Business Productivity

2 simple steps to get more done in less time

- January 17, 2019 3 MIN READ

This year you will exercise, you will lose those stubborn five kilos, you will stop smoking, you will stop drinking, and you will make time management a focus for your business and your life.

The problem with New Years’ resolutions, however, is that they don’t work.

Why? Because they are simply a wish list motivated by feelings rather than by data.

So, let’s lose resolutions. For mine, I find it better to set 2 to 3 big, massive, hairy, audacious, DATA backed goals for my new year.

Why? Well, they need to be big, hairy and audacious because there is no point wasting your time shooting for vanilla. And they need to be data backed so that they are meaningful, worth striving for and worth making sacrifices for.

Essentially – how badly do you want it?

And that leads me to TIME. As a business owner, you may want to manage your time better, but until you have the data and the right mindset, there is no point in wasting your time shooting for vanilla.

There are two simple steps to make this work:

1. The data

Here is a sample of the data:

  • The average smart phone user checks their phone 85 times a day (and over 4 hours a day)
  • 80% of business owners check their emails prior to commencing work for the day (and let’s face it, your emails are just a list of everyone else’s priorities)
  • 50% of business owners check their emails while on holidays
  • When you multi-task (which can be as simple as leaving your email alerts or phone on while you try and do some work) you force your brain to try and do 2 or more things at once. Multi-tasking reduces your productivity by 40% – which is equivalent to dropping 10 IQ points
  • If you multi-task day in and out, then at best you are only working at 60% of your productivity
  • Interruptions occur up to 10 times an hour (that’s every 3 minutes)
  • Every time you are interrupted, you are multi-tasking
  • The biggest culprit for interruptions, accounting for over 40% of all interruptions, is YOU (aka ‘self distractions’)
  • If your hourly rate is $100, and you spend 1 hour a day chasing shiny objects in social media, then that’s costing you $36,500 a year.

Right about now I hope this sample of data has given you the motivation to turn controlling your time into more than a wish.

So, what’s your big, hairy, audacious goal when it comes to time? As an absolute minimum you should be shooting to find and harness 30 hours of lost time a month.

Which leads to step 2.

2. Your mindset

The great irony about time management is how much time we spend thinking about how we could, or should, be managing our time differently to get more done.

Was there ever a greater waste of time? Probably not.

Happily, the concept of time management is one you can move away from right now, forever, because there is a better way.

Time is the one asset we all have exactly the same amount of and which no-one can gain more of, no matter how clever, wealthy or stealthy they are. As such, the smart work around is to learn how to think about, treat and utilise your time in such a way as to ensure that you use all of it well, all of the time.

Smart business owners think about their time differently because they can’t afford to do otherwise.

So, it’s time to move away from a mindset of managing your time to a mindset of investing your time. Start thinking about your time the way you think about your money – as a precious, enormously valuable, and limited resource that needs to be consciously invested for the greatest possible return so that your wealth and success grow.

Business owners who shift their mindset and take the time to learn the skill of time investment will gain an enormous advantage over those who continue to think about time as something that just needs to be managed.

Take the data and master the mindset and you will be ready to make 2019 the year you finally take control of your time.

Kate Christie’s 3rd book, SMART Time Investment for Business: 128 ways the best in business use their time, will be launched on 29 January 2019 and contains 128 time investment strategies that you can implement for immediate time gains.