20/20 – Day 13: 20 ways to cut down & free up time

You’re busy, so I’ll keep it brief. Here’s how you can start saving even more time.

  1. No unplanned events. Impromptu is a no-no.
  2. Ignore TV.  As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Everybody has time, stop watching f__king Lost”
  3. Switch off IM services.
  4. Switch off Facebook, Twitter, et al.
  5. Filter out all unnecessary plans/tasks.
  6. Quit something.  Do less and win.
  7. Order in Most Important Tasks (MIT).
  8. Don’t let unfinished tasks bog you down. Finish them, or get rid of them completely if unimportant.
  9. Declutter. Mess doesn’t work for everyone.  If it bothers you, get rid of it, make some quick fixes, or change your system.
  10. Do not be disturbed. No exceptions.  Switch yourself off from the world.
  11. Stop using so much toothpaste. Your time, according to Sid Savara, is like a tube of toothpaste.  Savara says:
    “Unlike a stream running or sand falling in an hourglass, toothpaste does not simply come out of a tube on its own – we force it out and use it up. Similarly, we are not spectators in our own lives with our days, weeks and months passing us by. Each day we make a decision what to do and what not to do. Every moment is our opportunity, but it’s a moment that we must choose to use up.”
  12. Plan a leaving time every time you go out. Stick to it.
  13. Be strict. Time is precious. Treat it that way.
  14. Don’t schedule and forget about it.  To make proper use of a timetable or schedule, check it in the evening and at the start of the day.
  15. Incorporate unexpected events as soon as possible. Make appropriate changes to your schedule right away.
  16. Complete overlapping tasks together in order to avoid doing the same preparation two or three times.  Batch those tasks!
  17. Read my six-part series, “Make Time for Time“.
  18. Check times saps like social services and email just once or twice a day.
  19. Delegate, if possible and appropriate.  Not a typical student option, but don’t rule it out.  There will be occasions.
  20. Keep on top of routine tasks.  It’s quicker and easier as you go along.
Title image: original by tiffa130 (cc)


    1. Hurrah! If there’s anything in particular you think they’d benefit from, let me know. Always happy to take requests. 🙂

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