Time Management – The Value of the Daily Minute


“Hey, got a minute?” “Yeah, sure. Just give me a minute.” How many times have you heard or used these phrases? If you’re like most of us, quite a bit. It’s funny how many sayings, songs and stories have been built around the lowly little minute. I say “lowly”, because it’s just a minute, right? But, how exactly do those minutes add up?

I don’t care who you are and where you live or what you do, there are certain things you do day after day, week after week, year after year.

Whether it’s shaving, running, brushing your hair, cooking, cleaning or opening email, you’re doing it – day after day. What would happen if you could just shave one minute off of one of these tasks? At the end of the year that “daily minute” would add up to 365 minutes, or slightly over six hours!

Let’s talk about email for a second. How much time do you spend each day opening and deleting spam? You probably have no idea, but I’d be willing to bet it’s much more than a minute. It’s nearly impossible not to get any spam at all, but you can safely eliminate most of the same offers for cigars or online diplomas or erectile dysfunction.

Most email services, if not all, have some type of spam filter that you can set to block unwanted messages. Since there are so many different providers it’s not plausible for me to walk you through the entire process, but if you find the “Help” tab and look for “Message Filters” or “Email Setup” or something along those lines, that should get your job done. They can usually be found under the “Tools” tab. Once you’re in the right place you should be able to filter in the Subject, Sender, Body, Date and several other options.

You’ll be prompted to enter the word or phrase you want blocked, e.g. “erectile dysfunction”, where to search for it – Subject – and where to move it to, usually either the “Trash” or “Junk” folders.

You’ll want to be careful that you don’t get too heavy handed with your filter, though, because you may block messages you want. I still get spam every day, but not nearly as much as before. If you’ve never done this, the first time you do will take some time, but the minutes and minutes you’ll be saving from that point on, will quickly surpass your initial investment. Plus, it’s pretty cool the first time you don’t get seventeen of the same message offering you reconditioned golf balls! Time management is at work!

Take a look at other things you do daily, whether it’s absolutely necessary or what could be considered a huge time waster, and see how you can trim a minute here and a couple of minutes there. Cooking and cleaning are two great places to find “free” time. There are several great books, articles, blogs and so on that have great time-saving tips for both. Who knows, you may even learn a new recipe!