I’ve been reading articles about freeing up time to get more done and came across this article. I thought I’d share with you some highlights.
We’re all wearing many hats and trying to fit multiple roles into a single 24-hour day. When new commitments come up, they often get layered on top of already busy lives. It turns out, with a small amount of planning you can add hours back into your week to make more time for the things you want to prioritize. Here are a few tricks:
Strategy 1: Eliminate.
Warren Buffett employs a two-list strategy. First, make a list of your top 25 priorities. Then, circle your top five, giving you your second list. From this, the top five list becomes your to-do list and the remaining 20 become your avoid-at-all-costs list. It sounds extreme, but having a clear focus on your highest priorities allows you to focus on what matters — and moving those items to completion! When you consciously choose what to drop, you remove the stress associated with the fear of unintentionally missing commitments. More relevantly, you create the space and time to tackle your top priorities first before moving further down your list.
Strategy 2: Outsource.
For tasks that you’ve determined need to be done, the next question is whether they need to be done by you.
Outsourcing work can be a hurdle faced by entrepreneurs who are facing the mind shift between being self-employed (where we’ve created our own job) to being a business owner (where the question is about what needs to be done for the business, separately from who does it). There are two primary ways to outsource work — by delegating to other people and by using technology (apps and tools) to do things for us.
Strategy 3: Optimize.
At this point, your to-do list is down to a list of what you yourself need to (or want to!) do. Spend time considering how each item on this list can be done more efficiently. Here are a few examples:
- Meetings expand to the time we give them. To counter this, go through your calendar and cut your meeting times in half. When you get right down to business, you’ll find you can usually accomplish just as much in far less time.
- Batch tasks together to keep distractions at bay throughout the week. Do necessary errands all on the same morning, make all of your calls before lunch and book check-in meetings back-to-back rather than staggered throughout the week.
- Wind down faster. I like to watch an episode or two of TV before I go to bed, but I watch it at 1.3x speed. After a few moments you don’t even notice that it’s sped up, it fits an hour-long drama into a 30-minute time slot. Every second counts!
- Head outside. Just because you’re tied to work doesn’t mean your family has to be. Reading, in particular, is an excellent activity on the go-.
- Block off the most productive work hours on your calendar so meetings don’t get added. Then, use this as heads-down focus time. Close your email, set Slack or other social tools to silent and use a tool like Brain.FM to clear your mind for the task at hand.
Finally, one of the most critical factors in a successful time management strategy is to regularly re-evaluate it. If we actively look for ways to focus on priorities and where to remove, outsource or optimize activities, we’ll be able to tackle more with ease. And hopefully, with these tips, we can all feel just a little more super-human!
Check out the whole article here and feel free to share your thoughts with me. If you would like to discuss the topic further, you can call me on 0488 548 854 or shoot me an email at email@example.com.