May 13, 2013 Leave a comment
By Mark Combs, Cre8iveDept.com
What is the number one excuse you give when someone adds to your to do list? “I don’t have time for that!” When I say you should market you business, what goes through your head? “I don’t have time for that!” Everyone seems to need more time. I know I need more time to get done everything on my list. Time is a resource we all have the same quantity of, but it seems more valuable than ever. We can’t buy more time but we can waste time. We can’t save time for later, we can only trade our time for something else. You can’t slow time down but time can fly by. So how do we stretch the time we have to get the most out of it? I have a few suggestions.
1) Everyone gets 1440 minutes every day. No more, no less. Know the worth of every one of those minutes. If you work 40 hours per week (yea right, an entrepreneur that works 40 hours a week. Ha!) for 50 weeks every year (as if you get 2 weeks of vacation. Bahaha!). You have 2000 work hours per year. For the sake of math, let’s say you make $100k per year. That means your time is worth $50 per hour. You are paying $50 for that hour meeting. $25 for that half hour phone call. Knowing that you minutes are worth 83 cents, lets you prioritize your tasks to make the most of that minute.
2) Your “yes” is a “no” to something else. When you commit to doing something you are telling something else no. Since we only have 1440 minutes by approving one activity you are neglecting another. It is impossible to say yes to every job, customer, vendor, etc. You must say no to someone or something. Choose wisely.
3) Beware of distant elephants. Far away, even large things appear small. When you are asked to help in some way for a benefit next month, or a project next Fall, make sure you truly have the time for it. From this distance the biggest of projects look smaller than they actually are. When you get to that project, you will find bigger headaches than you anticipated and I am sure they will make a mess. So beware of distant elephants.
4) Start times and end times are a matching set. When you book a meeting, set the start time as usual, but make sure to book the end time as well. Open ended meetings and events tend to run long and wander through multiple topics. By setting end times for your meetings, you have to get to the point of the meeting and come to a solution quickly.
5) Give yourself limited “got-a-minutes”. You know what those are. Coworkers popping in and ask “Got a minute?” Your answer should be, “only three left.” Or how many you gave yourself each day. When they run out, stop accepting those interruptions. It will be hard at first, but soon your coworkers will be at your desk early or they will wait until tomorrow with little complaint.
6) Block out time to return important calls and emails. You can create several small sections throughout the day or one block of time at the end of the day. When you set time slots for answering calls and emails, you minimize interruptions to your work flow and become more productive. I spend 15 minutes when I first get to my desk, 15 minutes before lunch, then 20 minutes before I leave, saving the rest of my day for productive work with fewer interruptions.
7) “How can this get done?” is the right question. Never ask “How can I get this done?” By taking yourself out of the equation, you open up opportunity for delegation. Who can get this done for you? Is it worth your money to keep your time? Can they get it done quicker and more efficiently? Some of us have trouble letting go of jobs and projects, but if you are after more time, you can’t do it all.
8) Relaxation is a skill. Sleep is a weapon. Learn to take some time to unwind and get plenty of rest. I used to burn the candle at both ends. I figured out I wasn’t as bright as I thought I was. Our bodies were made to have a time to rest and relax. Without a certain amount of down time, we tend to make poor decisions and our productivity suffers. Learn to relax with the ones you love and enjoy and use sleep to make you better.
Time is a commodity of limited supply. We get to choose everyday how we spend it. When we work we must do our best to keep from wasting time because we never get it back. If I can take something off your plate and give you more time please let me know, I am glad to help. – MarkCombs@Cre8iveDept.com