Time to Take back your time

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Emails were once heralded as a brilliant time saving technology. How’s that working out in your world? There are only a small number of ways to create time, and tech hacks don’t make the cut.

The logic behind time management is truely baffling to me pretty regularly. Let’s do things faster, so that there is more time to do more things, then more things can be ticked as done. All the while, never pausing to think…

why does this really need to be done, and how much of it would be enough?

As someone who spend a decade in management before venturing into my own shop I’m not immune to the challenges that come with managing a busy schedule. From my own life, and what I have helped other owners set up, there are a few critical pieces to focus on.

The secret to having more time doesn’t lie in what you do, it lies in your ability to say no. More prominent than anything you can do, is controlling what you do not do.

The first major stumbling block here of course is most people are too busy to pause and think for a moment about what they do want, and what they do not want.

In order to give yourself a fighting chance you must know two key things

  1. What is is that you want?
  2. How much of it will be enough?

Take the classics money, and time with your family. It is entirely possible, and actually quite simple, to quantify how much money is enough for you to be satisfied. Family is a little more complex but none the less possible.

ONLY WHEN you establish a base line, can you evaluate the methodology to fill in the blanks. More than fill in the blanks, you can evaluate the trade of for more of one than the other. You could make even in the simplest sense, an extra $200 / week with a part time job.

Is this worthwhile, who knows? Only you can evaluate that, but you can’t evaluate it without a complete set of data.

Beyond knowing an actual target to aim for, there are some other simple principles that will help you.

  1. Focus on what is important, not what is urgent
  2. batch your tasks, emails for example will save you 2-5 hours a week I promise. You don’t need to be on them all the time, got bad news, you’re not that important.
  3. Outsource it, spend time on the most valuable tasks you can. This isn’t easy for everyone but the moment you stop telling yourself these two lies, it will get easier
    1. It is not quicker to do it yourself. Once maybe, ten time maybe still, but over the course of years, you don’t stand a chance. Spend time training people.
    2. Other people can do it as good as you. You learnt to do it, so can someone else. Keep the comparison relevant, don’t compare your fine tuned millionth time against their 10th.
  4. Run more productive meetings, or don’t have them at all. Massive waste of time and really not needed in many cases.
  5. Give people outcomes to achieve instead of tasks. The reception should always be spotless and make someone feel welcome when they arrive. Rather than a list of 7 things to do each morning when opening. This avoids the ‘I wasn’t told scenario’

For more tips and insight into how you can take control of your time there is a 30 minute recorder presentation you can listen to or watch here.

Give yourself a fighting chance, spend some time working out what matters to you, then work on building up your discipline and consistency. You won’t get it right from the start, maybe not even ever. That’s not a reason to avoid starting though.

Wishing you the best in life, and business.

Marty

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