I’m a big fan of quotes.
They make my day more energized, give me new inspiration and at the same time, I just love the conciseness of them: a lot of wisdom packed into a small sentence.
Since I’m a productivity enthusiast, I started thinking how to take advantage of this wisdom and apply them to everyday home office situations.
What happened was that eventually I found 4 quotes that – when implemented properly – can help anyone to improve his/her time management.
So if you’d like to get a bit more motivation and wisdom to your day and learn how to apply the quotes in practice, then this post if for you.
1. Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. ~William Penn
This quote can be understood in two ways:
First, we might have a work-related task and we want more time to achieve it. However, we might feel that there isn’t enough of it in order to focus properly on the task.
Second, you might be building your business, while having a day job. With your everyday decisions, you can determine how much time you dedicate on business-building activities.
In both of these scenarios we want enough time to handle the situations well. However, we still haven’t figured out how to maximize the available time or we are spending it on non-essential things.
How to: Figure out your priorities and commitments.
Could you outsource or delegate certain part of your tasks to someone else, so that you have more time to focus on just the important things?
Also, cut down your commitments and distractions. The more commitments you have, the more extra tasks you have to take care of and that’s the easiest way to feel busy.
Working without distractions is essential for good focus. With proper concentration, you get your work done faster and you have time for other things in your day.
Finally, figure out your priorities. Do you think that watching the TV is necessary, or could you postpone it until the more important work is done?
2. The key is in not spending time, but in investing it. ~Stephen R. Covey
Although the number of your commitments would be on a reasonable level or your priorities would be perfect; there is also another important activity that you should spend your time with.
This activity is learning and unfortunately this part is very easy to skip. At the same time, you know that in order to improve your skills and learn new things, you have to invest your time in this activity as well.
So, it’s not always about working hard. It’s also about education and improving yourself.
How to: Make a decision to read or (educate yourself otherwise) on a daily basis. You don’t have spend hours to do this, just 15-30 minutes every day will do.
What I have realized is that the best time for me for this activity is before I go to work. Since my home is mostly quiet during the early morning hours, this time is perfect for reading or educating myself.
You can also have a dedicated education day every week, when you go through the books, e-books or other training that you have purchased. In my case, this kind of day for me is on every Sunday.
Finally, turn your learning mobile-based.
Buy a MP3 player and load it up with podcasts or other educational material. That way you can take advantage of your transition times (especially if you are moving by walking or riding a bicycle).
3. Make use of time, let not advantage slip. ~William Shakespeare
What happens when you have some unexpected free time on your hands? Are you unable to decide what to do with it?
If this is so, then you should definitely learn how to make every minute productive.
Especially if you are working on you day job full-time but also building/running your part-time business, knowing how to maximize the available time is a crucial.
How to: Some time ago, I came back home from work. And as soon as I stepped in, I noticed that my wife and my son (who was 3 months old back then) were taking a nap.
It didn’t take me long to figure out what to do next: I walked into my workroom, started up my computer and started working on some blogging task.
Because I was able to act fast, I had 1 hour of extra, productive time and this was possible because I knew my next action in advance.
This is also the tip for you too: Always know what your next action is and when the unexpected time block occurs, act immediately!
That way you can maximize your time and get more work done.
4. “He that rises late must trot all day. “ ~Benjamin Franklin
I know that the later I wake up, the busier I get if I want to get all the tasks done. You should also consider of waking-up earlier, so that you manage to get your work done.
Especially if you are building your business part-time, you know that you have much less time at your disposal than for those who work on their businesses full-time.
Waking up earlier could give you the needed extra hours for getting your business off the ground.
How to: First of all, you have to define the new time when you want to wake up. If you are now waking up at 7AM, decide that eventually your wake-up time going to be at 6AM.
Then you pretty much have two choices to proceed: Make gradual changes to your wake-up times (decide to wake-up ten minutes earlier every week until you have reached your new time) or do the change at once.
In my case, I did the change at once. Sure, at first I was like: “I should get back to sleep instead of being awake – this is nuts!” Eventually I got used to the new rhythm and waking up early became a very natural part of my life.
This change happened in 2007 and I’m still an early riser. It’s the most important thing that helped me with my productivity.
I hope that these quotes helped you to make your day more productive.
Just make sure you implement these quotes one at a time. This way you’ll ensure that new habits and behaviors become natural part of your daily life.
Timo Kiander, a.k.a. Productive Superdad, teaches WAHD superdad productivity for work at home dads. If you want to get more productive in your own life, grab 222 of his best Tips for Becoming a Productivity Superstar.