“Time is money.” I am sure you have heard that said before. You most often hear this said from self-employed individuals. After working 8 years on 100% commission I would agree to the statement. If you are self employed or desire to start your own business then you need to understand how to manage yourself better. That is why I like the term self management over time management. Time just keeps on rolling. We have to get better at managing ourselves if we are going to be more productive.
I believe the topic is closely related to finances because many of us can miss out on potential opportunities because we lack the ability to manage ourselves and get more done. I recently read a blog post about “dying empty.” You may have heard the analogy that the cemetery is the most expensive land there is because of all of the dreams and ideas that died along with those that were buried there. “Dying empty” is the idea that you will pursue those passions and dreams and not let any resistance stand in the way.
I have 5 simple tips to share with you that I hope can help get you back on track if you have fallen off the wagon. Decide today to implement even a few of these ideas.
1. Find a way to capture all your thoughts.
I started using this technique a few years ago and it has been incredibly helpful for me. I can have a lot of ideas that come and go in my mind. In the past, I would try to keep these ideas in my head. Now, I capture them right away. Even if I have no intention of acting on the idea for awhile. I use my Evernote app for the iPhone as a way to capture this. You can even use the free Dragon dictation app and record your idea which will then turn it into text. You can then email yourself or email the idea directly into Evernote.
As suggested in the bestselling book Getting Things Done, I have a Someday/Maybe file that I use to store all of these random ideas. I make it a point to review these once a month.
2. Work with a sense of urgency at peak times.
Developing a sense of urgency is so important to meeting your financial goals and accomplishing your dreams. In the traditional model of trading time for money or working an hourly wage, we do not always fully develop this killer instinct habit. To be successful as a self-employed individual, you have to develop a sense of urgency. This comes natural for some and can be a real challenge for others. Your natural personality type is at play here. Try to think about when you feel most productive during the day. Make it a point to make this your “focus time” and get things done.
3. Batch together repetitive tasks.
Something that has really helped me is to batch together certain tasks that are repetitive. Checking email, paying bills, reading up on your latest social media activity can all be examples of tasks that you can batch together. As many of you know, social media sites can be a huge time suck. You will often spend more time there than you intended to in the first place. I like to use a free service called nutshell mail. You add all of your Facebook and twitter accounts and then tell it when to email you a summary of the latest happenings. You have complete control. I almost never visit the sites directly anymore. I get an email at noon and 5 pm everyday that shows me the latest happenings all inside one email. I can then choose which ones I will respond to.
4. Develop a system wherever possible.
If you have a business online or manage a blog then building systems is critical to your success. Having automated systems in place can free you up in a number of ways. First, it can allow you to double your productivity because you can work on another task while the system handles the other one. Secondly, it can offer you free time to take a break from work. If you are a blogger, having systems in place can allow you to take a day off and the world not fall apart. For my blogs, I have systems for posting content, Facebook marketing, twitter marketing, article writing and so on.
5. Outsource what you are not strong in.
Outsourcing can offer you leverage. What task whether at home or work (if self-employed) do you not enjoy that takes you twice as long to complete as someone else? Staying in your strengths is so important to growing a business and getting things done in general. The Internet is full of ideas, ways, and sites that can help you to outsource some of those more repetitive, frustrating tasks.
What is your time worth to you? If you are self-employed then this is a good question to ask yourself. Are you wasting valuable important hours in your day? Are you frustrated at the end of the day when you think about the things that you did not get to? Use some of the above tips and begin to save on time and build more wealth.
Meet us in the comments and share some of the ways you save time during your day!
Photo by Dave Stokes