Time is my most valuable commodity, I make conscious effort not to waste it. This is one thing you do not have a second chance with, and one which you have no control over. The clock just goes on ticking whether you make the most of your time or not. So I decide to use time the way I want to and not let it pass by without me accomplishing what I want during my time on planet earth.
Now if you want to be efficient and productive, you want to save time for work that only you can do. Work that can be automated or outsourced, should be set up for automation and outsourcing. You want to be dispensable to your business so you have time freedom ad go on small breaks, or take vacations.
Some simple things you can do to automate your work
Filters to take care of your junk and unimportant emails – you only spend time going through mails that matter to you. All the rest are automatically sent into appropriate folders or deleted. It’s like having a virtual assistant filtering mails for you.
Set up voice mails for your phones so you don’t feel compelled to respond to calls as and when they come in. Only check voice mails periodically so you can concentrate on your work. 28% of you daily time is spent on unnecessary interruptions and “recovery time” to get back to the groove of work.
Design your filing system (on and offline) – so you not only keep and save your documents and files but more importantly that you can retrieve them with ease when you need them. How much time do you spend looking for things you know you have?
Leave it the way you find it. Once you have a system, maintain the order, and religiously put files and documents where they are meant to be kept so you don’t have to spend time looking for them when you next need them. This routine applies whether it is your stationery, socks, shoes, bags, keys or glasses.
15% of your time is spent in searching for information and an estimated 50% of all searches fail. You either have to redo your work or buy new items when you cannot find them. That is a huge waste of time and resource. So leave it the way you find it and observe this ceremoniously.
Develop the discipline to touch things once, process them or delete them, or else do not touch them until you have the time. If you start processing something (a mail or a request) and the decide to come back to it because you don’t have all the information, then I suggest you look for the information now. If you leave the processing till later then you have to remember to do it at a later time. You may forget and then you need to spend time tuning in again to work on the same stuff. Maintain that one touch system.
Plan your work, your household chores and develop a routine that works best for you. This cuts out downtime spent in agonizingly indecisive moments over the multitude of choices you have every day. Make sure you do a onetime planning that takes into consideration all that you need to do (from marketing to production), when you do, how you do and then follow that plan
Form your routine muscles – religiously follow your plan and repeat until you form a habit and your body goes on auto pilot. If it makes sense to pick up grocery on a certain on the way home and do that. Do not change your schedule. That will throw things off and you may forget certain things. When you do the routine regularly enough these habits will be built into your muscles and you will not need to consciously think about them. You free your mind up as you body goes on auto pilot – efficient and clean. Your body will take that path that has now become automatic.