You Cannot Save Time
No matter how hard you try, how much you invest in improvements, how efficient you are, you cannot save time. Businesses waste a lot of money and effort and add a lot of stress to their people trying to save time.
Time cannot be saved. Time progresses in spite of your every attempt to save it. Please, don’t just dismiss this as a play on words. You cannot save time. You’re thinking, ”if something normally takes two hours per day and I find a way to do it in one hour per day, I’ve saved five hours per week!“ Okay, that means you have five ”extra“ hours to use on Friday? Or can you use that ”saved“ time on Saturday making your day off twenty nine hours long instead of twenty four??! Can you give me the five hours you saved?
The point is, you cannot save time but you can use time better. By cutting a task from two hours to one hour, you are using the first hour better than before. Then the question arises about how best to spend the second hour. Do you see the difference?
Organizations spend a lot of money on things that will ”save time“. But generally the increases in productivity do not follow in proportion to the investment. Why? The focus is always on what can be saved and rarely on what to do with the savings. It’s like grocery shopping. Don’t you love it when they hand over the receipt and proclaim, ”You saved $10.93 today!“ Really? I thought I just spent $72.69!
Where’s the $10.93? Will I take myself to lunch with my $10.93? Will I put it in the bank and watch it grow every time I ”save“ at the grocery store? The savings is wasted if there is no plan for what to do with it. It is simply considered as saved. True, I didn’t have to hand over that $10.93 so there should be more in my wallet than if I had not saved, right? But did I buy more stuff because I saved on other stuff? Probably.
Time works the same way except it spends even faster than money and cannot be conserved. Time ”saved“ on a task or project is usually wasted because there is no plan for the savings. If ”what to do with the savings“ is part of the plan, the conserved time will be better utilized before it flows past. This applies to the most basic little ”time-saver“ and the huge million dollar efficiency investment. Greater efficiency does not always give greater results. Results in business is profit.
The point. If you can identify where time can be ”saved“ and have a plan to achieve the savings, include in your plan what you will do with the savings. This sounds like such a simple idea but it is very profound. Can you imagine how much money you would have in a special account at the end of the year if you deposited every penny you ”saved“ when you bought something? That’s really not practical because the price we pay is what the price is. We try to do as well as we can when we buy something but we really don’t ”save“ the savings when we get things on sale. We often buy because things are on sale! We are spending in order to save!
Time ”saved“ is almost always time wasted because we do not plan what to do with the savings. Rather than think of saving time, think of better using time. If an hour can be sliced from a task, what can I do with that hour? I recommend avoiding the terminology ”saving time“. Look at using time better.
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