Many people live their life believing time is their enemy. After all, there is only so much time in a day and we are often pressed for time to get things done. This is especially true for anyone who lives by deadlines. Being in the search engine optimization industry we often battle time to achieve top rankings for our clients who want to see results sooner rather than later.
Personally, however, I love time. Seriously. For me time isn’t some enemy to be battled, but a tool to be used wisely. Unlike clock-watchers who are always looking at the clock for that magic moment when they get to leave work, I monitor my time for much different reasons. Every part of my day is proportioned to a degree. That is, I know that things that I need to do and I expect each to take a certain portion of my day. This includes leisure as well as work.
I’m always looking for ways to make my time more valuable. I’m not necessarily trying to “save” time, but make the time I use, for anything, more productive. Here is my personal list of things that I do in order to manage my time more effectively:
Leave for work early: I hate rush hour traffic. Nothing steals time away from a person more than sitting in traffic during rush hour, especially if you get caught behind an accident. I typically leave for work about 5:20 am and arrive by 5:40. This keeps me from having to battle the morning rush to work. Those days when I leave later in the morning it can take up to 45 minutes to get to work.
Leave work early or late: Early to work, early to leave. Well, not always. But there is a certain window of time that I don’t leave work: before 4:15 and after 4:45 until 6pm. Around here it seems that if I leave work before 4:15 I hit the shoppers rush hour. That’s when people are wrapping up their shopping day, picking kids up from school etc. If I wait until 4:15 the traffic is considerably less for about 30 minutes. After that then I might as well wait until 6pm when rush hour is over and the freeways are pretty much clear again.
Speed: OK, this is one I don’t recommend, but being honest here, I do. I typically drive about 8 miles an hour over the speed limit. How much time does that save me in my journey to and from work each morning? Probably not much, but mentally it does a lot!
Office close to the freeway: Who needs city driving. I currently have one stop light between our office and the freeway. That’s the way I like it.
Office close to home: Right now my office is about 20 minutes from home in non-rush hour traffic. That’s about all I’m willing to commute. Any commute over 20 minutes is just a severe waste, unless it’s public transportation and I’m able to get work done on the way.
Short hair: Sorry ladies, this is one for us guys. About a year ago I shaved my hair off and have not regretted a day since. No muss, no fuss, right? Its something I simply never have to worry about and takes no time out of my day in maintenance.
Shower at night: This might seem odd for some of you but I found that when showering at night, rather than in the morning, my showers go quicker. My theory is that in the morning its often much colder in the house and I tend to want to just sit under the hot water for about five minutes to warm up. Showering at night I don’t have that need. Added bonus: I climb into my sheets clean each night. That’s a great feeling!
Only one “appointment” per day: I don’t have a lot of meetings each week so I can pretty much spread them out. I typically try not to have more than one meeting or appointment in a given day. Think about it, each appointment takes you away from your “productive” work. Too many meetings and it breaks my mojo. I often feel like I got nothing done in the day. Everybody is different on this depending on the person and their job, this is just one for me!
Drink less water: Yeah, I know, you’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water each day. I tried that once and found that I was headed toward the bathroom almost every 30 minutes. To paraphrase a former wrestler/movie star/ governor and current has-been: I ain’t got time to pee! If I had my own private bathroom at work things might be different, but in my office building the bathroom can be a trek down the hall. Who’s got time for that?
Office close to the bathroom: We are currently looking for a larger office to move into and one of my requirements is that the office is close to a bathroom (and an entrance). I don’t want to hike every time I have to use the facilities so getting an office near the bathroom is a definite plus.
Two Monitors: I just went to a dual monitor system a little over a week ago and I can’t believe how much it increases productivity. I have since hooked up our entire office with dual monitor systems. If the dual monitors save each person only an hour a month (and they will, easily) they will have paid for themselves.
Netflix: I can’t remember the last time I want to a video store and had to look around. What a waste. Netflix lets me know whats new, rent the movie online, and get delivered right to my door. No time wasted walking through the new-release isle or worrying about returning the movie.
TiVo: No commercials, no appointment TV! Does any more need to be said? What time does Lost, Battlestar Galactica or 24 come on? I have no idea. All I know is that its there waiting for me to watch it at my convenience.
So there you have it. My life in a time-clock!