By Mark Creedon
Maximising Your Time
The starting point to achieving financial freedom is time freedom. We always want to be sure we’re making the best use of our time because, at the end of the day, time is money.
We’re going to focus on how to plan your time to create room in your business and freedom for yourself. So, how do we start maximizing our productive hours? We analyze all the areas that are wasting our time.
We all experience different mindsets throughout the day, from winding up to winging down, but really, our time can be divided up into two overarching categories – positive time, and negative time, which as I’m sure you’ve guessed, depends on how productive our time. Within these categories are four basic types of wasted time:
To expand on these, let’s go through some of the major timewasters that I’m sure we’re all guilty of falling into.
Here are the 4 biggest timewasters:
1. Social media.
For many of us, social media plays a huge role in our business, and that’s great! Social media has become a tool for engaging with clients, generating new leads, and even converting those leads! But it’s also full of tempting distractions, and it’s all too easy to find yourself suddenly watching a mindless video compilation of dogs chasing birds instead of being productive.
2. Streaming movies and shows.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with kicking back and watching a movie or a few episodes of your current binge. But think about the turning point when relaxing entertainment becomes wasted time. Maybe you’re spending too much time trying to decide what to watch, or maybe you’re watching films you’ve already seen (more than once, even).
3. Phone and email.
If you’re not already batching your communications, now is the time to introduce it. Dedicated time to answer emails and phone calls and stick to those parameters. Keep your communication lines open only within your allocated timeframes. It’s okay to set these expectations, and it’s even better to be upfront about it! Consider setting up an automated message, either your voicemail or an auto-reply email, that says you’ll respond within your batched timeframes.
Hot Tip: Use the priority feature on your email account to stay on top of all your emails and prioritize the time you take to respond to them. Anything marked as “not important” can probably be deleted. Voila, time saved!
Take control of your time by deciding when and how much time you spend responding to other people’s requests. You decide when you interact with other people and don’t be afraid to ask for a rain check when you need it. When it comes to dealing (politely) with interruptions from other people, there are four helpful coaching questions you can ask to help limit others from wasting your time:
“Quick questions” aren’t always quick, they can easily turn into wasted time. Skip to only the important bits.
Find out exactly what outcome they’re expecting from this conversation.
Gage what they expect from you and if you actually need to be involved at all.
To really dig into the ways we can maximize our time and eliminate wasted time, start at the beginning.
Your Morning Routine
If you win the morning, you win the day. Getting your routine right means your productivity is set for the day. Your morning routine should include some form of the following three aspects:
Note: The last thing you should do first thing in the morning is to check your emails. Instead, dedicate space for this in your daily plan.
Once you’re truly understood all the areas that are wasting your time and wrapped your head around a solid daily plan, you can cut out all the negative time from your day-to-day and really start making the most of every minute.
Mark Creedon is the founder of Business Accelerator mastermind by Metropole and business coach to some of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs – helping them build a true business, not a job.
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