You’re exhausted. Time always seems to be fleeting and your goals – writing, business, and family – seem to be further away than ever.
Work smarter, not harder by eliminating – even hacking – the inessentials so you can focus on what matters: your goals. This is not a cut corners to skimp on quality strategy. It’s about increasing your value by working efficiently and effectively.
Get ready because we’re about to put more time on your clock so you can get closer to achieving your writing goals.
5 Time Savers
- Prioritize – Family, team members, friends – sometimes it seems like you’re performing dozens of tasks that sap up hours of your time for everyone, but you! When I felt like this was happening to me, I reevaluated what I was doing with my day and prioritized. I found that many of those tasks brought little value to the table, driving me further away from my goals. Prioritization is king in time management. Determine the order to deal with tasks according to their relative importance and value. Ask yourself, “Does it give value?” If it isn’t delivering any value, completely eliminate it to free time up for things that do.
- Delegate – Perhaps you’re too willing to help others or you’re a firm believer in the philosophy, “If you want things done, you’ve got to do them yourself.” Let go – give up control. Not everything needs your attention and you need to know your limits. Delegate the task to someone else by evaluating whether the person does indeed need your help or if you have the necessary skills and resources to do it in an efficient manner. In writing, you can delegate by asking someone else to proofread your articles and even consider employing a quality ghost writer to write your articles.
- Handle Things Once – I’m easily buried in email every day and I know how easy it is to get tangled up in creating an intricate system to manage it. KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Organize a simple system to manage workflow so when you perform a task, such as review your email, set a time frame and hold yourself to it. Be decisive, move on after making a decision, and to make it absolutely work – don’t look back. Trust your decisions – you’ve got bigger fish to fry.
- Just Say No – I keep an open door policy for my team to ask questions, give feedback, or inform me about anything I need to know. For a long time, I felt that open door meant I had to be receptive the entire time I was in my office. The result was so much foot traffic in and out of my office that I considered whether I’d have to replace the carpet. Then I got smart: Shut the door, designate “visiting hours,” and learn how to say “no” constructively. No need to be aggressive about it. Respect yourself and the other person by showing them how non-priority interruptions affect the value you create.
- Accept Imperfection – As Salvador Dali put it, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” It’s easy to get so caught up in rewriting, revising, tweaking, etc., that you end up taking more time than was needed. Consider the 80:20 rule that states 80% of your measureable results come from 20% of the tasks you perform. Maximize that 20% by setting time limits on medium-priority tasks, minimizing the overall time you take to perform inessential or routine tasks, and take action (see the previous point “Handle Things Once”).
There are a TON more strategies that I’d love to share with you, but then we’d be here all day, I’d go over my time limit to write this post, and you’d be in over your head. Start by tracking what you’re currently spending time on – tasks, interruptions, breaks, etc. – to help you prioritize, delegate, be more decisive, say “no” when you’re ready, and help take action in less time.
What strategies would you like to add to the list?
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