If Time Is Money, Why Are You Wasting It?
Let’s face it, nobody is perfect. We all waste time - a bit here, a bit there. But, what if we were talking money?
When I was a kid my Dad would often lecture me that “time is money.” That didn’t mean anything to me - I had nothing but time. Later, I had bosses who would say “Remember, time is money.” Still didn’t mean much to me, after all this wasn’t MY business.
It wasn’t until I had employees, my own clients and bills to pay when I realized time really is money. The time my employees worked made me money; the time I invested in sales made me money; and the time I wasted, well, that really did cost me money.
It’s easy to waste time. Just follow this recipe and watch time blow out the window:
- Start your day without a plan.
- Spend the first 30 minutes reading emails and responding to everyone else’s priorities.
- Leave all your alerts turned on and get distracted with Text messages, Facebook updates, LinkedIn requests, and Instagram updates.
- Procrastinate about your biggest projects and instead redesign Thank You cards to send to clients you don’t have.
- Order another book you won’t read, buy a course you won’t take, and download an audio book you won’t listen to.
Yup! You’re busy all right. Busy and broke.
Reclaim Your Time With These Tips
Instead, you can get serious about using time wisely. Here are four simple changes that will get you moving in the right direction:
- Remove distractions. An uncertain mind loves to jump ship and think about easy stuff. It’s a lot easier to think about that sticky note than the prospect you need to call. Clear your desk and office space. You can have clutter elsewhere, but not where you work.
- Start with a short list. Calling three prospects is a lot better than 12 miscellaneous, un-prioritized, random tasks that don’t necessarily make you money. Take 15 minutes and divide your list into four sections (hint: Evernote is perfect for this): Today, This Week (limit this to 12 or fewer top priorities), This Month and Someday. Now go to work on your Today list.
- Do your hardest work before 10:30AM. Most people have their best energy in the morning (if that’s not you, no worries, book this work for the afternoon). It only makes sense to get done all your heavy lifting when you are most able. Note: you must have your short list already created and don’t let email drive your actions.
- Take lots of breaks and return to your plan. You will always be more productive if you follow this simple formula: 1) work hard (for 20 to 30 minutes) 2) take a break 3) return to your plan 4) repeat. Sitting in front of your computer for hours does not make you more productive.
Every time we fill our gas tank, buy groceries or treat ourselves to a meal out we’re reminded that money has value. It’s too bad we don’t have a meter on time to remind us how precious it is. Time really is money and it’s up to you to get serious about getting a better return on every minute.