My time saving resolutions for 2018

A new year, and I for one want to make the most of it. I like a good quote, lets start with a couple from two chaps called Charles:
"A man who dares to waste one hour of life has not discovered the value of life."
Charles Darwin

"Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week."

Charles Richards

Dough is the time saving money blog. I am concerned with saving and earning more money in 2018 than I did in 2017, my bigger priority is to free up time to do more of the things that matter most. To get the most value from my time will enable me to earn more and save more, as well as enjoying the year to come. I will help you do the same. 

For full disclosure, I have started a few of these already, I'm a believer in not putting off important things that could be started today, but I will keep going with all these in 2018:

As there are several, I've split them down into 2 key categories- Work and Smartphone


1.  Email

Email is the supreme time waster. It also tends to be what other people think is important, rather than you making the decision yourself. That little window popping up at the bottom of your screen, taking your attention, interrupting what you have prioritised. I'm going to turn it off and only check twice a day at allocated times (which won't be first thing in the morning). 

2. Prioritise

Ernest Hemingway woke each morning and began writing straight away. 
“When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.”
Hundreds of other prolific writers, scientist and successful business people have the same attitude. 
Do the most important job for the day first. I often find myself arriving at work, doing a couple of quick jobs, chatting to a couple of people and before I know it lunch has arrived and I've done nothing particularly useful. Productivity isn't doing the most work possible, it's doing the most important work possible. I'll achieve this through planning it the day before and the above email resolution. 

3. Review and debrief. 

Within the busyness of work, and life in general, we don't make time to think about how to do what we do better. In 2018, after important tasks or meetings I will have a personal debrief. How can I do better next time? What was not good enough? This in turn will lead to economizing and saving time going forwards. 

4. Complete tasks. 

This is huge. I have a tendency to start something and then move onto another task without completing it. Then coming back to it takes time to get going again and it's all time wasted. Humans cannot multitask. We just can't do it. We do two things slowly and to a poor standard. So I'm going to finish what I start. One job at a time.

These will make my work get done quicker and to a higher standard. 


The second key area is this. We now check our smartphones every 4.3 minutes of our waking lives. That's too much. There's a reason Steve Jobs heavily limited the exposure of his children to iPads and iPhones. It limits my attention span and prevents me from achieving important things. Therefore I have put the following controls in place to limit the time wasted on my phone. These will continue in 2018:

1. Black and white screen. 

Hugely important. It means my phone becomes less visually attractive and I perform one task on it before moving back to the rest of life. Done like this. It's amazing the difference that colour makes to the human brain. By changing the nature of my phone I teach my brain that this is a tool I am using, not a distraction. 

2. Simplifying Home Screens

Moving the time sucking apps off my home screen. You know the ones. Those apps you click on to "just check" something and wonder where half an hour went (for me Facebook, Twitter, BBC Sport). Putting them in folders or removing them altogether means they aren't easily accessible. Only apps on my home screen are useful tools (Maps, Calendar, Evernote) and things I want to spend more time on (Blogger, Audible, Duolingo). I want to use my phone to grow, not waste time. Limiting to three home screens, all really boring looking. Lots of folders and that sort of thing. Taking a lot of apps off my homescreens all together. That way I don't just flick across my phone until I find something to do. 

3. RescueTime

Rescue Time is an app which monitors my smartphone usage and tells me that I've spent 87 minutes on BBC Sport and 67 minutes on Twitter in the last week. Seeing this makes me wonder what I could have done with those minutes and want to use that time better. 

4. Notifications

Turned off notifications for all but the absolute key apps. This stops constant interruption from all manner of apps. It means that my attention is more focused on what I am doing. It comes back to that email point above. Choosing what I know to be most important, not having time taken by other people's agendas.

5. Eliminating "just check"

Finally, and less measurably I am identifying when the thought of "let me just check..." crops up. When you "just check" Twitter or your bank account or what the weather forecast is and half an hour later wonder where the time went. I don't want to do that. I want to be informed and monitor various things, but it's a huge time waster in most instances. If it takes a rubber band on the arm to twang when the thought comes perhaps that's useful. I'm trying to just keep the issue at the forefront of my mind and avoid mindless scrolling. 

Overall it's trying to use my smartphone as the powerful tool it is, rather than have it as a constant distraction. On my death bed (and yes I believe it is that much of an issue) I will not regret owning a smartphone but be thankful for how much more of the rest of life I enjoyed as a result. 


And all this will free me up to do more other things, including:

- Earn £1,200 on top of my annual salary from various sources. I will keep you updated with the progress of this through this blog.
- Read 25 books- and review/summarise relevant ones in this blog
- Write 25 blog posts (Only 24 to go!)
- Learn Spanish- to a basic conversational level


Some of the ideas I've included have come from other blogs. Take a look at James Clear and Tristan Harris for more detail on the content covered above.

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