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- Reducing interruptions
- Dealing with feeling overwhelmed
- Responding to quick questions
- Making the most of meetings
- Following up
- Implementing a closed door, open calendar policy
Skill Level Appropriate for all
- Many people ask me, Dave, how should I prioritize my time? There are lots of different things going on, lots of different places where I can spend my time, what should I focus on, what's most important? Well, many people use the perspective of what's urgent and important to prioritize their time. However, I want to come from a different place. I suggest that you look at what gives you more time, and this way you can make small investments in the bank of time, so to speak, and that will pay off dividends of more time in the future.
Using this bank of time perspective, I've personally gone from a place of time poverty to time abundance. I'd like to share with a few steps that I use and my clients use to get to that place. Number one, ask the question, is there anything repetitive that I can delegate to someone or something else? For instance, if I spend a lot of time over and over scheduling appointments with other people, I could delegate that either to a scheduling software or to a virtual assistant.
Making the time to delegate this will free up lots of future hours in my own schedule. Second, ask the question, am I the bottleneck? Never let someone else wait on you. If other people are waiting on you, that's essentially saying that I'm holding up all the work that could be done in the future. I'm stopping other people from being productive and I'm wasting not just my time, but theirs as well. So, I want to prioritize anything that causes other people to wait on me.
Third, can I create something that works for me while I'm sleeping? Now, what do I mean by that? I want something that's doing work in the background tirelessly while I'm doing pretty much anything else. This particularly applies to freelancers or business owners. For instance, you can create an online advertising campaign or you can create articles or a blog. These things are working tirelessly for you while you're just relaxing, sleeping, or doing other kinds of work.
Fourth, ask what will make the most money per hour? Now, at this point, we've done everything that we can to make investments to gain time, so it's now time to focus on what is worth the most. There are lots of different things that you can do with your time, but some of it is low value time that's worth just a couple of dollars per hour, and some of it may be extremely high value time that's worth hundreds of dollars of hour. Put your priority on that which is most valuable.
Focusing on your value per hour and increasing that will actually give you more freedom over time. So, your goal here is to gain time when you're prioritizing. And by making small investments, you'll find that you have an abundance of time.