10 principles for saving time Part II

By Stew

On Monday, I shared the first five of ten money saving principles that I learned from my father. I say “learned” because while I remember them intellectually, I still struggle to apply them consistently.

6. Do it when you think of it.

This is the one that gets me most of the time. My dad developed a discipline in his life where he would take on a task almost as soon as he thought about it. There have been many occasions when he and I set up a time to do a particular job together and he would have it done by the time I showed up. Also, there are instances when he goes a little overboard, like when he starts vacuuming the living room floor when there is company in the house . . . or makes an important phone call during supper . . . The instinct to resist all procrastination is strong within him.

7. Arrive early

This is one that I “got”. My dad taught his children that “on time” meant at least five minutes early. It is a relaxing way to live and when last minute trouble rears its head, a couple extra minutes never hurts. The habit of punctuality is a strong one in our family. I often get texts from my brothers or sisters who are waiting for someone who is late. I once worked a job that was thirty minutes from where I was staying and I had to be there at 6 am or I would miss the transportation to the jobsite. One particular day, I was pulled over for speeding, the officer spent at least twenty minutes filling out the ticket and I still made it to work on time. Don’t ask me why I was speeding when I was twenty minutes early . . .

8. Assess the impact of wasted time

My dad was always keeping track of wasted time and telling us stuff like, “If a teacher wastes five minutes every class period, that is the equivalent to 75 hours a year” or something similar. He preached those principles and then lived them.

9. Get your work done, then play.

This goes to principle #8, when he was in charge, we never wasted a minute in class or on the job site, but if we finished early, we enjoyed our extra time. I remember fishing trips or spontaneous hikes in the woods that we would take at a moment’s notice – as long as we were far enough ahead on our studies. Sometimes when I was growing up, I would purposefully put off my homework simply because I knew it irritated my him so much.

10. Never take anything home

This is the one that I did not appreciate until I had my own children. At various times during his career, my father taught three or four elementary grades in one room or five or six different high school classes during the course of the day and rarely, if ever, did I see him bring his work home. Home was for odd jobs around the house and spending time with his family. His frenetic pace at work allowed him to relax at home.

Even though the principles of time management are simple, I have rarely met anyone who uses time as wisely as my father. Most of us will never get to that level, but maybe there are just a couple of principles that you can chose and work on. Personally, I am going to focus on #’s 3 and 6 in the coming year.

Article by Stew

Photo by Dave-F


4 Responses (including trackbacks) to “10 principles for saving time Part II”

  1. Ken Says:

    “do it when you think of it” is good but not always practical…I usually write that task down if I can’t do it right then…then I hope to find the note very soon after writing it..this is suspect :-)

  2. Joseph Says:

    I like to have a ‘things to do’list . I find that it keeps me focused on what i set to do and help me to prioritize. I admire your father.

  3. Joseph Says:

    I like to have a ‘things to do’list . I find that it keeps me focused on what i set to do and help me to prioritize. I admire your father:)

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