— October 5, 2018
Any other Harry Potter fans out there? (Silly question, I know!) Of all the magical, fantastical ideas that sprang from the Potterverse, I’d have to say the “time-turner” is one of my favorites. Remember that little gizmo?
Hermoine used it to pile on the extra classes one semester since the little device could literally turn back the clock for her. I swear, if I could get my hands on a time-turner, I’d be ruling the world by now …
Sadly, time-travel devices are still in the works, so we hard-working entrepreneurs must find other ways to squeeze more time out of our days. And today, I’ve got some simple, easy-to-adopt strategies for getting super-efficient with your working hours.
We’ve all got unique time-management personalities, but these ideas are definitely adaptable, so feel free to customize them so they work for the way that YOU work!
Create more time by batching your work
Multitasking seems so effective in theory, but in practice? It can just feel overwhelming. And many of us do shoddy work when we’re dividing our attention anyway!
So instead, batch your work. Jumping from writing to admin work to social media posting is less efficient than spending a couple of focused hours on one type of task.
If you want to cut down on wasted time and effort, do all your writing on one day, record all your podcasts on another, and create your marketing strategies on a different day altogether. Batching allows you to work intensely without interrupting your flow.
Create more time by eliminating underperforming tasks
Why keep spending time on projects and tasks that don’t light you up? Especially if they aren’t earning their keep?
Do a quick inventory of your daily and weekly task loads, and identify any underperformers. This can include items that you absolutely dread, ones that don’t bring in steady revenue, or both. Most of us have 3 to 5 recurring tasks that could be eliminated right off the top!
Create more time by limiting meetings
This can be a tough one—especially for those of us who work with clients—but it still merits mentioning. The connections that occur at in-person meetings are invaluable, and some projects absolutely require good, old-fashioned facetime. But we now have access to dozens of tools that enable us to connect remotely, and using them can save us all loads of time.
Discuss projects in Slack, do team updates in a Google Hangout, or schedule a call on Skype. Meeting in person means commuting, setting up, chit-chat, and often buying or distributing drinks or snacks. Meeting online is quicker, slicker, and a great way to take back some of your lost time.
But even if you can meet virtually, ask yourself if an email or two will have the same result. You might just find you can eliminate several hours worth of meetings from your schedule every month.
Create more time by prioritizing daily
Much of the time we waste each day is sucked up by simple decision-making. We run over our to-do lists in our minds, hem and haw about what to tackle next, and the minutes tick by.
Instead, make your first task of the day the creation of a prioritized list: Put the biggest and most important task first so it gets a giant dose of your energy, then rank the others. Remove improvised prioritization from your working days, and you’ll be amazed by how much quicker your projects get done!
Create more time by outsourcing and delegating
Saved the best for last! I’m a fierce advocate for delegating any task that doesn’t require you, personally. It’s the best way to ensure your time is used wisely while entrusting important workloads to talented, motivated freelancers. (Why not hire skilled experts to do the work you struggle to complete?)
Start with the tasks you procrastinate on, then look at the ones that take the most time, and finally consider the projects that you simply don’t excel at doing. Outsource as many as you can—both in terms of finances and comfort level—and watch your schedule become less and less crowded.
Your time is valuable, beautiful. I hope you’ll use these strategies to create more of it … at least until Target starts carrying time-turners.