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09 May 2019
How To Get More Hours in The Day
It’s unlikely that we’re going to be adding a 25th hour to the day anytime soon. That means we’ve got to work with the hours we’ve got. The good news is that you’ll quickly find all the minutes that are currently trickling away, and they’ll quickly add up to extra hours in the day. Here are our top four insights on how to get more hours in the day.
Where does the time go?
How Are You Spending Your Time?
We always talk about time as being spent or wasted. That’s because it’s a currency -just like money - but while you can theoretically always get more money, you can never really get more time. Ultimately, time is what we exchange for everything else. We exchange time for money by spending it at work. We exchange time for happiness by spending it doing what we love. We exchange time for knowledge by studying.
That means you need to budget your time and pay attention to your outgoings. There are a few great tools for doing this, such as Toggl or Time Doctor. Both of these are basically fancy timers. Type in what you are doing and start your timer. You can also further define your time by setting categories, clients, and projects. Set aside some time to review your entries. Look for places you’re losing or saving time. Perhaps there’s something that’s costing you several hours a week that could be outsourced or delegated?
Are You Interrupted or Multitasking?
Interruptions and multitasking are bigger timewasters than they appear. This is because of how our brains work. Basically, you can stir the dinner while you read an email but that’s as far as multitasking can go. Anything more complicated and what our brains actually do is rapidly switch between tasks rather than do both at the same time.
The problem is that this comes with a hidden cost. Our productivity dips dramatically and we start to make mistakes. So while each interruption - a few minute on the phone for example - might not seem like a big deal, it actually costs us a lot more than those few minutes. Studies show it takes at least 20 minutes to get back on track.
Let that sink in for a moment. After an interruption, you are less productive for at least 20 minutes. After an interruption, it might take you 20 minutes to do what would normally be 10 minutes’ worth of work.
That means if you could eliminate six interruptions, you can add an hour to your day!
Are You Taking Breaks?
I know this seems counter intuitive, but the longer we work the less productive we get. There’s a brilliant book called The Busyness Delusion. The central idea is that being busy and being successful got all muddled up at some point, but they aren’t the same thing. We get addicted to being busy and don’t do the things we should be doing as business owners.
The book explains that it’s a problem with our thinking rather than anything else. It highlights that time away is just as important to your productivity as the time you spend working. There’s a lot wrapped up in this that all comes back round to the systems and process in your business. The ultimate question is are you in control of your business or is your business in control of you? It’s the difference between having a business and just having a job.
Learn to Say “No”
This brings in all the previous points. Once you looked at how you’re spending your time, say no to the timewasters. Don’t let people interrupt you and don’t try to multitask; your emails can wait until you’ve finished your important work. Don’t let day-to-day busyness steal all your time.
You’re the business owner. The business lives or dies based on what you do. Plan your time the day before, include time for the busy work and time for growing your business. When you’ve planned to do the important work that’s going to make you and your business more successful, close your emails, turn off your phone, and shut the door.
Of course, you can’t just take a break from your business or ignore your phone because that’s a great way to lose customers. Luckily, The Office Genie has the perfect solution. Talk to us about our telephone answering service, so you can get on with the work that’s worth your time.
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