For a couple of years ago I came across Rory Waden’s time management analysis and corresponding lecture. I agreed with some parts, while being critical to other things. Mostly I realized that this lecture is somewhat incomplete and requires modifications and complementary pieces of advice.

Although the obsession of optimization may sometimes be misguided, occasionally it might be truly important to save time and efforts that you do not really need to spend and carry through.

Waden’s point is that we cannot really manage our time, only ourselves. Thus market rhetoric like to “multiply your time” is merely sales tactics and talking points. We have our 24 hours and there’s nothing you can do to change that.

However, we can indeed make adjustments in regard to our behavior and decision-making, hacks and principles that can be quite crucial whenever we have happen to have a big workload, family matters or other priorities that need to be taken care of. Perhaps it’s also particularly important to find ways to focus on our relationships, passions and hobbies to a larger extent, such as to write a novel and meet good friends.

1. Do things today that create more time tomorrow

This aspect may seem a bit paradoxical but on one hand you can take care of things today so that you don’t have to deal with them tomorrow. On the other hand you can give yourself “emotional permission” to procrastinate and don’t deal with them at all. Some things on your priority list may in fact not be that significant and you don’t have to deal with them at all. Their significance is low, hence of little value for your own life in the longer run.

This approach may be called selective procrastination. Waden underscores that procrastination in the true sense is negative, but not to selectively neglect things of little significance.

2. Automation

One of the major stress factors today is to deal with multiple trivial yet annoying and time-consuming micro tasks such as paying the bills, transfer money between accounts, and go out to consume things like food, clothes and furniture. But if you have your automatic payment services and subscriptions in check then you don’t have to deal with such matters to nearly the same extent.

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Moreover, it might be wise to pay all of your major loans once or twice a year so you don’t have to deal with partial payments every month. For example I cannot escape my student loan, and therefore I pay the entire annual amount in January so I don’t have to deal with it for another 12 months.

Additionally you can make orders online and have them delivered to your home, like a new kitchen table from IKEA or a cool jacket.

3. Selective multitasking

I am a largely efficient and industrious person but not against the idea of reading articles and fixing private things at work whenever it may be appropriate. When you’re participating in another boring and likely unuseful meeting for one hour you can respond to important e-mails, browse the web for a trip, and make payments.

Furthermore, public transportation is an excellent place to read a bit and spend minimal time on social media and listen to catchy music, instead of making these trivial pastimes top priorities at home.

While multitasking may often be inefficient and create more stress, it exists situations where you can and perhaps should do it.

4. Let someone else do things for you

band maid

Friendly maids

I guess that many of you like to take care of miscellaneous tasks yourself and don’t need other people’s help. But there are things, both at work and in private, which you can delegate, even if you’re not your own boss. By showcasing agreeableness, benevolent manipulation, and some degree of social shrewdness it’s very much possible to make other people take care of things for you. Just be polite and do something in return from time to time.

At home, if you’re single, you should consider the idea of occasionally paying someone a reasonable sum to for example clean the entire place. At ROK guys tend to talk about going to the Philippines to have an easy lay, but what about the opposite: to let a poor Pina come to your house and fix things for you? After all, that would be more morally responsible than to impose work on your old mom who lives far away.

In summary

To be efficient and industrious is still important. Procrastination, if that implies to neglect significant tasks and responsibilities, is likewise negative. But there are approaches to manage yourself and consequently save time. If you make minor adjustments and have a proper approach to your own priority list, then you can end up being more relaxed, as well as less stressful and borderline neurotic.

Read More: 9 Easy Ways To Save A Ton Of Money

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