The biggest time-saving device I’ve ever found is, quite simply, a proper perspective. What do you want out of life? Once I decided that (and I keep making the decision again and again), I was able to clear the brush and see what I should focus on in life.
An example. Some months ago, I was elected as Editor-in-Chief of the law journal at my school. The Journal has a Facebook group. I’d never been on Facebook. But I felt some obligation to be in the group, so I set up my account and dove into the Facebook world. Until it became pointless. I would regularly log on and refresh the page multiple times a day to find out that someone I’d not seen in nearly a decade had just gone to the store to buy milk. Insane. I was letting that keep me from time with my wife, my daughter, work, even my dog?
The decision to choose one thing over another could simply be made on economic terms. The opportunity cost of a half hour on Facebook is too much when compared with that same half hour spent with family or reading a good book. Much of the Internet is like this, of course, even (sad to say) blogging. Every decision we make necessarily plucks one option from every other option in the world. Using time wisely is often as simple as making good decisions, choosing substance over fluff.
The willpower to make such decisions is difficult to obtain and harder to maintain once you have it. But over time–and with the right perspective–you will find that you have a lot of time you didn’t before just by spending less time in front of the computer or the television. I haven’t owned a television in a long time and it has been great (except for missing the football in the fall).
Figure out your priorities in life, and the time for those will grow as you remove the dross from your day. Give it a try for a week. Or, if you do not know what your priorities are, try keeping an activity log (see an example discussed here, along with other time-management tips). At the end of the week, you’ll know what you do most of the day and you can decide if it is worthwhile. Try it out.