How to Be More Effective by Getting Rid of Time-Wasters
Time is your greatest asset. Use it wisely.
“Nothing else distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.” That’s according to legendary management consultant Peter Drucker, whose perspective helped to create the modern corporation.
You can get more money through various avenues but once time is gone, it’s gone forever. You can’t buy more time or borrow more time. As a business owner, you have to be very careful with this precious resource.
Time is a limited resource that expires every day.
Here are a few practical ways to get rid of time-wasters:
Time-Waster Tip #1 – Treat Time like a Budget
Assess your weekly schedule and think about your time as a limited resource - just as you would a financial budget. What categories of spending (ie: your activities) are most important to you? Where are you wasting your time resource on non-essential tasks? What could you do now that will save you time later? (Check out my previous post on Systems which are hands down the best way to save time.) When you treat time like a budget, you will make wiser decisions on where you spend it.
Time-Waster Tip #2 – Don’t Read Email, Process Your Inbox
Over 80% of people check email constantly for ‘fear of missing something important’ according to a recent survey. They waste time sifting through the entire inbox in search of that one golden nugget – often getting distracted answering other messages in the meantime. The solution is to process your inbox. As each message arrives, move it to a folder for later action. I suggest three folders: Action (something I need to complete), Waiting (I’m waiting on information from someone else), and Read (something I need to read for review or reference). At dedicated points in the day, return to the folders to actually do the work. By keeping your inbox to a minimum by storing emails in the processing folders, you can quickly see when/if something truly important arrives.
Time-Waster Tip #3 – Create your Priority List before Bed
Identify the priorities of the next day before you go to bed so you know exactly what to do when you wake up. You will hit the ground running instead of wasting time deciding what’s important to get done that day. Also, think about any particular challenge you haven’t resolved yet. Often your mind can ponder solutions while you sleep. There is a fascinating book on the notion of controlling your mind while you sleep which was originally published in 1899. Might be worth a look: The Mystic Will.
Time-Waster Tip #4 – Learn to Say No
Saying no puts you in control. You’ll have more time to do the activities that move your business forward instead of getting distracted by someone else’s agenda. Stop taking calls that aren’t meaningful. Don’t volunteer for things that aren’t either important to the development of your business or top priorities from a personal perspective. Guard your time like a scarce resource – because it is.
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