My father is quite a bit older than I am (naturally), but he is always informed on the latest technology. He is certainly not a “techy” or a “geek”, ,but whenever he gets a new computer or cellphone or software, he takes the time to actually read the manual so that he knows how to use it. Using technology to its fullest potential saves time.

5. Do it better the next time

My dad was always looking for ways to improve our processes and he was open to considering new ideas when it came to getting the job done. Sometimes we waste time when we resist change.

Stay tuned for five more time-saving and ultimately money-saving tips on Wednesday.

Article by Stew

Photo by Dave-F

5 Responses (including trackbacks) to “10 principles for saving time Part I”

  1. Ken Says:

    As a teacher myself I see how getting behind on paperwork can create a mess. Nobody benefits by waiting another day to get something done…playing catchup is no fun…the theme also apllies to retirement as well, huh.

  2. Stew Says:

    Probably lots of applications . . . Sometimes teachers practice a double standard: students are required to hand in assignments on time, but the teacher can return corrected papers whenever they want.

  3. The Rat Says:

    I think #5, ‘doing it better the next time’ is among the best because it’s all about improvement and the willingness to show improvement over time will actually save time.

    Nice thread.

  4. Kika Says:

    My husband is a school teacher and after school often coaches and refs sports. He still gets work corrected quickly and handed back, even though it requires late nights of him. Or, he gets projects handed in before long-weekends. I enjoyed hearing about your dad and look forward to your next post.