You probably dislike wasting time. Every minute counts. Right? I can’t stand wasting time, and I was wasting hours every day. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why, but I’d work frantically throughout the day only to see how little I really accomplished. That created lots of stress and anguish. I want to build my business, and get my finances in order…I don’t want to worry about creating income during retirement. I simply had to solve this problem.
Photo by Serdal via Flickr
I decided to do something about it.
Here’s a list of what I did:
I took a detailed inventory of what I did, when I did it and how I felt when I did it. Since I’m self employed, I pretty much make my own schedule. I found that I was doing the things I liked most first and leaving the other stuff “for later”.
I also noticed that I checked my e-mail many times throughout the day. I’d go back and forth for no reason between my calendar and my email. This may sound crazy and I may be the only one who did this, but let me tell you it was nuts and a huge time drain.
Once I took my “time inventory” I was able to take action.
When I get an e-mail now, I either deal with it, delegate it or delete it. Sometimes delegating means asking someone else to take care of it. Sometimes delegating means putting it in a folder for later reference.
I don’t keep any e-mails in my inbox — my goal is to clean in out only once per day. In the past, I’d open an e-mail and tell myself I’d deal with it later. It sat in my inbox and cluttered it up. I figured that if I’m going to have to deal with an e-mail and spend the 2 minutes, I might as well get it over with now.
This was a great business idea and a huge time-saver.
I can’t do, know and understand everything. I need help. I used to spend way too much time on technical stuff for which I have neither the interest nor skill. Rather than plow my way through, now I ask for help. I ask mentors and colleagues.
Of course, I try to help others whenever I can. Sometimes, I can’t repay the people who help me most. I just help others when I can and hope that it’s cosmically fair.
So far…so good.
One of the best personal and small business ideas I ever embraced was having an accountability partner. For me, having to go back to someone with a report on what I’ve done is crucial. It keeps me on track.
Guess what…I’m not perfect and neither are you. I don’t get too worked up when I don’t live up to my own standards. I’m only human. I just try a bit harder next time. This saves the time I used to waste beating myself up.
To be frank, this has been the most difficult step. I see so much I want to do and deride myself for not accomplishing more. This is a mistake. I need to take the time to slow down and celebrate improvement. This is important because when I do, it helps me stay the course.
As a result of these steps, I learned to save about 2 hours every day. I don’t care if you want to become a financial planner, a teacher, or a barber. Saving time is critical no matter what you do.
Do you think these steps would help you? What have been the most effective steps you’ve taken to save time?