Spending time wisely is only one part of managing it. The other part is finding ways to save time, especially on things you don’t like doing as much as other things.

To do this, you have to make a conscious effort to think about everything you do during each day.

One of my favorite books growing up was “Cheaper By the Dozen” by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernest Gilbreth Carey about an efficiency expert and how he got things done in his household with a wife and a dozen kids. He timed their showers, he lined them up to do things, he taught them how to do everything faster with less motion.

That book lead me to a life-time interest in time management, efficiency, and personal organization.

We can learn how to increase efficiency in our own lives if we pay attention to what we’re doing. This can work for everything from brushing our teeth and setting the table, to painting a room and arranging the room for a better traffic flow. The more you dislike something that has to be done, the more you should work on how to get it done in the fastest way possible. 

This involves things like putting stuff you use all the time in convenient places, and putting stuff you use together in close proximity. In other words, the stapler goes in your home office, not in the bedroom. The utensils you use for cooking and baking go next to the stove, not in the pantry. I recommend that for one day you pay particular attention to all your actions and how you move around in your space. Where can you cut down on wasted time?

Routines are also helpful when you want to get things done quickly. Same time of day, same thought-out actions lead to a more productive life. As a bonus, they also lead to a more relaxed life. What could be better than that?

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