How many times have you heard someone say “time is money” in the workplace? In a business argument or discussion? As part of a title or headline? Probably more times than you can keep count. But just because it’s a platitude, doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Time really is money — it’s a commodity that has value, can be traded, tracked, accounted for, wasted and saved, among other things.
So why not just go head and treat time just like you do real money? Below are three ways that you can apply your cash-savvy skills to time management, too.
Invest in time-saving techniques. Just as you have to spend money to make money, you often have to spend time to save it. Here are 10 tips to help you learn how to invest in techniques that will save time later, such as creating a system for better task efficiency, reading carefully and taking notes, and even taking some time for a time-out.
Barter. Just as money can be traded for items that you want or need, time can be used to “buy” items as well in the workplace. Some of the people who are best at time management are able to effectively “trade” their time for that of others to best accomplish tasks that require various skill sets. For example, say you are tasked with the job of setting up a new system that will help your office’s sales department in Des Moines stay up to date with the numbers of a satellite office in Mumbai. You might feel very frustrated by obstacles that appear insurmountable, such as possible language barriers, technological incompatibilities, or lack of a real-time shared document program.
But perhaps there is someone in your office or on your team who speaks Hindi, or better understands localization issues of the software you’re using, or who has used a great shared spreadsheet system before and can recommend it. Ask them to help you out, and if the amount of time they must invest grows beyond a mere favor, you can always barter your own time for it. In other words, offer some of your skills or connections to them for future needs; they’ll no doubt come collect when problems arise that you can help solve! In addition to helping both of your schedules, you’re also building a set of solid professional relationships.
Create a hierarchy. In a given day, you spend a varied amount of money. A few dollars for a coffee in the morning, some for lunch. Maybe you step out of the office to buy a gift, or a bottle of wine on the way home. Dinner out, the week’s groceries, a new pair of shoes. A new stereo system for your remodeled living room? A new car? Now we’re getting into the upper echelons of money spending.
Sure, you can keep track of your expenses on a monthly and yearly basis, and get a good idea of your budget and spending habits. But on a daily basis, do you track all of your finances? Probably not, as (ironically) it just takes too much time to do so. The same goes for time management. If you do not create a hierarchy of time blocks — 5 minutes as opposed to 5 hours — when you are accomplishing tasks, you might end up spending your time doing overly fragmented tasks or miring yourself in one large one. The secret is putting your tasks in categories.
The best part about an automated time and attendance system is that it does this for you already! Time and attendance software and online timesheets like iEmployee will divide all employee’s timesheets into categories into which they and their managers can assign certain tasks and projects, ensuring that no effort is left untracked. With our robust time and attendance reporting, both parties can review tracked time on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis to find out exactly where that time is being invested — and how.