Increasing Your Productivity While Saving Time

Judging from the vast number of planners, blotters, apps, books, seminars, and articles available on the ubiquitous subject of time management, making the most of our minutes remains top of mind for professionals, students, families, and everyone in-between. Business empires have been built on the subject, launching a steady stream of tools, gadgets, and tips to help us maximize the accomplishments of our daily lives. A simple “time management” search in Amazon yields over 20,000 results. Clearly, we don’t want to waste our minutes.

And yet palliative nurse-turned-author Bronnie Ware notes that one of the most often voiced deathbed regrets she encountered is that people wished they hadn’t worked so hard. So how do we reconcile these two seemingly disparate wishes? How can we so deeply long to be more productive and yet, at the same time, steer clear of working twelve-hour days with little time for others or self? CEO and author Steve Glaveski suggests that these twin realities represent the quest to use our time wisely. He recognizes and celebrates the paradox that we can actually get more done in less time by improving our decisions about what we do, why we do it, and how we accomplish it.

For example, instead of saying “yes to all sorts of nonsensical requests for our time” and “stubbornly [continuing] to perform tasks that a machine could do for us,” we can refuse to resign ourselves to hectic lives of unsatisfying mediocrity and start making informed decisions. Can you automate? Glavenski provides a helpful list of tasks that can easily be automated as well as tools you can use to do it. Can you outsource or delegate? Again, Glaveski produces a chart assigning monetary value to an assortment of tasks. You might be shocked by how much of your time is consumed with tasks that are easily delegated, freeing you ultimately for the luxury of free time – but with a sense of abiding satisfaction.

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