Preserving the most precious commodity-making the most of your time

If the history of the word was compressed into a 24-hour period, the human race would not emerge until the last 77 seconds.[1] With a single human lifespan a mere blip on the timeline of the Earth, it’s overwhelming to consider how little time we have to achieve our goals, to foster relationships, to make an impact. Here at Integrity Legal Nurse Consulting, we know how valuable your time is, and we want to help you make the most of it. So how can you maximize this precious commodity, particularly in the workplace? Here are seven ways to start:

#1: Just because you can’t touch it, doesn’t mean you can’t spend it

Like money spent via credit card, time has this sneaky way of disappearing on us. Commodities are most frequently thought of as tangible things – money, water, coffee – but unlike physical commodities, time cannot be purchased, and your status, appearance, and intelligence do absolutely nothing to help you gain more of it. We are all give the exact same number of minutes and hours every day. Time is a privilege, just like any other resource, so treat it as such, and know the value of using it well.

#2: Find the balance between efficiency and effectiveness

Efficiency is doing the job in front of you in the best possible way, while effectiveness is doing a job that may not be the one in front of you, but the one that most urgently needs to be done.[2] The goal is to merge these two qualities so that you can be more productive and successful. Before you begin a task, consider its importance, but also consider how long it will take you to complete it. What changes in your approach could you make to speed up the process? Don’t sacrifice quality or time: keep track of what you’re doing and how you’re doing it for continual improvement.

#3: Prioritize

As basic as it may sound, the importance of prioritization cannot be stressed enough. Even if you’ve sworn off the ways of your type-A comrades, bite the bullet, pull out a notepad and pen, and rate your tasks; know what absolutely must be done so you don’t lose sight of your goals. Multitasking can seriously decrease both effectiveness and efficiency, so chose a task, and stay with it. If you find yourself valuing complex, time-consuming tasks outside your wheelhouse, that’s when you should consider handing some of this work over to consultants like us! More on this later.

#4: Get up and MOVE!

The Harvard Business Review calls sitting “the smoking of our generation”; we are averaging 9.3 hours a day of sitting, and our sedentary ways are slowly killing us.[3] Not only is movement vital to our health, it also keeps us engaged and capable of using our time more productively. Suggest a walking meeting as opposed to one in a coffee shop. Get a standing desk. Do a seven minute, New York Times-approved workout when you sense your attention drifting.[4] Even if you’re not combining physical activity with work, taking time out to be active will help you achieve more while also being healthier.

#5: Recognize your limits

Many of us tend to bite off more than we can chew at work. Turning down clients, opportunities, conferences, and favors can be very difficult to do, especially when you are passionate about the work you do. However, to maximize your success, open up your schedule, and decrease your stress level, you have to know how to say no. One simple way to minimize your commitments is to hand off some of your more tedious tasks to willing experts, bringing us to our next point…

#6: Money can’t buy time, but it can buy consultants!

Outsourcing tasks that aren’t in your area of expertise will free up your day for the work you can do most effectively yourself. Most attorneys don’t have professional medical training, which means any cases requiring a deep understanding of medical chart notes, procedures or processes can take much more time than you’d like them to. Instead of pouring over medical records, leave the review and analysis to those who can explain them swiftly and accurately, perhaps picking up on points that you might have easily missed altogether. While you can’t stamp a price on time, your money, plus an experienced specialist, can give you hours back to spend in much more fruitful ways.

#7: Time cannot be saved, only wasted

The concept that time can somehow be “saved” is a fallacy; once a day is gone, it’s gone forever. However, the way in which you spend your time does affect the amount and quality of the free time you have left. Don’t spend time on something that alters your priorities, lowers your efficiency, or can be done by someone else more quickly and more effectively; instead call Integrity Legal Nurse Consulting today for a free consultation.

[1] David DeFranza, “How Do Humans Fit Into the 4.5 Billion Years of Life on Earth,” TreeHugger.com, Nov. 30, 2012, http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/how-do-humans-fit-45-billion-years-life-earth-video.html

[2] Dr. Alan Zimmerman, “The World’s Most Valuable Commodity,” Labrada, accessed May 6, 2016, https://www.labrada.com/blog/motivational/the-worlds-most-valuable-commodity/

[3] Nilofer Merchant, “Sitting Is the Smoking of Our Generation,” Harvard Business Review, Jan. 14, 2013, https://hbr.org/2013/01/sitting-is-the-smoking-of-our-generation/

[4] Gretchen Reynolds, “The Scientific 7-Minute Workout,” May 9, 2013, The New York Times, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=2

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