Lots of people spend time coming up with budgets so they can improve their finances. Then they spend additional time tracking their finances and comparing everything to their budget. After that, they may tweak one or the other, and sometimes both, as they balance their spending and income.
If you’re one of them, I commend you. Sticking to a budget and doing financial planning goes a long way toward reaching your money goals.
But have you ever thought about time in a similar way? After all, you can always make more money. However, once spent, you can’t make more time. That’s why you should budget your time like you budget money.
What to Spend Time On
Although getting organized, and staying organized, takes time, it’s worthwhile to budget your time for it. Think of these two ideas kind of like different budgets. You can choose either one, or both, to budget your time.
Utilize a Calendar App
To truly budget your time like you budget money, you need to allocate a certain amount of time for everything. Something that can greatly help with that task is to utilize a calendar app.
With a calendar app, you can set up appointment reminders, block your schedule for important projects, and more.
Additionally, many calendar apps allow you to access them from multiple devices wherever you may be. That allows you to manage your schedule with ease.
Put Tasks in a Worklist
If you’ve never used a scheduling application, using one is another way to help you budget your time. What’s more, you may even be able to replace that paper “to do” list you carry around.
Like other apps, most can be used from your phone as well as from laptops or other devices. This allows you to update projects effortlessly as needed throughout the day.
It’s also easy to see your list and work in order of priority with a scheduling app. That helps you focus on those that are important or have nearer deadlines.
What’s more, scheduling apps are great when you have a team of people to direct. You can keep a work list for each person and quickly see how they’re doing on it at a glance.
Do you need to reassign a task to a different person or an alternate day? It’s a simple process when you use a scheduling app.
Furthermore, if team members need to work together on one project, everyone can see the status in the scheduling app.
Creating routines will also help you to budget your time better. Use the ideas below to save time so you can use it elsewhere in your time budget.
Make Meals Ahead
When you take breakfast or lunch with you to work each day, it takes time to prepare. Starting at home during the evenings makes getting ready in the mornings take less time.
Plan what you will eat and complete all of the prep work each night at the very least. If you can, make meals ahead in their entirety. Next, put the prepared food in convenient packaging so it’s ready to grab the next morning as you leave.
Using a little bit of time the night before can really pay off in the mornings when you’re in a rush.
A smart idea is to budget a bit of time to choose clothing each evening for work the next day. That way you’ll quit spending time you don’t have sifting through your closet for the perfect outfit. If you’re worried about wearing the wrong thing for the weather, consult a weather app on your phone first.
You’ll be rewarded with saved time in the mornings when you set aside time to prepare for the next day.
Something else you should budget your time for is getting and staying healthy. This includes not only eating right, but drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest. You’ll also want to exercise to get fit.
Quit eating junk food and limit your desserts. These steps will reduce that sluggish feeling you experience during the daytime. Other benefits are that your work speeds will increase and you’ll have more time for other things.
While you’re at it, drink lots of water and don’t be sedentary. Exercise in small increments if you are busy and lack time. Even a little physical activity is better than none.
It’ll be hard for you to avoid being tired if you don’t budget enough time for sleep. Lack of sleep is a common issue for many that can lower your productivity both at work and at home. Get plenty of rest so you can be at your best each day.
Just like spending money on what’s important you should also spend time on what’s important. That’s why you need to learn as many shortcuts as possible.
Using shortcuts and hacks at home and work lets you work faster and be more productive. Here are some ideas to try.
Schedule Time for Emails
To budget your time like you budget money, allot certain times during the day to check your emails. Set it up on your calendar so you get a reminder but stay on task the rest of the time.
Check and respond to your emails first thing in the morning, at mid-morning, and again around lunchtime. Then, look at your inbox again mid-afternoon and at the close of the day.
You’ll stay in routine and get more done if you manage your emails more effectively.
Have you ever looked for templates in the applications you use? If you don’t, you might be wasting valuable time recreating forms that already exist.
Of course, templates won’t be there for everything you do, but you can create your own as well. Then when you need to continually recreate a form, you’ll have a starting point to work from.
Training and Teaching Others
Budgeting time for training and teaching others can give you more time later. It also promotes teamwork.
Teaching your kids to do household chores can free up some of your time at home for other things. An added bonus is that it also helps them become responsible adults.
Training and teaching people at work is also worth budgeting your time to do. Obviously it will take more of your time at the onset. However, it should pay off by giving you back that time plus more down the road.
Relaxing and Recharging
If you want to continue working productively and at your best you need to relax and recharge occasionally. That is why you need to budget your time for it just like you would budget money for it too.
But that doesn’t mean you must take an expensive vacation. Instead, you could stay home and take a few days to relax and have fun. Or, you could take a long weekend to get away somewhere.
Setting goals is another thing that you should add into your time budget. Both personal and work goals are important. They inspire and motivate you to work hard so you can achieve them.
In other words, setting goals can increase your productivity and efficiency at home and wherever you work.
Having a budget for your money is important to your financial well-being. Budgeting your time in a similar way is also important so you don’t waste it. After all, you only get a certain amount of it.